Workers’ Compensation Settlements in Wilmington
Most workers’ compensation cases end with a satisfied worker. That worker is injured on the job and the workers’ compensation insurance company pays for the treatment they need while making a recovery. In the meantime, that worker receives weekly benefits for all the time that they miss at work.
In rare occasions, these injuries are so severe as to cause a permanent reduction in a person’s ability to work. When this is the case, the insurance company may offer a worker a lump sum settlement that is intended to cover the full loss suffered by the employee.
Many of the disputes that arise in workers’ compensation cases concern the value of this lump sum. Workers’ compensation settlements in Wilmington can provide injured workers with money that they need to support their families. A skilled attorney could help ensure that these payments are as high as possible and that they accurately reflect the extent of the injury.
Injuries Leading to Settlements
Settlements can only occur in workers’ compensation cases when the injuries endured by workers are permanent. When a worker is expected to and does make a full recovery, payments are only temporary and reflect missed time at work while the employee makes their recovery.
In general, lump sum workers’ compensation settlements in Wilmington are offered when a person has a permanent loss of workability. This typically includes:
- Loss of function in a limb
- Spinal cord or brain damage
- Loss of motor function
These are universally serious injuries that will never heal. As a result, the law mandates that insurers offer a settlement package that serves as a close to the case.
At What Rates are these Settlement Packages Paid?
The maximum payment for a permanent loss of workability is determined by North Carolina Law. North Carolina Law §97-31 provides the list of potential permanent injuries and the number of weeks of compensation that an employee is entitled to. These weeks of compensation are paid at 2/3 the average weekly wage prior to the injury.
This can range from 10 weeks for the loss of a small toe to 300 weeks for the loss of use of the back. In situations that involve serious disfigurement or other difficult to quantify injuries, the law says that insurance companies may rely on the treatment notes of doctors to determine the value of the loss.
Unsurprisingly, these benefit packages are the source of many workers’ compensation disputes. Workers may believe that they are more seriously injured than the insurance company does. In other situations, they may think that they have lost the permanent use of an appendage while a doctor believes that they will make a full recovery.
Workers’ Compensation Settlements in Wilmington Can be the Source of Many Appeals
Workers’ compensation settlements can provide much-needed relief to people who have suffered a permanent injury while at work. North Carolina law regulates how much compensation a person is due for their injury. However, doctors, patients, and insurance companies may often disagree as to the extent of a person’s injuries.
When this happens, a person may wish to appeal an insurance company’s offered settlement. While this process can take a long time to resolve, it may be a person’s only way to obtain the compensation that they deserve. Attorneys can help injured workers in Wilmington to evaluate their settlement packages and to file appeals when needed. Contact an attorney today to discuss your claim.