Workers’ Compensation Settlements in Winston-Salem
Settlement of a workers’ compensation claim typically occurs at the proverbial end of the claim, when an injured worker has reached a point in their medical treatment where they are at maximum medical improvement, or when they have received a rating of disability.
Employers may not want to settle your claim for fear you may discuss your compensation with other coworkers. Regardless of your employer’s fears, you may be entitled to a workers’ compensation settlement in Winston-Salem and a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer could help you get it.
Injuries and Occupational Diseases Eligible for Settlements
Any worker who suffers an injury in the course of their employment and gives proper notice to their employer and the Commission may be entitled to a settlement. The term injury can relate in a workers’ compensation claim to both an accident on the job and what is known as an occupational disease. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-53 defines different types of occupational diseases, including:
- Occupational loss of hearing
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Compressed-air illness
- Mercury, arsenic or zinc poisoning
Similar to an accidental injury, a claim for occupational disease is compensable and eligible for settlement, so long as the claim is reported to the Commission within two years of the date of disablement or disease pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-58. Failure to report an injury or occupational disease within the two year time period may prohibit the recovery of any kind of settlement.
Arriving at a Workers’ Compensation Settlement
Once medical treatment has concluded following an injury or the worker with an occupational disease has received a disability rating, an injured worker may be eligible for a final settlement of their workers’ compensation claim against the employer.
Settlement negotiations typically occur between the insurance adjuster for the employer and the worker or the worker’s counsel. Because these negotiations occur in a fashion unscripted by statute, the services of an attorney familiar with achieving a workers’ compensation settlement in Winston-Salem could be highly beneficial to the injured worker.
Properly Submitting the Agreement in Winston-Salem
Once a settlement agreement is made between the parties, it must be reduced to writing. The agreement is then reviewed by the injured worker and their counsel and submitted to the Commission by the employer. Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-17, unless the employer includes the following in the agreement, it will not be approved:
- Acknowledgment of any potential health insurance liens
- A list of all medical bills incurred by the injured worker
- An agreement between the parties that the medical bills incurred by the injured worker were reasonable and necessary
Once the agreement is submitted, it is not considered a final settlement until it is approved by a commissioner within the Commission. A signed copy will be returned to the injured worker, and at that time the settlement is considered final unless it can be proven to the Commission that fraud occurred in the negotiation of the settlement. For more information about workers’ compensation settlements in Winston-Salem and the benefits available to an injured worker, reach out to a lawyer.
Consult an Attorney About Workers’ Compensation Settlements in Winston-Salem
If you received a disability rating, were discharged from medical care, or received a note stating that you are at maximum medical improvement, your workers’ compensation claim may be eligible for settlement.
To achieve a settlement, the knowledge and skill of an attorney familiar with workers’ compensation settlements in Winston-Salem can be instrumental in negotiating the settlement of your case. Call today to set up a free consultation.