Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim
If you’re like most people, workplace accidents hardly enter your mind. It’s easy to assume that, as long as you are careful, you’ll be able to avoid an injury at work. However, that is unfortunately not always the case. Workplace accidents are extremely common. In fact, upwards of 67,000 North Carolina workers experience a work-related injury or illness each year. These incidents not only keep you from working, but they can also end up costing you thousands of dollars in medical expenses.
At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help. We take pride in our meticulous attention to detail throughout the process, which results in accurate and compelling claims. With our help, you can receive the workers’ compensation benefits you need to get back to work so you can move past your injury and on with your life.Who is Eligible for Workers' Compensation in North Carolina?
Before filing a workers’ compensation claim, you need to ensure you're eligible:
Employer Coverage – Generally, businesses with three or more employees must be covered. However, not all employers in North Carolina are required to have workers' compensation insurance.
Injury or Illness – The injury or illness must have occurred in the course of your employment. This can range from sudden accidents to long-term occupational diseases developed over time.
Timely Reporting – You must promptly notify your employer of the injury or illness. Delays can jeopardize your claim. In North Carolina, you must provide notice to your employer within 30 days of your injury.Steps to Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
Most injured workers haven’t had to go through the workers’ compensation process, which can raise confusion about how to proceed. While the process is complex, the basic steps of filing a workers’ comp claim include:
Report the Injury – Inform your employer as soon as possible, ideally in writing. This provides a record and ensures your employer is aware of the incident.
Seek Medical Treatment – Get medical attention for your injuries as soon as possible. Ensure you follow your doctor's instructions and attend all follow-up appointments.
Complete Form 18 – If your employer doesn't report the injury to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, you need to fill out "Form 18" to officially notify the NCIC of your injury. You should do this within 30 days of the injury but no later than two years after the accident.
Keep Detailed Records – It is imperative to keep thorough records of everything related to the incident, medical treatment, missed work days, and any communication regarding your claim.
Submit Your Claim – Once you’ve established eligibility, provided notice, and completed your application, it’s time to submit it. The decision of whether to approve your claim rests with your employer’s insurance company.North Carolina Workers’ Comp Benefits
If your claim is approved, you may receive several types of benefits:
Medical Benefits – All necessary medical treatment related to the injury should be covered.
Temporary Disability – If you're unable to work for more than seven days, you may receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage until you can return to work or for up to 500 weeks, and longer in some cases.
Permanent Disability -- If you suffer a permanent impairment, you could receive benefits based on the severity and nature of the impairment.
Death Benefits – If a worker dies as a result of a workplace injury or illness, their dependents can file a workers’ compensation seeking death benefits, which amounts to two-thirds of a deceased worker’s pay, for up to 500 weeks.Workers’ Compensation Challenges and Denials
Not all workers’ comp claims are approved. Your employer's insurance company might contest the claim if it believes the injury isn't work-related or if the medical treatment seems excessive. If your claim is denied, you have the right to request a hearing before the North Carolina Industrial Commission.Have You Experienced a Workplace Injury?
If you’ve recently been injured at work, you should consider filing a workers’ compensation claim. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we’ve assembled a dedicated team of Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys who have extensive experience successfully preparing claims on our clients’ behalves. We understand what type of evidence is needed to establish eligibility, where to find it, and how to present it in a compelling way to ensure your claim proceeds smoothly and successfully. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Charlotte work injury lawyers, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Cabarrus County workers’ compensation attorneys at 704-918-4747. We proudly represent clients in Charlotte, Concord and Kannapolis, as well as throughout Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, and Union Counties.