Strictly speaking, you don’t “need” an attorney if you are injured on the job. You are free to try to handle the claim on your own.
However, if you have suffered a workplace injury in North Carolina, there are a number of reasons to get in touch with a lawyer. A work injury lawyer can help you in many different ways. As such, it is strongly in your best interest to have an experienced attorney on your side.
5 Reasons You Should Hire a Lawyer After Suffering a Workplace Injury in North Carolina
So, why should you hire a lawyer after suffering a workplace injury in North Carolina? Here are five important reasons to seek legal representation after getting injured on the job:
1. You Need to Report Your Injury Correctly and On Time
Under North Carolina’s workers’ compensation law, you only have 30 days to report a work-related injury to your employer. If you miss this deadline, you will lose your right to benefits.
While reporting your injury should be fairly straightforward, you do not want to take any chances. If you omit key information or if your employer claims that there is no record of the incident, this will create challenges for both your legal claim and your recovery from the accident.
A workplace injury lawyer can help you report your injury correctly and on time. Furthermore, your attorney can make sure that there is documentation in place to show that you met the requirements to collect benefits.
2. The Insurance Company Might Try to Deny Medical Benefits
A workers’ compensation claim is, ultimately, an insurance claim. Most employers in North Carolina are required to carry workers’ compensation. When a worker is hurt on the job, the employer submits a claim to its insurer.
Medical benefits are one of the key elements of workers’ compensation insurance coverage. These benefits are provided on a “no fault” basis. Because there is no question of fault, employers and insurance carriers should have no reason to dispute legitimate claims.
Unfortunately, this may not stop your employer’s insurance company from trying to deny your medical benefits. Workers may be denied medical benefits from the outset, or their benefits may be suddenly reduced or terminated with little to no warning.
When you hire a lawyer to handle your workers’ compensation claim, your lawyer can work to ensure you receive the medical benefits you deserve. This way you won’t have to worry about how you are going to cover your bills. You also won’t have to go through the hassle of dealing with the insurance company on your own.
3. The Insurance Company Will Probably Try to Deny Disability Benefits
If you are unable to work for seven days or more due to your workplace injury, you will also qualify for disability benefits. Unfortunately, collecting the benefits you are entitled to for lost wages can be even more difficult than securing coverage for your medical needs.
Workers’ compensation insurance companies routinely deny workers’ claims for disability benefits, and they do so for a wide variety of reasons. When you hire a workers’ compensation lawyer, your lawyer will submit all necessary information to the insurance company on your behalf. In addition, your attorney will also use his or her knowledge of the law to help make sure you receive the maximum disability benefits available.
4. It May Be in Your Best Interest to Seek a Workers’ Compensation Settlement
Typically, injured workers receive coverage for their medical care as needed and they receive disability benefit checks on a weekly basis. But, there is also another option: A lawyer may be able to help you obtain a workers’ compensation settlement.
Negotiating a settlement allows you to receive a one-time lump sum payment. This way you don’t have to wait for your check each week, and you don’t have to worry about the insurance company terminating your benefits prematurely.
It is essential to work with an attorney before accepting a workers’ comp settlement. Once you settle, you will not be able to obtain additional compensation. A knowledgeable workplace injury lawyer can calculate the long-term and permanent losses you may incur and advise you what constitutes a fair workers’ compensation settlement.
5. You May Have a Claim Outside of Workers’ Compensation
Regardless of whether you qualify for workers’ compensation, you may have other legal rights as well. If you have a claim outside of workers’ comp, you will need a lawyer to help you recover the additional compensation you deserve.
For example, let’s say you slipped and fell. Or maybe you were injured in a vehicle collision or scaffolding failure. In each of these scenarios, it is possible that a third party (i.e., a property owner, negligent driver, or scaffolding manufacturer) could be liable for your injury-related losses.
If this is the case, your lawyer can seek compensation for all of the damages you suffer. This includes compensation for the full value of medical bills and lost earnings, as well as your pain, suffering, emotional trauma, and more.
A workplace injury can turn your life upside down. You and your family are likely to face a number of hardships. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation disputes can add to the difficulties you are experiencing.
If you have been injured on the job, the Whitley Law Firm can help. Our philosophy is one of whole-hearted care. This means not only identifying all of your legal options and fighting hard for the outcome you deserve but bringing you into the fold and treating you like family every step of the way.
Please call the Whitley Law Firm at (919) 785-5000 today to get started on your work injury claim. It won’t cost anything to see if we can help. Our lawyers serve workers in Raleigh, Kinston, New Bern, and throughout North Carolina.