Workers’ Compensation Attorneys: What You Should Know

by Laura C. Jones

It can be an overwhelming experience to get injured on the job in NC. This is because you have to deal with your injuries, navigate the rules of your employer about which physician to consult, lose wages as a result of your injuries, and many more. Things can even get worse, especially if you end up having a permanent disability and are unable to go back to your regular work duties. It can also be tricky to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Regardless of your situation, you should consider contacting Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Wadesboro, NC to help you handle the workers’ compensation claim. The good news is that you can find experienced workers’ compensation attorneys who have been helping accident victims to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This article discusses workers’ compensation attorneys.

Understanding workers’ compensation

It’s worth remembering that there is no requirement for the workers’ compensation insurance company to give you a settlement. Ideally, if you intend to process your workers’ compensation claim through the workers’ compensation appeal board or even have it litigated in any state could, then the insurer may give you a settlement just to avoid this legal pursuit.

One of the reasons you may opt for a settlement is that there is a chance that you can lose your case in court, so you can end up with fewer benefits than you could have received, as outlined in the workers’ compensation policy. In such a case, you can receive the cash as a lump sum or even in portions as a structured settlement.

But before you decide to accept any settlement offer, you should until a physician certifies that you have attained maximum medical improvement when it comes to your injuries. Maximum medical improvement means that any further medical treatments cannot improve your condition. You should wait until this point because an insurer may no longer cover the medical treatment when you receive any settlement. Therefore, the responsibility for the medical costs falls on you. This is why you need to make sure that you will not face any unexpected medical expenses for additional treatment when you finalize your settlement.

Depending on the state where you live, you may have to report your injuries to your employer within a specific period. In some states, you need to make the report at least 30 days after the initial incident. Failure to do this can lead to denial of your claim. An employer must then report your injuries to the insurer within seven days after receiving the report. Three days after this date, an accident victim can receive an information brochure from the insurer explaining her responsibilities and rights alongside any other relevant information concerning the workers’ compensation laws.

Your medical provider also needs to file a claim to your workers’ compensation insurer. The insurance company can then consider both claims, but they base their decisions on the terms of their policy. In most cases, you can start receiving the benefits of workers’ compensation at least 14 days after reporting the injury. The insurance company pays through check bi-weekly.

You should also remember that workers’ compensation benefits are there to offer compensation when you cannot perform any regular duties. But you can choose to get a second job or even perform any other type of work while waiting for a workers’ compensation claim. And, if you start working or get another job during this time, you have the responsibility of reporting all your earnings to the insurance company, which can reduce the benefits they pay.

Your doctor can clear you to get back to work so that you can perform light duties. Remember that it’s only your employer who can determine whether or not they can offer these types of roles. The workers’ compensation insurance may accept your opinion on such issues. Therefore, it’s up to the employer to give the information to the insurance company. Your attorney needs to make sure that the insurance company has received the relevant information from your employer.

Workers’ compensation attorney

If you suffer work-related illnesses or injuries, there is a chance that you are wondering whether or not it is a good idea to have a workers’ compensation attorney. The truth is that it usually depends on the severity of the injuries you sustained, the complexity of the case, and your employer’s or insurance company’s actions.

In most cases, you can decide to represent yourself if there are specific situations. You can handle the process if your injuries are minor, such as a cut that needs a couple of stitches or a twisted ankle. You can also represent yourself if the employer admits that injuries occurred at work, you missed little due to the injury, or you have no pre-existing condition that can affect the same body part as the recent workplace injury. Some of the pre-existing conditions include an old back injury due to a car accident that happened before you slipped and injured your back at the workplace.

Even with these relatively simple situations, it’s usually good to consult a workers’ compensation lawyer for advice. An attorney can help you to understand the process, explain the potential pitfalls, and offer you an appraisal of whether or not you are capable of handling the claim yourself.

The best time you can contact a workers’ compensation attorney is when your employer or insurance company denies the claim, or they don’t want to pay the benefits quickly. An employer and insurance company routinely deny legitimate workers’ compensation claims because they believe that most workers may fail to appeal. Sadly, many workers don’t appeal. This is why you should have a workers’ compensation lawyer. After all, they often don’t need an upfront payment for their service, and they can offer you a good chance to get a fair settlement for your injuries.

You should also contact an attorney when the settlement from your employer fails to cover some of your medical bills or lost wages. If you are unsure a settlement offer is not fair, you should not rely on the judge to ensure that you are getting a fair workers’ compensation settlement. Workers’ compensation settlements need to have judicial approval, but a judge can often sign off any agreements once they determine that it’s not grossly unfair. Therefore, if you desire someone to help you so that you can receive a fair settlement, contact a lawyer.

You must also have an attorney when your medical issues prevent you from getting back to your previous job, keep you away from doing any work, or limit what you may do at work. If injuries or illnesses lead to permanent disability, whether total or partial disability, you can be eligible for weekly payments of a single lump sum so that it can make up for the wages you lost. Keep in mind that these cases tend to be quite expensive for insurers, so they can do anything to avoid paying what you deserve. An experienced worker’s compensation lawyer is crucial in such cases that involve permanent illness or injuries.

When you decide to apply for or receive Social Security disability benefits, you should contact an attorney. There is a chance that your settlement may not be structured correctly, so your workers’ compensation benefits can significantly reduce social security disability payments. A reputable lawyer can know how to write the settlement agreement to eliminate or minimize the offset.

Your employer can sometimes retaliate against you when you file a workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, if your employer, slashed your hours, demoted you, reduced your pay, fired you, or did any type of discrimination because you decided to file a workers’ compensation claim, you should get in touch with a workers’ compensation lawyer right away so that you can protect your legal rights.

And, if you sustained injuries due to the actions of a third party, you should also contact an attorney. This is because the workers’ compensation system is there to prevent civil lawsuits associated with work-related injuries. But you can sue outside workers’ compensation in specific situations, such as when another entity other than your boss contributes to your injuries, like a negligent driver who injures you while you are going to work. Besides, you can also see if your employer deliberately caused your injuries or if they don’t have workers’ compensation insurance. A reputable attorney can explain how the law works in such situations.

Common denials in workers’ compensation claims

One of the denials that insurance companies can make on your workers’ compensation is to say that your injury is non-compensable. If your employer’s insurer claims that the injury is non-compensable, it is trying to assert that the injury you sustained doesn’t meet the workers’ compensation coverage’s requirements. This can or cannot be true, but the best way you can understand your options is to seek the opinion of a workers’ compensation attorney. This is because it is a vague term and leaves enough space for any interpretation. As a result, this reasoning tends to face a great potential for misuse.

It’s a good idea to have a worker’s compensation attorney on your side so that you can understand the type of injuries that deserve compensation. You may realize that you have many options and can pursue compensation regardless of the claims made by your employer’s insurance company. You need to be familiar with the claim process and state statutes so that you can have a good picture of your situation.

The insurance company can also claim that you suffered from a pre-existing injury. Once the insurer claims that your injury is due to a pre-existing injury, they are usually attempting to run away from their responsibility for the illness or injury you experienced. Most insurance companies tend to take some steps to try to avoid compensating accident victims. This is one of the reasons that are often cited in workplace injury claims. In most cases, it’s quite easy for the insurance company to tell you that previous pain or medical experiences may be the root cause of your workplace experience.

A lawyer can assist you in understanding the best way to handle such denials, which are usually reductive and belittling for any accident victim to receive. Your attorney can also understand that the previous experiences may not have anything to do with your current pain and suffering. The law states that a victim who endures injuries that accelerate or aggravate pre-existing medical conditions needs to be compensated accordingly.

A good attorney also knows the finer points of most rules and regulations such as these. For instance, a pre-existing condition that is not related to your current injuries has no or little impact on your workers’ compensation claim. A lawyer can assist you in understanding these laws so that you can be aware of your chances of getting benefits.

Sometimes, an insurance company can claim that you don’t have the relevant supporting medical documentation. Suppose your employer’s insurance company states that you don’t have the right supporting medical documents, but you know that you offered enough documents and paperwork. In that case, a lawyer can provide a suggestion to contest the issue. Your employer’s insurance company has no right to review your medical history and any documentation directly associated with your medical treatment for the injuries and illnesses you experienced at your workplace.

You can sometimes be asked to sign various releases and other forms while the medical process is taking place. These forms are then submitted to the insurer for review. Most insurance companies claim that they didn’t receive such documentation, which tends to be rare because the insurers would like you to believe it. You need an attorney who can fight for the right acknowledgment from the insurance company of your employer. They can also help when it comes to gathering and submitting this documentation, especially if there are some documents really missing.

Besides ensuring that you file all the relevant forms before the deadlines, a good workers’ compensation attorney can also help you to gather the evidence required to support your case. Even better, they can negotiate with your employer’s insurance company and craft a settlement agreement to prevent any unanticipated consequences.

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