Durham Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Durham Workers Comp Lawyer - Riddle & Brantley

If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, you may have a workers’ compensation claim, and a workers’ compensation lawyer at Riddle & Brantley may be able to help. Our experienced work injury lawyers have the experience and know what it takes to hold employers and insurance companies accountable.

Our Board-Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation law, Chris Brantley and Adam Smith, have been fighting for victims of workplace injuries for decades. Together, the workers’ comp, personal injury, and wrongful death attorneys at Riddle & Brantley have more than 220+ years of legal experience. Since 2000 alone, we've recovered over $720,000,000 in compensation for our deserving clients (see disclaimer below).

We would love to see if we can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. For a FREE case review with one of our work accident attorneys, please call (919) 728-1770.

There is no obligation, and if you decide to hire us, there is no upfront cost and you won’t pay a dime in attorney fees unless we win your case and you receive financial compensation in your workers’ comp case.

"[Riddle & Brantley did] a great job handling my workers' compensation case."

-Gregory S., Riddle & Brantley client

Injured in Durham? Contact Us Today!

Workers’ Comp Attorneys in Durham

We have convenient offices in Durham (in-person consultations by appointment only), Raleigh, and other locations throughout North Carolina. Our Durham location is located conveniently within walking distance of the County Courthouse and the Durham Bulls Ballpark.

Or, if you prefer, we can even come to you, or offer you a contactless experience where our staff will arrange a video conference with you that allows for digital signatures and upload of documents or photos. We have investigators on staff who can help gather all the necessary evidence to support your claim, as well.

Please call (919) 728-1770 for a free, no-obligation case review.

Our dedicated staff is ready to help. We pride ourselves on our excellent client service and even respond to calls and emails after hours and on weekends.

Why Riddle & Brantley for Your  Work Injury Case?

If you’re looking for a workers’ comp lawyer, you have a LOT of choices.

One thing that sets Riddle & Brantley apart is that we have two Board-Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation law. These attorneys are recognized by the North Carolina State Bar Association for their experience and proficiency in representing work accident victims.

A workplace injury lawyer can help manage all aspects of your workplace injury case, making sure that:

  • You do not accept an unfair settlement or waive your rights
  • Your employer and the insurance company receive your Form 18 – a formal written notice of your injury that should be filed to protect your claim
  • The NC Industrial Commission receives your formal claim (Form 18) and assigns a claim number that allows you to file Motions or request Hearings before the Industrial Commission if disputes arise regarding your claim
  • Your injury report includes a comprehensive list of all injured body parts, so the defense can never argue that you failed to properly notify them of all of your injuries
  • The insurance carrier acknowledges and files an acceptance of your claim with the NCIC, so they cannot later change their mind and try to deny your claim
  • You do not miss critical deadlines, or be barred from pursuing your claim due to statutes of limitations
  • Your adjuster and/or case manager do not communicate with your health care providers in an inappropriate manner (check out some tricks we’ve seen over the years)
  • You receive weekly disability checks in a timely manner
  • The weekly wage rate for your compensation is calculated correctly
  • You receive timely approvals on diagnostic tests and medications from your insurance company
  • Your disability rating is calculated accurately
  • You receive a second opinion from a qualified and unbiased doctor
  • You’re not forced to accept a new position created just to avoid paying you disability   
  • And much, much more…

Workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits can be complex, time-consuming, and stressful. North Carolina law does not require you to hire a lawyer, but the insurance companies have lawyers, and you would be wise to consult with one and know your rights to help obtain the best possible result.

$700+ million recovered since 2000 alone — Riddle & BrantleyOur Results for Injured Workers in North Carolina

We pride ourselves on providing excellent client services and striving to secure maximum compensation for our clients. In more than 35 years, our workers' comp attorneys have secured more than $600 million in total compensation for injured North Carolinians (see disclaimer below). We also invite you to review our client testimonials to see what people are saying about their experience with Riddle & Brantley.

We’re proud of the results we’ve obtained for work injury victims, including:

  • $2,750,000 — Attorneys Gene Riddle and Adam Smith secured a significant settlement for a construction worker who was hit by a truck in the construction zone. He suffered multiple fractures and the eventual loss of his right leg below the knee. The workers' comp carrier agreed at mediation to pay $2,000,000 plus medical expenses, but the truck insurance company denied liability. We filed suit and ultimately secured $750,000 at pre-trial mediation, for total compensation of $2,750,000 for our valued client.
  • $2,475,000 — We represented a welder who suffered a disabling head injury when he fell from a platform while on the job. We led a comprehensive accident investigation and ultimately secured a settlement of $2.475 million, also helping set up two trusts and a guardianship to ensure our client received lifelong care.
  • $1,800,000 — Attorney Gene Riddle represented a truck driver who was hit by another truck and ultimately suffered the amputation of the lower part of his left leg. Riddle obtained settlements with two insurance companies for total compensation of $1.8 million.
  • $725,000 — Managing partner Gene Riddle tirelessly represented an agricultural worker who suffered a serious back injury while on the job, requiring surgery, fusion, and a spinal cord stimulator implant. After the defendants denied benefits to our client, Riddle took the case to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, where we won a favorable decision. The workers’ compensation case ultimately settled after nine years of payments for $725,000.
  • $375,000 — Partner Christopher Brantley fought for justice for a delivery driver who suffered a severe back injury on the job, requiring extensive surgery, physical therapy, and pain management. Brantley represented the client in mediation and obtained a $375,000 settlement.
  • $200,000 — Attorney Chris Brantley secured $200,000 in a negotiated settlement with an insurance company after it initially denied our client's claim for workers' compensation. He had suffered serious back, neck, and shoulder injuries while working as a truck driver.

*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.

For more settlements obtained by our work injury lawyers, please visit the Riddle & Brantley case results page.

“We’re committed to justice for Durham, the Triangle and all of North Carolina.”

-Gene Riddle, attorney and managing partner

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Common Workers' Comp Questions

In almost four decades serving injured workers, our work injury lawyers have helped hundreds of North Carolinians navigate this complex process. The following is a selection of FAQs our  workplace injury lawyers often hear from clients.

“How Long Do I Have to File a Workers' Compensation Claim?"

Workers' compensation claims in North Carolina are subject to the Statute of Limitations, which is essentially the deadline by which you must file a claim.

In North Carolina, in most cases, you have 2 years from the date of injury to file a workers’ compensation claim. So don’t wait — the longer you wait, the harder it may be to recover the workers’ comp that you deserve.

Our workers’ comp lawyers have been fighting for North Carolina injury victims for more than three decades, and we are experienced in helping clients. Contact us today and let’s review your eligibility for a workplace injury claim.

“I Don’t Want to Lose My Job. Can I Still File a Workers’ Comp Claim?”

Some injured victims tell us that they love their job and trust their employer, and worry that hiring a lawyer will upset things and somehow cost them their job. In reality, a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer can help you keep your job by ensuring that you don’t miss something that can lead the insurance company to terminate your claim or even your employment.  If keeping your job is important to you, a workers’ comp lawyer at Riddle & Brantley will do everything they can to make sure your job is there for you when you are fully healed, and to make sure you get the medical care you need to enable you to return to work and do your job’s essential duties.

When you hire Riddle & Brantley, you’ll get an experienced workers’ comp attorney plus a dedicated staff that is committed to your success.

"Can I Still File a Workers’ Comp Claim if I Was at Fault?"

"I would recommend Riddle & Brantley to anyone who needs help with ... workers' comp." -B.F.

Usually, yes. In North Carolina, the workers' compensation system is designed to help people who are hurt on the job. Generally, it does not matter if someone caused your injury, even if that someone was you. That’s because accidents happen, especially if you have been working hard all day. So if you weren’t paying attention and slipped, or lost your concentration and cut yourself, you still should be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.

The reverse is unfortunately also true, that it generally doesn’t matter if one of your co-workers or supervisors caused your injury by their own carelessness. The North Carolina worker’s compensation system was designed to quickly provide benefits to injured workers who were hurt on the job, and the idea was that fighting over who caused an injury would slow the process down. We don’t want people to wait months or years to receive benefits while investigations go on about how an accident happened, or who was at fault in the situation.

Now that isn’t to say that people always get the benefits they deserve quickly, or even at all. Insurance companies still have ways of denying benefits to injured workers. Workers' compensation claims can still be denied if an employee is alleged to have been intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. And insurance companies often try to deny claims on the basis that an employee was not properly “in the course and scope of employment” or because there was not an “injury by accident”. Or they will try to classify an employee as a temporary employee, as a subcontractor, or as an ”independent contractor” to try to reduce or eliminate recovery rights.

If you have questions about your eligibility for a work injury claim, please call (919) 728-1770 for a free consultation with an experienced  work injury lawyer at Riddle & Brantley.

"What is the Injury by Accident Rule?"

North Carolina law has some very unusual provisions that are not found in most other states’ workers' compensation laws. One of the biggest is the “injury by accident” rule. North Carolina generally requires that an injured worker be hurt in an “accident” in order to recover workers' compensation benefits. There are many exceptions, most notably that this rule does not apply to back injuries (with back injuries, an injured worker may recover workers' compensation benefits if the back injury was the result of a “specific traumatic incident” that occurred while in the course and scope of their employment duties). But for most other injuries, an injured worker must prove that he was hurt as the result of an “accident."

So what is an “accident"? That term has been the subject of countless lawsuits and courts of appeals decisions. The North Carolina Industrial Commission website explains that an accident as defined by North Carolina law is an interruption of the normal job routine arising out of, and occurring in the course of, the employee’s employment.

A work injury lawyer can help determine your best legal options and help you navigate complex "injury by accident" rules in your workplace injury case.

What Does “Hurt in the Course and Scope of Employment” Mean?

These few words can be very complicated. If you have been hurt in a wreck, one of the first things that will happen is that an insurance company adjuster will contact you and request that you provide them with a recorded statement. And one of the common questions they will ask you is, "Was there anything unusual about the job you were doing when you were hurt?” Most people will answer that question (or some variation on it) by saying, “No, it was just a normal day on the job.” This sounds like an innocent question and a normal, routine answer, but unfortunately that answer may become Exhibit A in a hearing before the Industrial Commission. Because the adjuster might use that response as evidence that the workplace injury in question was not an “accident” because there was nothing unusual about the job that led to a workplace injury that day.

Insurance companies know these rules. Injured workers usually don’t. If you have been hurt on the job, it’s important to talk to a qualified worker’s compensation lawyer to learn about your rights. Call (919) 728-1770 today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced workers' comp attorney at Riddle & Brantley.

"I'm a Subcontractor. Am I Eligible for Workers' Compensation?"

In most cases in North Carolina, employees of subcontractors are covered under workers’ compensation and entitled to benefits if they are injured while on the job. The specific rules are complicated, but employees of subcontractors are usually covered under either the worker’s compensation insurance of the subcontractor or the general contractor.

The law is designed to protect employees of subcontractors who suffer injuries on the job — even if their immediate employer (the subcontracting company) does not carry workers’ compensation insurance.

"Can Independent Contractors Get Workers' Comp?"

The law in North Carolina can also be complicated concerning workers’ compensation for independent contractors. In some cases, independent contractors in North Carolina may count as employees, in which case the company that hires them could be liable for injuries they suffer while on the job. A company cannot simply label a person an “independent contractor” and use that as a sort of "Get Out of Jail Free" card that allows them to avoid carrying workers' compensation coverage. Just handing someone a 1099 does not mean they become an independent contractor. The test of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is complicated and involves how much independence the worker is given, how the worker is paid (hourly or by the job), whether the worker is expected to bring his own tools to a job, etc.

A workplace injury attorney at Riddle & Brantley serving Durham and the Triangle can help you navigate these complex questions and decide the best path for seeking benefits. Please call (919) 728-1770 or complete the fast and easy form below for a free consultation with a workers' compensation lawyer  today.

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Looking for a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?

If you’ve been injured at work, you have legal rights under North Carolina state law. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer at Riddle & Brantley for a free case review. We’ll review your case and advise you on your legal options.

Our Board-Certified Specialists, Chris Brantley and Adam Smith, are ready to help however they can. Chris and Adam have been recognized for their results and experience by such prestigious organizations and ratings as Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Super Lawyers, and AV Preeminent from Martindale-Hubbell (see disclaimer below).

"Riddle & Brantley found me all the available money from the insurance companies."

-David H., Riddle & Brantley client

Workplace injuries can be traumatic and life-changing, and we’re committed to helping our clients in Durham, NC and elsewhere in North Carolina every step of the way.

For a FREE case review and consultation, please call (919) 728-1770 or complete the form below.

If you decide to hire us, there is no upfront cost and no attorney fees unless we get you financial compensation.

Please call Riddle & Brantley's work injury lawyers today at (919) 728-1770. We’d love to see if we can help.

*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.

*** Disclaimer: An attorney must meet certain requirements to join these organizations or receive these awards. For more information on Membership Criteria for Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, The National Association of Distinguished Counsel, AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, the Litigator Award, and other memberships, awards, and accolades, please visit our Membership Criteria page. These awards and memberships should not be construed as a promise or guarantee of a similar result. Each case is different and must be evaluated separately.