An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney In Wilmington, NC
If you were injured in a workplace accident, you may be uncertain about what you should do next. Do you know your rights? Are you entitled to compensation under North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws? How are you going to pay your bills if you aren’t receiving your normal income?
At David & Associates, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, we understand the concerns injured workers have, and we are here to help alleviate some of the stress you are facing. At our offices in Wilmington, Jacksonville, Wallace, and throughout southeastern North Carolina, we offer convenient, same-day consultations at no cost. Our Wilmington workers’ compensation lawyers can not only educate you about your workers’ rights but can also provide you with the aggressive legal support you need.
Handling a Full Spectrum of Workers’ Compensation Needs
At David & Associates, Attorneys at Law, PLLC, we are here to help you find the answers you need at every step of the process.
We work with clients in a range of workers’ compensation matters, including:
- On-the-job injuries
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Finding qualified medical care
- Wage loss benefits
- Death benefits
- Permanent vs. temporary disability
- Denied workers’ compensation claims
- Car accidents while working
- Construction accidents
- Logging accidents
- Agricultural worker accidents
- Health care worker claims
- Manufacturing and production line injuries
- Chemical exposure
- Occupational diseases
- Longshore and maritime injuries
Cases We Handle
- Fatal Workplace Accidents
- Workplace Injuries
- Workers We Represent
- Denied Workers’ Compensation Claims
- Permanent vs Temporary Disability
- Lost Wages
- Finding Qualified Medical Care
- Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
What to Do After a Work-Related Injury
Most workplace accidents and injuries are covered under North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system. If you are classified as an employee, and your employer has more than two employees, you are covered. However, just because you are covered by workers’ compensation does not mean that you will automatically receive benefits after a work-related injury.
There are several important steps you must take after a job-related accident, injury, or illness to protect your rights:
- Step One: Get medical attention – The first thing you need to do is seek immediate medical attention. If necessary, call 911. If you don’t need emergency care, still goto the hospital or see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. This is critical not only for your workers’ compensation claim but also for your overall health, safety, and well-being.
- Step Two: Notify your employer right away – The next thing you should do after the accident is notify your employer. Typically, you need to do this in writing; simply telling a supervisor about the injury or illness may not be enough. Instead, send a written letter, email, or another form of correspondence to your employer within 30 days of the accident, injury, or date on which you discovered or should have discovered the injury or illness.
- Step Three: File your workers’ compensation paperwork – You should file an official Notice of Injury claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission (the agency that handles workers’ compensation claims in the state) as soon as possible. The sooner you file this form, the better, but you only have two years from the date of the accident/injury or the date on which you discovered or reasonably should have discovered the injury/illness to do so.
- Step Four: Contact an attorney – If you experience any challenges in filing your claim, obtaining benefits, or any other aspect of your workers’ compensation case, reach out to an experienced attorney right away. At David & Associates, we can guide you through the entire claims filing process. We can also represent you in appealing a denied claim or working to have terminated benefits reinstated.
Your Employer Cannot Retaliate Against You for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you are injured while performing the duties of your job, you have a right to pursue a workers’ compensation claim in order to obtain payment for medical bills, lost wages and similar expenses. Many workers, however, are reluctant to file workers’ compensation claims for fear of employer retaliation.
Often, injured workers are afraid they might lose their jobs, lose a promotion, be demoted, or miss out on a raise if they report a workplace accident or injury. They are often afraid they may be ostracized by management or coworkers. This is understandable; indeed, many employers actively threaten their workers with such actions.
However, any form of employer retaliation is illegal. In situations where you feel your job, livelihood, or personal safety may be threatened as a result of filing a workers’ compensation claim, we can help protect you. Our Wilmington workers’ compensation lawyers have more than 120 years of combined experience in the field. We are adept at recognizing retaliatory actions and pursuing legal remedies to safeguard your rights.
Both federal and state laws protect employees from a range of retaliatory actions, including:
- Reduction of hours
- Reduction of wages
- Transfer to a less desirable position
- Change of employee’s work schedule
- Increased scrutiny
- Unwarranted poor performance reviews
- Verbal abuse
- Threatening retaliatory actions of any kind
If you have suffered retaliation or threats of retaliation after filing a workers’ compensation claim, reach out to our firm for help. Our team is ready to work hard to get you the medical treatment you need, the funds to pay for it, and the workplace protections that are your civil right.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation can cover medical expenses, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, wrongful death and funeral costs after a work injury or death.
Can You Be Terminated While on Workers’ Compensation?
Employers can’t fire workers for filing workers’ compensation claims. To do so would violate both state and federal law. However, it could be permissible if they had cause unrelated to your work injury and workers’ compensation claim. If you get fired while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, talk to an attorney to ensure your rights haven’t been violated.
Can Workers’ Comp Stop Paying Without Notice?
No. If an employer wants to terminate an employee’s workers’ compensation payments, they must notify the employee, state their reasoning for stopping the payments and give the employee 14 days to respond. The benefits can be stopped if the employee doesn’t respond within that timeframe. However, the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) must hear their case if the employee responds and objects to the decision. A formal hearing will occur if the issue can’t be resolved in an informal phone hearing. The NCIC will have the final say regarding whether benefits payments continue.
Can You Get a New Job While on Workers’ Comp?
Not if you want to continue receiving benefits. The NCIC will interpret seeking other employment as you being able to return to work and, therefore, no longer needing lost wage benefits. They will likely terminate your workers’ compensation payments. If you’re currently receiving benefits and looking for a new job, talk to a worker’s compensation attorney to understand how it’ll affect your benefits.
How Long Can You Stay on Workers’ Comp in NC?
If you suffer an injury that prevents you from ever returning to work, you can receive permanent total disability benefits for life. The maximum time a person can receive temporary total and temporary partial is 500 weeks, about nine and a half years. How long a person can receive permanent partial disability benefits depends on the body part affected.
Sound Legal Support When You Need It Most
If you were injured in an on-the-job accident or suffered a work-related injury or illness, we can fight to help get you the compensation you deserve. Working with an experienced attorney after a job-related injury or illness can not only help ensure you receive the benefits you are owed, but it can also help protect your job security if you are concerned that your employer may retaliate against you.
With over 120 years of combined experience, our workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to stand up for you and your rights. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.