Durham Workers Compensation Lawyer
Have you been injured at work in Durham? If you need help securing the workers compensation benefits you deserve, consult with an experienced Durham workers comp lawyer.
If you have been injured in a work-related accident, or if you have become sick after being exposed to a harmful substance at work, you are probably concerned with how you will continue to support yourself and your family while you are unable to work.
Fortunately, nearly every employer in the state of North Carolina is obligated to provide workers compensation insurance for employees. Don’t let anxiety over potential money struggles hinder your recovery—ask a lawyer how to obtain workers compensation benefits.
A Durham workers compensation lawyer at Ricci Law Firm, PA can help you secure the benefits you need to cover your expenses while you can’t work.
Are You Eligible for Benefits?
Many people believe that you need to have been employed with the company for a certain amount of time or work a minimum number of hours per week in order to qualify for workers compensation benefits. Actually, from your first day on the job, you should be covered by your employer’s workers comp insurance policy.
The primary requirement for collecting benefits is that your injury or illness needs to have occurred while you were on the clock and performing the duties of your position, or it needs to have been directly caused by the conditions of your job.
For instance, if you work in the construction industry and suffer an injury at your worksite, you’ll more than likely be entitled to workers compensation benefits. It doesn’t matter who is responsible for your accident—fault is largely irrelevant in North Carolina’s workman’s comp system.
Unfortunately, many injured workers face substantial resistance from insurers when they file completely valid workers comp claims. That’s why many team up with a work comp lawyer in Durham.
Why Your Claim Might Have Been Denied
There are many reasons why the insurance company might have denied your claim. Some of these reasons may be just, while others will be wrongful.
If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury, if you were in violation of your company’s code of conduct, or if you were committing a crime when you were injured, the insurance company and your employer may have the right to deny your claim for benefits.
However, if your claim was denied because the insurer believes you are exaggerating the impact of your injuries, there was an error in your paperwork, or you failed to disclose a pre-existing condition tied to your injury, your workers comp attorney in Durham can help you fight for the benefits you deserve. And if the insurers have given no reason for your denial, we won’t hesitate to hold them accountable.
Everything You Need to Know About Your Benefits in Durham
Once you’ve been approved for workers compensation benefits, you’ll probably have questions about how the benefits will be given to you, how you can use them, and more. Continue reading to learn more about your approved workman’s comp claim.
How Long You Can Receive Workers Comp
You should be able to collect workers compensation benefits until you are able to return to work. There are time limits, but they are generally lengthy and depend on the types of injuries involved in the case. Essentially, when your physician medically clears you to return to your pre-injury position, your benefits may be terminated.
It is important to note that if your employer is able to offer you a position that you are able to work despite your injury or illness, you may need to accept the position even if it pays less than the position you previously held.
You can still collect workers comp benefits, but the amount that you receive will likely be two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury income and your current income.
What Your Benefits Will Cover
Your employer’s insurance company will be responsible for covering all of the medical expenses that pertain to your injury or illness. These may include the following:
- Hospital bills
- Ambulance fees
- Diagnostic imaging
- Medical equipment
- Adjustments to your home to accommodate medical equipment
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
You will also receive a weekly benefit that is meant to replace approximately 66 percent of your average weekly income.
Additionally, if your injury is so severe that you will never be able to return to your pre-injury position at work, the workers comp system may help you secure gainful employment elsewhere.
If a work injury or illness caused the death of your loved one, the insurance company may pay for funeral and burial expenses and provide cash benefits to the spouse and dependent children. Benefits for spouses end after 500 weeks. For dependent children, benefits last until they turn eighteen.
How We’ll Get Your Denial Overturned
Your Durham workman’s comp attorney will can help you appeal a denied claim. We’ll usually do so by working with the work comp insurer to provide additional medical documentation or answer any questions or concerns about your claim.
When this fails, we can bring your case in front of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which will hear your case and independently review the details from both sides.
Durham Compensation FAQ
Workers compensation laws in North Carolina can be complex. When you’ve just suffered a serious injury or fallen seriously ill, the last thing you need to be dealing with is figuring out where to get answers to the many questions you have. That’s why we have compiled a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding work comp claims in Durham.
Will I have to go to court?
You should always prepare for the possibility that you may need to go to court. Usually, attorneys are able to avoid going to court by negotiating with the insurance company to get the work comp claim approved. If we are unable to get your denied claim approved in this manner, we may need to go to court to argue for the benefits you’re owed.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
Every case is different, but the attorneys at our firm work on contingency fees. This means that you won’t have to pay us a dime until we win your case. Once we win, the fee (in the form of a percentage) can be deducted directly from your winnings so you don’t have to worry about another bill along with everything else that has piled up during this process.
Can I work a second job while receiving workers comp benefits?
The short answer is probably not. Workers compensation benefits are meant to replace your income while you are unable to work. The insurance company may determine that if you are able to work another position or with another company, then you do not need wage-replacement benefits. A second job could put your workman’s comp benefits in jeopardy.
Contact a Durham Compensation Attorney
The aftermath of a work-related accident or occupational illness can be a challenge to overcome when you need to take time off of work to heal. Fortunately, you can get the help you need by contacting a qualified and experienced lawyer at Ricci Law Firm, PA. We’re ready to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.
We offer prospective clients a case review with a Durham workers compensation lawyer free of charge. You can take advantage of this opportunity by calling our office at 252-752-7785 or completing the contact form below.