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Have you suffered a work-related injury or illness? You’re not alone. Every year, millions of workers in the U.S. are injured on the job or struggle with serious and life-threatening occupational diseases. Still, this may do little to soothe your anxiety––especially if the insurance company has already denied your claim.

At Whitley Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers fight for workers who are seriously injured or ill. If you’re uncertain about your legal options and would like help with your claim, call (919) 785-5000. Our family-owned-and-operated firm offers no-obligation case reviews where you can learn more about partnering with a board-certified New Bern workers’ compensation lawyer.

Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?

Businesses that have more than three employees must carry workers’ compensation or be self-insured. Generally, employees eligible for workers’ compensation include:

  • Independent contractors
  • Employees of subcontractors
  • Seasonal or temporary workers
  • Part-time workers
  • Workers whose lawful employment status is uncertain

Workers who are not typically eligible for workers’ comp may include:

  • Domestic workers
  • Federal employees because they have their agency for workers’ comp
  • Railroad workers because they have other avenues for workers’ comp claims
  • Casual workers who work irregular hours in jobs that are not associated with a business’s regular operations
  • Farm workers if the farm has fewer than 10 employees

If you have a work-related injury, either from a one-time accident or an injury that has developed from repetitive actions, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. If you are unsure of your work status, our New Bern legal team will find answers. As an injured person, you have every right to know your options.

What You Can Expect From Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in New Bern

New Bern Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Workers’ compensation laws are set in place to protect America’s workers in case they are injured or fall ill due to work-related events. They also protect employers from getting sued for compensation, although not always.

Most North Carolina workers are covered under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance; however, filing a claim and receiving the benefits you deserve is not always simple.

Our board-certified New Bern workers’ compensation lawyer provides guidance and assistance throughout the process. We help workers who have sustained catastrophic injuries or illnesses, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Cancer
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations
  • Loss of hearing or sight
  • Organ damage
  • Extensive burns
  • Nerve damage
  • Neurological damage
  • Disfigurement
  • Life-altering injuries, illnesses, or conditions

For our clients, a full recovery is usually not possible. So, we pursue damages that account for their future healthcare needs, including anticipated surgeries, hospitalizations, and procedures. At the conclusion of your case, we want to have secured an outcome that helps you rebuild. We’re here for you each step of the way.

Services Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in New Bern Offer

We adapt our services to your specific needs. For instance, if you need supporting evidence, we can conduct a thorough investigation into the details of what happened. If the claims adjuster is pressuring you to settle, we can take care of all necessary communications.

As a general overview, when you entrust your case to Whitley Law Firm, we:

  • Complete and file all appropriate workers’ comp forms
  • Identify and meet all deadlines
  • Negotiate with your employer’s insurance company for the full and fair compensation settlement you deserve
  • Explain what benefits you can receive
  • Gather case-related medical records
  • Fight for the appropriate disability rating
  • Engage medical experts to ascertain your future needs
  • Track and note all injury-related expenses
  • Represent your best interests with the NC Industrial Commission
  • Prepare for trial and represent you in court, if necessary

You deserve nothing but the best legal representation during this turning point in your life. No matter where you are in the process, we’re here to support your interests and advocate for what you deserve. Still, you may have concerns about affording our services.

We Offer Comprehensive Legal Support on a Contingency-Fee Basis

First things first: we offer free case evaluations. During that initial meeting, you share your story and get answers to your most pressing questions. Based on our knowledge of workers’ compensation laws and the individual aspects of your case, we suggest the legal options that give you the best possible chance of recovering compensation.

If working together toward those goals seems appropriate, we offer our services on a contingency-fee basis. This means that we accept no attorney’s fees until we successfully recover compensation for you. Even then, our fees come from your awarded settlement––never from your own savings.

Read What a Previous Client Shared About Whitley Law Firm

We may talk about our commitment to your case’s outcome, but it’s the experiences of the clients themselves that bring meaning to what we do. Here’s what just one of our clients had to share:

“I was injured while working. I realized I needed to hire an attorney shortly after being injured. I went to about five different ones to ask about my options. When I met Michele I knew right away she was who I needed and wanted on my side. Michele Welsh was my case worker.

She was with me every single step of the way. I never felt alone again. She made herself completely available. The Whitley Law Firm makes you feel like family. I will use them again for any issues that may arise. They are also the only firm I will ever refer others to. I could not have had a better experience. Thank you so much Michele and The entire family at Whitley Law Firm.” —Jenn T.

We want you to feel just as satisfied at the conclusion of your case. Today, you can reach out to our firm and learn more about partnering with us.

Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in New Bern Can Seek These Damages

Based on the severity of your condition, you could recover:

The Full Cost of Your Medical Care

Per the North Carolina Industrial Commission, you can recover the full cost of your necessary healthcare expenses after suffering a job-related injury. This includes coverage for treatment, surgery, rehab, medications, equipment, and physical therapy.

Two-Thirds of Your Lost Income

Workers’ compensation does not cover the full cost of your lost income. Instead, you can get 66 percent (or two-thirds) of your average weekly wage. This amount is capped each year. For instance, in 2017, you couldn’t receive more than $978 a week. You can receive partial repayment for your lost income until you can return to work.


Severe injuries or illnesses may make it impossible for you to return to work or work in the same capacity you once did. The amount of compensation you receive and the length of time you receive it will depend on your previous salary and the extent of your disability.

Death Benefits

Whitley Law Firm extends its deepest condolences if you lost a loved one. During this challenging time, we offer more than legal support; we offer a shoulder to lean on. That being said, if you lost a loved one, you could receive compensation for their funeral and burial service—along with other death benefits.

As noted, compensation amounts are tied to your circumstances, including your loved one’s salary and their fatal injury. Our attorneys will break down the complex world of workers’ compensation law in North Carolina to give you a better understanding of what you may recover.

Can I Recover Non-Economic Damages Through Workers’ Compensation?

While workers’ compensation is an invaluable program, it doesn’t cover non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. However, recovering this damage could be more in reach than you think. If another party’s negligence led to your work-related injury or illness, you could file a personal injury claim and recover:

  • Healthcare expenses
  • The full cost of your lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage costs (if applicable)
  • Disability
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Anything you spent out of pocket

We’ve Secured Millions for Injured Employees in North Carolina

Since 1974, we have helped injured workers pursue the compensation they deserve. Check out the results we secured for these claimants:

  • A rural mail carrier lost sight in one eye and was paralyzed after a truck collided with her vehicle. We secured $5.5 million for her injuries.
  • An ironworker was paralyzed from a fall during demolition and awarded a $4 million settlement.
  • A construction worker was temporarily buried when a wall collapsed on him. He suffered a traumatic brain injury. On his behalf, we secured a $2.4 million settlement.

As noted, the outcome of your work injury case depends on your situation. Yet, the fact still stands: if you suffered a job-related illness or injury, you have financial recovery options.

Our Lawyers Can Advise You on Whether to Accept a Settlement Offer

A serious injury or illness puts a heavy burden on you and your family. So, the insurer may offer a settlement, and you may want to accept––just to get the matter over with. Yet, insurance companies are for-profit businesses, and many place their financial interests over the needs of injured people. Accepting the first settlement could leave you in a tough spot financially if it doesn’t fully cover your losses.

You don’t have to go into settlement negotiations blindfolded. With Whitley Law Firm, you get an advocate, friend, and ally. We can evaluate all settlement offers and advise you on which one meets your needs. We can also explore whether you can pursue additional damages through a third-party personal injury claim or lawsuit.

What to Know About Structured and Lump-Sum Payments

The insurer could offer compensation as a one-time or lump-sum payment. There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s nice to have your money all at once so you can decide when and how to spend it.

If your injuries are rated 100% disability, you may be offered a structured payment that may extend over your lifetime. You will receive payments on a schedule that depends on the nature of your condition. There are pros and cons to each type of payment that your attorney will discuss with you before you sign a final agreement.

Questions Our Workers’ Compensation Team Gets About Injury Cases

As you consider entrusting your case to Whitley Law Firm, you may wonder:

What Happens if I Contributed to My Job-Related Injury?

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system. This means, even if you contributed to the accident, you can still seek benefits. Matters change if you’re interested in filing a personal injury case. North Carolina’s personal injury system operates on a pure comparative negligence rule. This means, if you contributed to even one percent of the accident, you can’t seek damages.

Issues regarding fault and liability can derail even straightforward injury claims. Not to worry; we can take care of everything.

How Long Can I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

You can receive temporary total and partial disability benefits for up to 500 weeks. Depending on the nature of your condition, you could receive benefits for life. We can talk more about what benefits you can seek during your no-obligation case review.

How Long Do I Have to Notify Your Employer?

You generally have 30 days from the date of your accident to notify your employer of your accident and condition. This is a strict deadline. If you wait too long, you could lose the right to seek benefits––and we don’t want that to happen.

You also have a limited time to file your personal injury lawsuit (if applicable). G.S. § 1-53 says that you generally have two years to sue an at-fault party in North Carolina. Your filing deadline begins from the date of your accident. We can explain more about your case’s deadlines when you partner with us.

Connect With Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in New Bern

Our board-certified workers’ compensation lawyer serving New Bern, North Carolina, is here to support you. Call us at (919) 785-5000 to begin your free case evaluation. Our family is here to advocate for your family.

Client Review

By: JB

Title: They Made The Process as Easy and Unburdened on me as Possible

Whit Whitley made my workers comp claim and social security claim as easy and unburdened on me as possible. Meetings were made and kept and also the meetings were scheduled and set for times and locations convenient for me. Mr. Whitley would set appointments in Jacksonville (close for me) and he would come to me from New Bern. I only had to deal with three person from the law firm, Mr. Whit Whitley, Carol Daniels who was my workers comp case manager, and Michelle Williams my social security case manager. All were exceptional in explaining each process as we progressed through my claim. All my questions were answered promptly and explained to my understanding. Whitley Law Firm is a very professional and competent team. My case has been closed in what to me seemed a very short period of time, to which I attribute to WLF. I was very pleased with the way they handled me and my case. Whitley Law Firm is highly recommended by me for anyone who needs legal assistance.

Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars