North Carolina has thriving industrial and agricultural businesses. As a result, workers may face increased risk of injury on the job. There are many ways for North Carolina workers to incur injuries while working, from repetitive stress experienced by those working at poultry processing plants to commercial truck accidents where the driver is injured. Thankfully, workers’ compensation insurance protects victims against losing their source of income or acquiring staggering medical debt.
Who qualifies for workers’ compensation in North Carolina?
Most workers employed directly by a business can qualify for workers’ compensation. Independent contractors may not be covered but those who are wrongfully classified as independent contractors may be. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can review the details of your work contract to determine if you have been misclassified as an independent contractor. North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance theoretically covers anyone injured or sickened due to a work accident, repetitive stress, or exposure at work.
What does workers’ compensation cover?
Workers’ compensation insurance covers all expenses incurred as a result of a worksite injury. This can include emergency or trauma care, reparative surgeries, hospital stays, and physical or occupational therapy. If the injury results in a worker being unable to perform one’s job for an extended period of time, job re-training may be covered as well. Those who miss extended periods of work can also receive compensation for those lost wages. Those benefits are typically calculated as roughly 2/3 of the weekly pay received, up to $978 per week to offset lost wages.
What should you do after a workplace accident?
Upon being injured at work, it’s important to advise your employer immediately. Depending on the size of your employer’s business, it may offer on-site medical care or refer you to a local hospital. Provide them with accurate information about the accident to ensure that proper reporting to the state and federal agencies, like OSHA, takes place. This protects your ability to file a claim if you are out of work for more than a few days.
You should also speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible, to guide you through the process of filing a claim.
Workers’ compensation claims sometimes get denied, and you have the right to appeal that decision. Sometimes, delayed claims processing can cause issues. Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney ensures you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.
Don’t wait until you’re flooded with medical bills and unable to work. Ensure everything is done properly the first time. As soon as you know you will have to file a workers’ compensation claim, speak with an experienced attorney.