Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Have You Been Injured While Working or On The Job in North Carolina?
Regardless of your profession, you should feel safe and comfortable going to work each day. In America, many of us often spend more time at work than we do at home, and everyone deserves a secure environment.
However, what happens when an accident takes place and you are hurt at work?
At Charles G. Monnett III & Associates, we believe it’s important to be educated on facts regarding workers’ compensation. While we hope you are never involved in a situation where you need legal assistance because of an injury sustained on the job, it’s important to know your rights and options.
This page provides helpful information on the following topics:
- What Is Workers’ Compensation?
- What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
- What Workers’ Compensation Does Not Cover
- Who Is Covered Under Workers’ Compensation
- Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
- What to Do If You’ve Been Injured at Work
- FAQ’s About Workers’ Compensation
- Workplace Injury Statistics
- Worker’s Comp Settlement & Success Stories
- Contact Charles G. Monnett III & Associates
If you or someone you know was injured at work, we are truly sorry for the pain, loss and inconvenience it has caused you. This can be a difficult and stressful time, but you don’t have to go through it alone. At Charles G. Monnett III & Associates, we are here to assure you that there is a chance for tomorrow. Contact us today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation at (704) 376-1911. Let us help you.
What Exactly Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation refers to a type of insurance purchased by employers for the employee’s benefit. Coverage covers employment-related injuries and illnesses, and is often known as “workers’ comp.”
Fact: Workers’ compensation is a type of mandatory business insurance to provide employees who become injured or ill while on the job with medical coverage and income replacement.
Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated program that consists of payments ordered by law to be made to an employee when he or she is harmed or disabled at work. Depending on the situation, an injured employee often receives workers’ compensation insurance regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Workers’ comp benefits are a type of insurance, and collecting them prevents the employee from later suing the employer for the cost of the injuries.
North Carolina’s workers’ comp system is governed by the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (N.C. General Statute Chapter 97), which is overseen by and enforced by the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This helps remove some of the uncertainty from circumstances following a work-related injury or industrial illness.
What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation benefits won’t undo the pain you’ve had to endure, but they can help alleviate the stress associated with missed wages and expensive medical bills.
Workers’ compensation can cover the following:
- Medical Care
- Missed Wages
- Retraining Costs
- Temporary Disability Benefits – if the injury prevents you from doing your job
- Permanent Disability Benefits – if you are unable to fully recover from the injury
- Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits – if the injury requires you to retrain or enhance your skill set
- Benefits to survivors – payments to spouse, children or dependents if the injury leads to death
North Carolina law provides that injured workers are to be paid two-thirds of their average weekly wage while out of work due to an on-the-job injury. An employer is also responsible for paying for medical treatment and any permanent impairment rating that is recommended by your authorized treating physician.
It’s not uncommon for employers and insurance companies to try and limit what they pay to an injured employee. We can help you navigate your claim and ensure you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to by law.
What Workers’ Compensation Does Not Cover
You should also be aware of what is not covered by workers’ compensation. If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while you were injured on the job, you could be denied benefits. Employers can order a drug and alcohol test for the injured employee and you may be disqualified for benefits if the test results are returned positive.
Compensation can also be denied if the employee was not following company policy at the time of the injury, the injury was self-inflicted or the injury occurred outside of work. And, unfortunately, workers’ compensation benefits do not cover the cost of pain and suffering.
Keep in mind that if you decide to collect benefits for your injury, you cannot later sue the company.
If you have questions about your claim, we can help you. Call Charles G. Monnett III & Associates today at (704) 376-1911. We work with injured workers all over the state, making sure our client’s claims are properly filed and handled.
View a Testimonial from a Long Time Workers Compensation Client
An injury at work can prevent you from returning to work for several months or even years. This is especially difficult if the injured person is the breadwinner of the home. The video below shares the testimony of one of our longtime clients, Gaye, about her experience with our firm and how we supported her throughout her process.
Who Is Covered Under Workers’ Compensation
Most types of employees are eligible for workers’ compensation, though different companies may have varying rules or policies in place. This is why it’s best to understand what your benefits are before you ever might need them. You are entitled to this information.
Workers’ compensation may not cover certain types of employees, such as:
- Independent Contractors
- Employees of Private Homes
- Railroad employees
If you’re not sure, it’s best to verify with your boss or supervisor if you are covered by workers’ compensation benefits and what your benefits entail.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
Injuries on the job are caused by a number of different factors, including but not limited to:
- Heavy lifting
- Crane failures
- Crush injuries
- Car wrecks on the job
- Shock or electrocution
- Forklift/warehouse injuries
- Construction accidents
- Scaffolding failures/collapses
- Falls from ladders, platforms, lifts, unguarded edges or openings
What to Do If You’ve Been Injured at Work
Step #1 – See A Doctor
If you’ve been hurt at work, it’s most important that you first seek medical attention. If an injury or illness goes untreated, it can get worse, resulting in a longer recovery time or even permanent damage. Without proper medical documentation and diagnosis, justifying your injuries may be difficult and decrease your cases’ value over time. Medical diagnosis ensures you can heal more quickly, receive the treatment you need, and then our firm will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Step #2 – Notify Your Employer
Inform your employer of the injury you sustained at work as soon as possible. Often your supervisor or boss’ reaction can be an indicator of how well you can expect them to comply with the process. If for some reason he or she fights your claim, you may want to contact your local workers’ compensation office or speak with an attorney.
Step #3 – Keep Evidence of the Work Injury
Since there is a chance your employer could refute your claim, it’s best to gather and keep as much evidence as possible to help prove your case. Evidence can include pictures or video of where the accident occurred, pictures of defective machinery, medical records, witness statements and any sort of documentation that verifies you were hurt at work while properly doing your job.
Step #4 – File Your Workers Compensation Claim in Time
Once filed, your workers’ compensation benefits will either be denied or approved. Be aware of time constraints, as there are limits to how long you have before you can no longer seek benefits. If you are unsure of the timelines, you may contact our office and we can help to answer this questions for you.
Step #5 – Be Aware of the Statute of Limitations
In North Carolina, you have two years to file your workers’ compensation claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Filing a claim as soon as possible after an injury can improve your chances of a favorable outcome, so do not delay speaking with a lawyer. When workers’ compensation claims are denied, our lawyers handle appeals through the North Carolina Industrial Commission, North Carolina Court of Appeals, and North Carolina Supreme Court.
However, filing a claim as soon as possible after an injury can improve your chances of a favorable outcome, so do not delay speaking with a lawyer. When workers’ compensation claims are denied, our lawyers handle appeals through the North Carolina Industrial Commission, North Carolina Court of Appeals, and North Carolina Supreme Court.
If you need assistance during this process, a workers’ compensation attorney knows the law and can answer any questions you have.
Step #6 – Seek Legal Assistance
If after you’ve been injured on the job you decide you want to sue your employer instead of collecting benefits, you can – but you can’t do both. If your case is successful, the court may award you for a variety of damages, including punitive, medical and lost wages. However, if you lose your claim, you collect nothing.
FAQ’s About Workers’ Compensation
The following are questions our attorneys are frequently asked about workers’ compensation benefits:
Q: Can my employer tell me not to file a workers’ compensation claim?
If your employer tells you not to file a claim after being injured at work, you should report them to your local workers’ compensation office. You may also choose to contact a workers’ compensation attorney.
Q: Can my employer fire me over a workers’ compensation claim?
In North Carolina, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an injured worker for exercising his or her right to file a workers’ compensation claim. This right is governed by the North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (NC REDA) and Enforced by the North Carolina Department of Labor. If you are retaliated against for filing a claim, you should report your employer to your local workers’ compensation office and contact an attorney.
Q. What if a death occurs as a result of a workplace injury or occupational disease?
A: In addition to benefits for job-related injuries and illnesses, if such maladies ultimately result in death, certain survivors are entitled to death benefits under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. If you are the family member or dependent of an employee who died from an injury or sickness incurred in the course of his or her employment, a workers’ compensation attorney can advise you about workers’ compensation death benefits.
Q: Can I appeal my workers’ compensation claim if it was denied?
A: Yes. If you feel your claim was denied but shouldn’t have been, you can appeal the ruling. The letter of denial will state why the claim was refused, as well as how long you have to dispute it.
Q. What are the vocational rehabilitation rights of injured workers?
A: Vocational rehabilitation is the process of rebuilding work skills as part of the recovery from an injury or illness. Sometimes an injured individual can eventually return to his or her previous job. If an injury places long-term or permanent limitations upon the person, retraining for a new type of job may be necessary. In North Carolina, if you require vocational rehabilitation after a job injury or industrial illness, your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer may be required to pay for your vocational rehabilitation services as part of your workers’ compensation benefits.
Q: Instead of collecting workers’ comp benefits, can I bring a lawsuit against my employer?
A: Yes. If you choose to sue your employer for your injury, you waive your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on the court’s ruling, you may be awarded punitive damages, medical expenses and/or lost wages.
Q: Do I need a lawyer to receive workers’ compensation benefits?
A: No. You may represent yourself “Pro se” meaning “for oneself.”
A study by the University of Maryland revealed that more than 65% of those who decided to represent themselves did so because they believed they could not afford a lawyer who charges by the hour. However, 2015 survey by Martindale-nolo showed that those who hired a workers’ compensation lawyer saw a 31% higher net payment than those who did not. For workers with disputed permanent disability, their recovery was more than 600% higher.
Listen to Jacob’s Testimonial
The following video is of yet another one of our clients – Jacob, who spoke to several lawyers that did not allow him an opportunity to share his complete story about what happened. Attorney Lauren Newton listened to Jacob’s story, immediately setting up an in-person meeting with him. While the positive results of Jacob’s case can not be revealed here, his testimony can be viewed below.
Begin your claim today. Over the past 30 years, we’ve served countless families whose lives have been shattered by a workplace injury. We know that for many, it’s not about the money; it’s about recovery, hope, justice, and affording the best possible way to heal from such a difficult time. If this describes you or your loved one and you would like to speak with a lawyer today, call us toll free at (800) 977-3077. Not only will we help you navigate your claim and ensure you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to by law – we will stand for you and support you the entire way.
Worker’s Comp Settlement & Success Stories
Nothing matters more to us than helping our clients get what they deserve. The following successful settlements are just a handful of stories from people just like you that we have helped towards recovery.
Charles G. Monnett III & Associates have helped win:
For a man who fell into an open sewer line, receiving a hypoxic brain injury and neurological disorder.
For a man who sustained a mild traumatic brain injury after falling down a flight of steps at work.
For a man who fell on a construction site where the general contractor failed to have OSHA-required barriers in place.
For a woman who sustained a traumatic brain injury after her vehicle was struck by a commercial truck while stopped in a construction zone.
For a man who sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of an exploding tire and rim.
Workplace Injury Statistics
In 2015, there were a total of 150 reported fatal work-related injuries in North Carolina (Bureau of Labor Statistics):
- Transportation incidents – 51
- Contact with objects and equipment – 33
- Falls, trips and slips – 26
- Violence – 24
- Exposure to harmful substances – 13
- Fires and explosions – 3
Too many workplace injuries are preventable, including many of those above. Was someone you love hurt – or even worse – killed on the job? Our sincerest thoughts and condolences are with you. You may feel confused and alone, but we assure you that you are not. We want to help you.
Do you need help with your workers’ compensation claim but aren’t sure where to begin? Let us help you and start by answering all of your questions. You can give us a call or we can set up an in-person consultation with you, free of charge and confidential.
Contact Charles G. Monnett III & Associates
At Charles G. Monnett III & Associates, we care about you and your family. We are truly sorry for the pain and inconvenience you or someone you know has had to endure. You probably have many questions, and we will give you the answers you need and deserve. Let us try and make it better. From making phone calls on your behalf to collecting medical records, we will handle all aspects of your workers’ compensation claim, so that you can focus on what’s really important: your healing.
If you’re ready to receive a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, call us today at (704) 376-1911. With decades of combined legal experience, we have the skills and knowledge to be your best advocates during this difficult time.
Three Ways We Can Help You Today
- Help you understand your rights as they apply to your unique case
- Help you to know which medical treatments may be needed
- Help take calls and handle the paper work from insurance companies
I was involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, so I contacted the attorney that i had used in a previous case. I explained to them the situation and they advised me that there was no way that i would be able to recover anything so
In October 2010, my pregnant wife and I were in a horrendous accident in Charlotte, NC, caused by a drunk driver. We were struck head on by the driver travelling at nearly 100mph and sustained many life threatening injuries
Charles Monnett was very helpful and lead me through the whole legality of my case. Charles was always available and informative on this process.