Do not expect your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance adjuster to explain your rights to you. That is not their job and it will not happen. Knowledge is power.
The only way a injured worker can be protected is with knowledge — knowledge of the law, knowledge of North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system and a lawyer who knows how the system works.
Categories of benefits available to injured workers in North Carolina:
- Wage replacement. North Carolina workers’ compensation law provides that an injured worker who is unable to do any work is entitled to be paid two-thirds of his average weekly wage. These benefits will be paid to the injured worker until he is able to return to work. These workers’ compensation benefits are tax-free.
- Payment of all related medical expenses. North Carolina workers’ compensation law requires the employer to pay all medical expenses related to the worker’s accident or occupational disease. The employer is required to pay 100% of the approved medical bills. The medical providers cannot charge the injured worker directly for these medical services.
- Compensation for permanent impairment. North Carolina workers’ compensation law requires the employer to pay the injured worker for any permanent impairment of a body part. The amount of benefits to be paid for an impaired body part depends upon the part of the body that is impaired and the degree and extent of impairment.
Among the issues with which a lawyer will assist you with are the following:
- Whether you have sufficient grounds to be entitled to workers’ compesnation benefits;
- The amount of workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled;
- How long you will be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits;
- What medical expenses must your employer pay;
- Whether you need an attorney to handle your workers’ compensation case;
- How to choose the right workers’ compensation lawyer;
- How to deal with workers’ compensation doctors;
- How to deal with workers’ compensation vocational rehabilitation counselors;
- What you, the injured worker, can do to protect your claim;
- How to handle a job interview;
- Cautions about private detectives;
- Whether or not you should return to work;
- The kind of work you can do after you recuperate from your injuries.
If you were financially dependent upon a North Carolina worker killed in an on-the-job accident you may be entitled to death benefits from the employer’s insurance company.
North Carolina workers’ compensation law is very complex and confusing. Temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, permanent and total disability benefits, workers’ compensation settlements, and death benefits are all governed by special statutes specific to North Carolina and its injured workers. We are here to help you!