Raleigh Workers’ Compensation Attorney
North Carolina workers don’t always get the benefit of a safe workplace. Negligent employers, coworkers, site managers, and product manufacturers can result in hazards that endanger workers’ lives. Although workers’ compensation may cover your injuries, often they are not even close to covering your damages. If you suffered an injury on the job in Raleigh, contact Riddle & Brantley to discuss your rights. Our lawyers can help you navigate your options beyond just workers’ compensation. We have NC State Bar Certified Specialist in Workers Compensation to help you.
Why Hire Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys?
A workplace injury can be devastating and life changing. Your ability to earn an income is temporarily or permanently limited, which may cause you to take a financial loss by forcing you to find another job or depend on disability checks. Unforeseen costs such as physical therapy, medical equipment, or live-in care can cause a strain on your family. All of these factors can lead to both physical and emotional stress. After suffering a work injury, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at Riddle & Brantley is here to help. As an injured worker you have the right to seek justice for your trauma, let us be your advocate and get you the compensation you deserve.
Over 160 Years of Experience
- Our legal team is comprised of a group of personal injury lawyers that have 160 years of combined experience.
- We have represented thousands of clients that were awarded settlements for suffering injuries just like you.
- We are experts in successfully battling against insurance companies and big businesses.
- Two of our attorneys are Board Certified in Workers Compensation and many of our lawyers are ranked among North Carolina Super Lawyers and the Top Trial Lawyers of North Carolina.
Workers’ Compensation Cases Won
- $2,475,000 – Severe Head Injury : Client fell from a platform while working as a welder for a construction company and sustained a disabling head injury.
- $1,800,000 – Truck Accident : Client hit by a dump truck while driving for his employer and suffered multiple injuries and eventually the loss of his left leg.
How is a Workers’ Compensation Claim Filed?
You, as the injured employee, are required to fill out Form 18, which is a Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee.
Your employer will fill out Form 19 and will then send these forms to the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) as well as to their insurance carrier for workers’ compensation. If concerned about your employer not sending these forms or not doing so properly, then you have the option to submit Form 18 directly to the NCIC. You may send it by mail or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, but the time limit on doing so is two years from your injury. An acknowledgment letter will be mailed to you once the Industrial Commission has processed the form, but only if you have filled out the insurance carrier information on the form.
Before filing a claim, and after the injury has occurred, notify your employer and seek out medical care.
Common Workplace Accidents
Workers can suffer accidents and injuries in any workplace, but some industries pose more hazards than others. Construction, for example, is one of the most dangerous industries for employees. Common causes of employee injuries include slip and fall accidents, ladder or scaffold accidents, repetitive motions, hazardous chemical spills, transportation accidents, struck-by objects, and electrocutions. No matter what caused your injuries, contact an attorney for a free consultation.
- Falls: This can include falls from elevated heights & falls through openings.
- Slip and Fall Accidents: If you work in the construction industry these type of accidents are more common than you think. Loose equipment, spills, or objects on the ground can cause a serious injury.
- Struck-by Accidents & Falling Objects: Tools falling and hitting workers is another common accidents. This can also happen when objects are ejected by power tools.
- Scaffolding Accidents: These type of accidents occur when there’s a malfunction with the scaffolding, which unfortunately is very common.
- Misconduct by Employer: Employees must work in a safe workplace, however, some employers do follow or ignore regulations that put employees in harms way.
Workers’ Compensation Claims in North Carolina FAQs
Every state has a workers’ compensation program. North Carolina is no exception. An injured employee doesn’t have to prove his/her employer’s negligence to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. All the employee must show is that the injuries happened while at work. Use these frequently asked questions about the state’s workers’ comp system for more information:
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs:
Does my employer have workers’ compensation insurance?
- All employers with three or more employees in North Carolina must carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Am I eligible for coverage?
- All employees (and independent contractors in the trucking industry) are eligible for workers’ compensation coverage if their injuries happened while performing work-related tasks.
How long do I have to file?
- You must tell your employer about your accident as soon as you can, but no later than 30 days after it occurs. You have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim with the NC Industrial Commission.
What benefits might I receive?
- Workers’ compensation can pay for an injured employee’s medical bills, temporary or permanent disability, and two-thirds of lost wages.
Can You Terminate an Employee Who is on Workers’ Comp?
- Yes, but the termination must be due to reasons that do not have to do with the employee’s workers’ compensation claim.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys can help you with every aspect of the claims filing process, from the initial injury report to what doctors you should trust with your case. With our assistance, you can rest assured that you’re not missing any important requirements or time limits. A lawyer can also help you fight against insurance bad faith and lowball settlement offers.
How Does an Injured Worker Report His or Her Injury After Being Hurt on the Job?
Orally notify your employer immediately and inform them in writing as soon as possible. Be sure to make a note of the date, the time, the name of the person you spoke to, their position in the company, and their response to you. If your injury is severe and you are unable to notify your employer then have a family member, friend, or healthcare provider notify them.
As soon as you are able to, create an injury notification letter and include the information you took down when you orally notified your employer. Also, be sure to keep a copy for your records.
Common Filing Mistakes
- Not Reporting Your Injury or Failing to Act Quickly— Notifying your employer and doing so as soon as possible is of absolute importance to your workers’ compensation claim.
- Only Reporting Your Injury Verbally — A written accident report can be crucial to your claim. If your employer does not provide an accident report then consider reporting the accident via email so that there is a written record.
- Waiting To See a Doctor — Postponing will make it seem as if you were not seriously injured and could cause your claim to be denied. Be sure to tell the doctor all of the details surrounding your accident, go to all follow up appointments, and attend physical therapy if prescribed.
- Exaggerating Your Injuries or Changing Your Story — Being truthful is very important as doctors are aware that fraudulent workers’ compensation claims are common and any inconsistencies in your accident can result in a claim denial.
- Not Hiring an Experienced Raleigh Workers’ Compensation Attorney — Having an attorney on your side that knows the ins and outs of the workers’ compensation system can be all the difference between a claim approval or denial. With our decades of experience at Riddle & Brantley, our team is ready and able to get you the money that you
Can You Lose Your Job While on Workers’ Comp?
Yes, unless you have a contract of employment, an employer can terminate you for reasons other than your workers’ compensation claim such as not being able to wait for you to return or if your disability makes you unable to do your job.
It is it illegal though, for your employer to retaliate by firing you for your workers’ comp claim. North Carolina has a law in place to protect employees who have been injured, called Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA). Fortunately if you are let go, you will continue to receive workers’ compensation until you are able to work or have reached maximum medical improvement.
Can You Recover Outside of Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation can be a great asset to injured employees, but it may not yield benefits for full lost wages, pain and suffering, or punitive damages. A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, could result in maximum compensation for all accident-related damages. If you accept a workers’ compensation settlement, you instantly give up your right to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. You do not, however, relinquish the right to file against a third party, such as:
- A coworker
- A contractor
- A product manufacturer
- A property owner
- The city of Raleigh
- The State
What Happens in the Case of a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim?
You have the option to appeal the claim denial within 2 years of your injury by filling out and submitting Form 33, which is a Request for Hearing.
Once your form is submitted, a mediation conference will be scheduled. In this conference you, your employer’s insurance company, and a mediator will meet to discuss your claim. The mediator is chosen off an approved list by the NCIC by both you and your employer’s insurance company. If an agreement on a mediator cannot be made then one will be appointed by the NCIC. Your employer’s insurance company will most likely have an attorney present and you may wish to have an attorney to represent you as well. At this conference you will be able to present evidence as to why your workers’ compensation claim should have been approved. Be ready to combat every reason that was given for why your claim was denied.
Some options of evidence to present are signed statements from coworkers that witnessed the accident, documentation on your injury from your doctor, and proof that you notified your employer of the injury in a timely manner. Once the mediation is complete, the mediator will make a recommendation as to whether your claim should remain denied or be approved. A report will also be filed with the NCIC by the mediator. If you do not agree with the decision, then you can proceed with a formal hearing with the Industrial Commission. About 70% of cases are resolved during the mediation stage, according to the NCIC.
If you have not hired an attorney already, you should absolutely consider hiring one for the formal hearing, as these hearings can be compared to that of a trial. Both sides will present evidence as well as witnesses and then a final decision will be made by a deputy commissioner. You will receive the determination on your case in the mail.
If either side does not agree with the decision then an appeal by way of Form 44, an Application for Review, can be submitted to a panel of three workers’ compensation judges called the Full Commission. This form for appeal must be submitted to the NCIC within 15 days of the deputy commissioner’s decision.
If you do not agree with the Full Commission’s decision then you may file an appeal to the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and then finally to the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Contact Raleigh Workers’ Comp Attorneys | We’re Available 24/7
We take pride in giving each of our clients 100% of our attention. Our legal strategies are well-planned and customized to achieve the most favorable outcome for you. We understand that work injuries occur unpredictably and that the process of obtaining workers’ compensation can be long and complex; therefore, our qualified Raleigh personal injury attorneys are available to assist you with your needs 24/7.
No Fees Unless We Win
Feel secure in seeking legal counsel from one of our qualified attorneys today, as there is no monetary risk to you since we hill handle your case on a contingency fee basis. From your initial consultation to the moment your case is completed we will not collect attorney fees. Only when we win, will our fees be collected from a percentage of your settlement.
If a third party caused or contributed to your workplace accident, you might be eligible for recovery under both workers’ compensation and a personal injury claim. A lawsuit might also be in your best interests if your employer was negligent in some way that caused your injuries. Contact our Raleigh work injury lawyers before saying yes to a workers’ compensation settlement agreement. A different kind of legal action could have better results for you and your family.