What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance required by all employers retaining three or more employees in North Carolina.
It provides certain benefits to employees who have been injured by accident on the job, or been injured as a result of an “occupational disease” such as asbestosis, chemical exposure, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome or hearing loss.
In short, it’s designed to make sure that employees who are injured or disabled on the job don’t have to bear the cost of medical bills themselves, and to cover employee wage losses directly related to the accident or to permanent physical impairments.
What kind of compensation can I receive?
You may be entitled to benefits for lost wages, temporary or permanent disability, medical compensation and vocational rehabilitation.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD)
Weekly benefits when you are unable to work in any capacity for a period of up to 500 weeks. Benefits are usually calculated at the rate of 66 2/3 percent of your average earnings at the job where your injury occurred over the year preceding the injury.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD)
Weekly benefits when you can do some work but are earning less than you were at the time of your injury for a period of up to 500 weeks.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD)
Benefits to compensate for permanent damage to your body part(s) injured.
Payment for medical and rehabilitative care necessary to effect a cure, provide relief and lessen your period of disability. Benefits could include doctors’ visits, prescriptions, diagnostic testing, physical therapy and even surgical costs.
Services designed to help you get back to “suitable employment” after an injury. These can include counseling, job analysis, job modification, placement, training and continued education.
Can I be fired because I filed a Workers Compensation claim?
No. Firing you simply for filing a claim would be a violation of the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA).
If you believe that your employer has engaged in such conduct, you should immediately contact the North Carolina Department of Labor at (800) 552-6762.
If you decide to file a claim with the Department of Labor, be sure to file it within 180 days of the termination or your claim may be lost. The Department of Labor will conduct an investigation and either take your case on or issue a “right to sue” letter. If you receive a “right to sue” letter, you have 90 days to file a claim in court.
What will a workers’ compensation claim cost?
Wilson, Reives & Silverman handles all workers’ compensation claims on a “contingency fee” basis, generally taking 25% of any recovery (plus costs and expenses). This means that we do not charge any fees unless there is a recovery of benefits.
Where do I begin?
It will not cost you anything to come in for a consultation. At Wilson, Reives & Silverman, PLLC, all consultations for workers’ compensation cases are given free of charge.
The workers compensation lawyers at Wilson, Reives & Silverman are here to provide you with trusted, effective legal counsel. We’ll focus on your claim, allowing you to focus on recovery and moving your life forward.