Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys are Jacksonville, NC workers’ compensation lawyers. When you’re hurt at work, you can have an experienced workers’ comp attorney represent you.
At Horton & Mendez, we know how the insurance companies operate, and we aggressively represent victims. Call 910-405-7751 or message us to talk about your case and get started.
Attorneys for Workers’ Compensation in Jacksonville, NC
There are many reasons why you may need a lawyer for workers’ compensation. Here are some of the ways we help people who are hurt at work in Jacksonville:
- Reporting your injury and filing your claim
- Calculating your average weekly wage
- Responding if they deny your claim for any reason
- Challenging your medical benefits, addressing urgent medical matters
- Seeking a second opinion regarding medical care
- Following legal procedures, filing forms, and legal paperwork
- Addressing your disability rating and permanent disability compensation
- Building evidence for your case
- Settlement negotiations
- Representing you at a hearing and contested proceedings
- Determining whether to file a third-party claim
- Creating a legal strategy, weighing the various options
- Answering your questions and explaining the process
- Representing you in all aspects of your case
Whatever questions or factors may be important in your case, our experienced team can represent you and pursue your rights. Our full-service law firm represents injured workers in the Jacksonville, NC area. To learn more and get started, contact us.
Who Is Covered by Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?
Workers’ compensation is a system that provides benefits to workers who are hurt in the course of their employment. Injured workers can receive medical care, replacement income, and disability benefits without having to prove employer fault.
In North Carolina, businesses with three or more employees must provide workers’ compensation benefits, with some exceptions.
People covered by workers’ compensation:
- Business employees
- Public employees
- Non-profit employees, if paid
- People employed lawfully and unlawfully
- Many truck drivers, even if independent contractors
People excluded by workers’ compensation:
- Casual employees, independent contractors
- Domestic servants directly employed by a household
- Farm laborers if fewer than 10 full-time, non-seasonal laborers
- Sole proprietors, LLCs, and partners
- Volunteers for non-profits
- Intoxicated persons
- Those intending to harm themselves or another
My employer says that I’m an independent contractor – Can I get workers’ compensation in NC?
An employer is not relieved of their duties by calling an employee an independent contractor. It’s the true nature of the employee’s work that determines their status, including the control that the employer exercises over the details of the work.
If your employer has denied your case, saying that you’re not an employee, we invite you to consult with our workers’ compensation lawyers.
Types of Work Injuries Covered
Common workplace injuries include:
- Broken bones, fractures
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cuts, lacerations, punctures, contusions
- Crushing injuries
- Back injuries, when the direct result of a specific traumatic incident
- Repetitive stress, lacerations
- Disease that results from an accident
- Loss of hearing caused by harmful noise in the environment
To be covered by workers’ compensation, an injury must arise out of and in the course of employment.
Does North Carolina have the coming and going rule?
Injuries that happen while you are traveling to or from work are not covered in North Carolina workers’ compensation. The coming and going rule excludes injuries during a worker’s commute.
What’s Covered? – Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits
- Provided to treat the injured worker to the maximum extent possible.
- Generally, the employer may choose the care provider.
- There is no cost to the injured worker, and no deductibles or copays.
- If there are disputes that are urgent, the worker may file an emergency motion, stating the need for expedited review.
- If you disagree with the medical care provided, you may ask for authorization of a second opinion or request to change doctors.
TTD – Temporary Total Disability
- Applies when the worker is totally disabled and unable to work.
- Imposes a seven-day waiting period for benefits, but the first seven days are paid if the person is off work for 21 or more days.
- Pay is 2/3 of the person’s average weekly wage.
- There are maximum amounts that may be paid.
TPD – Temporary Partial Disability
- Applies when the injured person can work, but they earn less than they made before.
- Pays 2/3 of the difference in the person’s wages.
- The seven-day waiting period applies.
PPD – Permanent Partial Disability
- Applies when the worker has a permanent injury or disability.
- Determined once the worker reaches Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).
- An impairment rating for the part of the body impacted determines the severity of the disability and the amount of compensation due.
Total and Permanent Disability
- Applies when the injured worker can’t return to work despite Maximum Medical Improvement.
- Involves specific losses including extremities and eyesight, burns, paralysis, and head injuries.
- A qualifying worker may receive benefits for a lifetime, including medical care.
Wrongful Death Benefits
- If a family loses a loved one, survivors may claim workers’ compensation wrongful death benefits.
- Burial expenses may be paid up to $10,000.
Does workers’ compensation pay for pain and suffering?
No. Workers’ compensation does not allow for recovery of pain and suffering.
What medical treatment can I get through NC workers’ compensation?
You may receive medical treatment through NC workers’ compensation that is designed to:
- Cure the injury or ailment
- Relieve pain
- Lessen disability
- Relating to your on-the-job injury
To achieve the intended medical improvement, it may be appropriate to seek care from a variety of medical professionals. Healthcare organizations and professionals that may provide services are:
- Hospital, medical services providers
- Doctors and nurses
- Surgeons and surgery centers
- Rehabilitation facilities, therapists
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Medical suppliers
- Medical specialists
Are there deductibles or copays for workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina?
An injured worker may receive workers’ compensation medical benefits without deductibles or copays. Medical care should be provided completely free of charge to the injured worker.
Can I refuse medical care under workers’ compensation?
If you refuse medical care provided by workers’ compensation, your benefits will terminate.
How to File for Workers’ Compensation in Jacksonville
To file for workers’ compensation:
- Notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible.
- Seek medical treatment. Your employer may refer you to a provider.
- Submit a written notice of injury within 30 days (Form 18).
- If your employer denies benefits, or there are other issues with your claim, you may submit a request for a formal hearing.
Your employer will respond by accepting benefits, denying them, or agreeing to pay without making a decision. They must notify their carrier or administrator and file a report.
If your claim has been denied, you may request a hearing before the North Carolina Industrial Commission. You may participate in mediation. If you disagree with the decision after a hearing, you may appeal. The North Carolina Court of Appeals hears appeals. You can have our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers represent you throughout the case.
How long do I have to file a claim for workers’ compensation in North Carolina?
Injured workers generally have two years to file a claim from the date of injury. However, they must notify their employer of the injury right away, and not later than 30 days after injury.
Third-Party Claims for Workplace Injuries
When a worker is hurt, it’s possible that someone other than an employer has legal fault. Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy with the employer, but a third party may be responsible for causing a personal injury.
The right to third-party compensation is not affected by the fact that the injured employee may claim workers’ compensation. However, you won’t recover twice. The employer may recover the amount they paid in benefits from any third-party compensation.
As the injured worker, it’s important to know that you may bring a third-party claim even if you seek workers’ compensation. However, you should know that a workers’ compensation claim may impact the process and potential recovery of a traditional personal injury claim.
How are workers’ compensation claims different from personal injury claims?
Workers’ compensation claims are different from personal injury claims in two ways: fault and compensation. An injured employee doesn’t have to prove that their employer acted negligently or that they bear any kind of fault for the injury. The basis for the claim is that the victim got hurt at work.
In a workers’ compensation claim, the victim receives medical care, replacement income, and disability pay. However, they do not claim pain and suffering. In addition to other differences, the claims process and procedures are different between the two types of claims.
Free Consultations – Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys is here when you need an experienced, local workers’ compensation lawyer in Jacksonville, NC to represent your interests. We know the common tactics used to deny workers their benefits, and we’re committed to the rights of injured workers.