Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Suffering serious injuries in a workplace accident can feel overwhelming. If you are like most people, you’ve never had to file a workers’ compensation claim, and you may have questions about the process, how to get started with a claim, and what you’ll need to prove to obtain benefits. This is completely normal and expected. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we have more than a decade of experience helping injured workers understand their options and effectively pursue the compensation they deserve.Common Workers’ Compensation FAQs
The workers’ compensation system isn’t necessarily intuitive. Yet, it is important to have a firm understanding of the process. Below are some of the most common workers’ compensation FAQs.What Is the Statute of Limitations for a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Generally, the statute of limitations for a workers’ compensation claim is two years. For injuries caused by workplace accidents, this two-year period begins on the date of the accident. For claims based on occupational diseases, the statute of limitations begins when you first notice symptoms of the condition.Am I Allowed to Choose My Own Doctor?
Yes and no. If your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company approves your claim, they can select the treating physician. However, you can always go to your own doctor, as well. In the event you disagree with the workers’ compensation doctor, you are entitled to a second opinion.Am I an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
Workers’ compensation benefits are only available to employees—not independent contractors. Thus, one of the first things you must determine before filing a claim is whether you are, in fact, an employee. In most cases, this is a straightforward determination; however, that won’t always be the case. While there are several factors that courts use in assessing whether a worker is an employee, the most important is the level of control the employer exercises over the person’s work. Of course, an employer’s classification is not always accurate; courts determine employment status based on the evidence rather than the employer’s initial classification of a worker.Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim if I Was Partially At Fault for an Accident?
Yes, workers’ compensation laws allow employers to obtain benefits even when they are partially at fault for an accident. It is only when an accident was the result of a workers’ intoxication or intentional actions that their workers’ compensation claim is affected.Can I Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits if I Am an Undocumented Worker?
Yes, the fact that someone does not have permission to work or live in the United States does not prevent them from pursuing a workers’ compensation claim. However, if your employer finds out that you are an undocumented worker, they can legally terminate your employment. In this case, your employer is still responsible for paying your workers’ compensation benefits.Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
No, your employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. North Carolina law specifically prohibits employers from taking any adverse employment action against an employee who files for workers’ compensation benefits. Notably, adverse employment action includes termination as well as other changes to the conditions of your employment, such as a demotion, decrease in pay or benefits, or loss of seniority.
These are just a few of the most common workers’ compensation FAQs. If you have additional questions about filing a claim, reach out to an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer for assistance.Did You Suffer Serious Injuries in a Workplace Accident?
If you were recently hurt in an on-the-job accident, the Olsinski Law Firm PLLC is here for you. Our dedicated Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers have decades of experience helping injured workers obtain fair compensation for their workplace injuries. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach one of our Concord workers’ compensation lawyers at 704-918-4747. We take all workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis, meaning we will not bill you for our services unless we can connect you with compensation for what you’ve been through.