Workers' Compensation Attorneys in Jacksonville NC
After a workplace injury or illness, you may face challenges that you never expected. Expenses can add up. Doctors and hospitals may send numerous bills. And unforeseen costs can create additional burdens at a time when you’re already struggling to get by. But there is help out there. A Jacksonville, N.C., workers’ compensation lawyer can help you pursue the full benefits you need to move forward after an accident.
At The Law Offices of John Drew Warlick, P.A., we’re here to protect the rights of injured workers in Onslow County and throughout North Carolina. For over three generations, we’ve been helping our friends and neighbors get back on their feet after serious workplace accidents. Our attorneys have the skills and resources to demand full and fair benefits for you.
Call us or contact us online today for your free consultation. Our workers’ compensation lawyers in Jacksonville, N.C., are available to speak over the phone, or we can meet you in person at a location that’s convenient for you.
How to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in North Carolina
When you’re injured at work, the process of filing a workers’ comp claim can feel daunting. Paperwork, notice requirements, and doctors’ orders can all be parts of a claim. You’ll need to make sure that each part is taken care of before you could qualify for benefits. When you need to file a workers’ comp claim:
- Notify your employer about the injury you’ve suffered. This could include an injury as a direct result of an accident or an illness you’re facing because of the work you do. This is a crucial first step in any workers’ compensation claim. If you don’t tell your employer, it could cause problems for your claim down the line.
- Seek medical care for your injury. Your health comes first, so always seek the care you need after an accident. In North Carolina, your employer should provide a list of doctors you can see. However, you can seek a second opinion and request to change doctors.
- Provide written notice to your employer about the accident and your injury within 30 days. If you aren’t able to write it yourself, get someone you trust, such as a friend or an attorney, to do it.
- Ensure that you follow through on all of your doctor’s orders. Sometimes when people are injured and receive medical care, they only follow instructions for a short time. They may think they’re healed and then stop following through on medication, physical rehabilitation, and other care. This can be harmful to you and to your workers’ compensation case.
- Take care of any paperwork that the government needs. In North Carolina, this could involve items such as Form 18, Form 19, and many others depending upon your needs and your situation. Ensure that the paperwork is filled out accurately and completely, and then submit it to the state.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can feel overwhelming. If you have questions about what to do, speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Jacksonville, N.C. Our team can guide you through the process from start to finish and fight to protect your rights.
What Do Workers’ Comp Benefits Cover?
If you were hurt on the job, workers’ compensation can be crucial to your recovery. Workers’ compensation in North Carolina could include a wide range of services and benefits, from providing income to covering your medical bills. Some of the leading benefits workers’ compensation could cover include:
- Coverage of your medical bills related to the accident. After an accident, you may be facing significant medical bills. Workers’ compensation could cover those costs.
- Compensation for a portion of your lost wages and income. The amount you may be entitled to is usually based upon your earnings in the year prior to the accident. However, there may be circumstances that change this.
- Disability benefits. If you’re temporarily or permanently disabled because of your work, you may be eligible for regular payments or even a lump-sum payment.
- Rehabilitation, including vocational rehabilitation. If you are injured, workers’ comp may cover the cost of rehabilitation you need. This could include vocational rehabilitation you could use to return to employment.
- Wrongful death benefits. When someone passes away because of work injuries, their spouse and dependent children may be eligible for payments to replace the deceased’s lost income.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Benefits?
The amount of time it takes to receive benefits will depend upon your unique facts and circumstances. However, as a general rule, your employer has 14 days from the date of your written notice to admit or deny your workers’ compensation claim. If your claim is approved, it could take several weeks to begin receiving benefits.
Since there may be a gap between your injury and when you begin receiving benefits, make sure that you keep copies of your bills, medical records, and other key documents. These records can be important to your claim, especially if an employer denies a claim and you need to appeal the decision.
When You Deserve More Than Workers’ Compensation
In some cases, you may be eligible for more than workers’ compensation benefits. You may be able to seek compensation from parties other than your employer who were responsible for the accident. For example, if faulty equipment caused your injury or illness, you may be able to pursue a case against the manufacturer. Or if someone else caused a car accident that injured you while you were on the job, you may be to pursue an action against them.
Known as third-party claims, these cases can be an important way for workers to seek the compensation they need. To understand whether a third-party claim may be available in your case, talk with a Jacksonville, N.C., workers’ compensation attorney from our firm. We can review your case and answer your questions.
Deadlines for Workplace Injury Claims in North Carolina
Workers’ compensation claims, like other actions, have specific deadlines that you’ll need to meet. If you miss those deadlines, you could lose your ability to bring a claim. Some of the key deadlines you’ll need to keep in mind are:
- You’ll need to provide notice to your employer within 30 days of your injury. In certain cases, a longer amount of time may be appropriate.
- In nearly all cases, you must file any workers’ compensation claim within two years of the date that you’re injured. If you fail to file within this time, the state may bar your claim for compensation.
Make sure that you meet any deadlines that apply to your case. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Jacksonville, N.C., can help.
Tips for Protecting Your Rights After an Injury at Work
The time following a workplace injury can be stressful. But there are things that you can do to protect your workers’ compensation case. Some steps you could take to protect your rights include:
- Making sure that you report your injury as soon as you can to your employer
- Following your doctor’s instructions, including getting the rest you need
- Keeping copies of any witness information, records, pictures, or other information about the accident
- Talking with a workers’ compensation attorney in Onslow County to understand your options
Common Workplace Injuries
Workplace safety has come a long way in recent decades. But even with planning and preparation, accidents still happen. Some of the most common workplace injuries that people in North Carolina face include:
- Back injuries. These injuries can put you out of work for a while and cause lingering pain.
- Broken bones. Broken bones can cause you immense pain and reduce your mobility in the future.
- Head injuries. Any head injury can have serious consequences. From cognitive impairment to emotional effects, brain injuries can forever change a workers’ life.
- Exposure to dangerous substances. Many workplaces involve dangerous chemicals and hazardous substances that can harm you. If you’ve been exposed and suffered an injury, a workers’ compensation claim could help.
- Torn muscles and sprains. Soft-tissue damage can leave you in pain and unable to work, but a claim could help you pursue the compensation you need.
- Joint damage. Joint damage can cause lifelong problems for workers, and even surgery may not be able to correct an issue. Long-term medical care may be required.
- Cuts and bleeding. A severe cut or bleeding on the job is a cause for serious concern. Unfortunately, these types of injuries are all too common.
- Spinal cord damage. Damage to the spinal cord is among the most serious injuries and can easily lead to paralysis and permanent disability.
- Damage to arms and legs. Injuries to your limbs could take away your ability to do your job or even work in the future.
How Our Jacksonville, NC, Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help You
When you’re injured, a workers’ compensation claim can feel like one more burden you don’t want to bear. Let our workers’ compensation attorneys help. From answering your questions to advocating for your rights, we can handle all the details of your claim from start to finish. Some important ways our attorneys can help include:
- Listening to you and answering your questions about North Carolina workers’ compensation law. Workers’ compensation law can be confusing, and the claims process can cause people significant stress. We can review your case, discuss your options, and give you peace of mind.
- Collecting key records and documents you’ll need to prove your claim. As part of a workers’ compensation case, you’ll need many different types of records to prove your injuries and how they’ve impacted your life. Our lawyers can identify the records you’ll need and gather all the necessary evidence.
- Taking care of the paperwork and notices your claim may need. A claim may involve forms from the state, written notices to employers, and many other items. A lawyer knows what a claim needs and can manage all the paperwork.
- Advocating for you and your rights and appealing a denied claim if needed. When an employer denies a claim, you may need to fight back. Our lawyers know the process and can stand up for your rights throughout the claim.
- Identifying other sources of compensation, such as third-party claims. When you’re injured, there may be sources of compensation beyond workers’ compensation. Our attorneys regularly work with claims and know how to identify all possible compensation sources.
These are only some of the ways that a workers’ compensation lawyer in Jacksonville, N.C., could help with your claim. If you’ve been injured or have become ill because of your work, contact The Law Offices of John Drew Warlick, P.A., today. Our attorneys have decades of experience helping people throughout Onslow County seek the compensation they deserve after devastating workplace accidents.
For your free and confidential consultation, call us or contact us online today.