Despite the great strides society has made in improving working conditions and labor protections over the last two centuries, accidents and injuries in the workplace remain disturbingly commonplace across a variety of industries. When a worker is injured while performing their job duties, a Taylorsville workers’ compensation lawyer can help them file a workers’ compensation claim to provide the resources they need to recover.
Many of the residents of Taylorsville, NC, are employed in major manufacturing operations throughout Alexander County, where the use of powerful–and potentially dangerous–equipment is a daily reality. Other Taylorsville residents work in agriculture, food, healthcare, and frontline public-facing service roles, all of which can pose their own unique risks for workers.
If you’re an injured worker in Taylorsville, NC, understanding your rights–and the legal recourse available for seeking financial support–will be a crucial part of the process to come. Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC, is here to help empower the injured workers of Taylorsville with legal advice, compassionate support, and fully personalized legal solutions that maximize our clients’ chances of achieving a significant compensation package.
North Carolina, like other states, has a mandatory workers’ compensation insurance system that provides benefits for those who get injured on the job. In North Carolina, this system is governed by the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, which is enshrined into state law as North Carolina General Statute Section 97.
This comprehensive, multi-section law not only helps businesses understand their obligations but also provides a system for injured workers to seek compensation for their work-related injuries and illnesses.
Some key pieces of the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act include:
This section defines many important terms. For example, it:
Injury is only one example of the terms it addresses, as it also includes concrete definitions for other key concepts like “employment,” “employer,” and “compensation,” among others. In defining these terms, it also addresses some of the program’s fundamental rules, such as the basic requirements for most employers in North Carolina.
This important section sets forth guidelines and standards for the payment of benefits, legally preventing employers from intentionally or maliciously trying to delay the payment of workers’ compensation benefits. It also outlines the conditions under which payments can be stopped–which is typically only when the terms of the judgment have been fully satisfied, meaning that the injured party has received all the compensation due to them.
Part 22 mandates that the employer needs to be notified of the injurious accident in a timely fashion. This allows your employer to engage proactively in the workers’ compensation process. That way, they can respond to the incident in accordance with internal company policy or any accident reporting requirements specific to your industry.
You cannot keep your injury secret from your employer in an attempt to strategically surprise them with your workers’ compensation claim at a moment of your choosing. Failure to notify your employer of an injury promptly can inhibit your ability to seek compensation.
The Workers’ Compensation Act and the benefits therein also apply to workers who lose their lives on the job. This particular section defines the “next of kin” who may be able to claim the decedent’s benefits if a deceased worker leaves behind no dependents. It also officially mandates that no compensation will be payable if no dependents or qualifying next of kin can be located.
These summaries represent only a small sampling of the sections in the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. The full act is nearly 100 pages in its official form, which is available from the state online. This includes repealed and superseded provisions, making the text even more impenetrable for those who lack the formal legal training required to parse it effectively.
The workers’ compensation team at Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC, has an intimate understanding of North Carolina workers’ comp laws. Our firm has a long record of success in getting our clients swift and significant compensation for their work-related injuries.
Under the law, you are free to pursue a workers’ compensation claim without the assistance of an attorney. Indeed, the workers’ compensation system is designed to be accessible to anyone. You may find, however, that even straightforward injury cases can quickly become complex. Employers may leverage their financial and legal resources to stubbornly resist paying benefits. For this reason, it’s always wise to have a qualified workers’ comp lawyer available to guide and advise you through the process.
Here’s some of what Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC, can provide to injured workers in Taylorsville, NC, and the surrounding areas:
A: Unfortunately, no. While the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act does codify into law significant benefits for injured workers, pain and suffering is not counted among the compensable damages in a workers’ compensation claim. This sets the workers’ comp system in contrast to personal injury claims filed in regular civil court, where emotional damages can indeed be claimed.
If you wish to maximize the amount of damages awarded in your workers’ compensation case, it is recommended to enlist the services of a skilled workers’ compensation attorney.
A: A typical workers’ comp payment in North Carolina is calculated to provide the recovering worker with two-thirds of their normal earnings while they are unable to work, calculated as a weekly average. Depending on the extent of the injury and the timing of the settlement, this can be adjusted to also include coverage for related medical expenses, like surgeries or physical therapy.
A: In North Carolina, temporary workers’ compensation benefits can be paid for a period of up to 500 weeks or nearly 10 years. Permanently disabled workers who require long-term support due to a catastrophic workplace injury may also qualify for permanent disability payments. You should work with your attorney and medical care provider to determine the likely length of the recovery period for which you should seek compensation.
A: Yes, assuming that the surgery in question is directly related to the workplace injury or illness being addressed in your workers’ compensation case. If the surgery was needed as an immediate response to the injury, it would likely have taken place before your settlement is ever finalized, and your medical expenses can simply be added to your settlement.
If surgery is required for the lingering effects of the injury after the settlement has been awarded, however, it can still be covered by the insurance carrier. It should not need to be paid for out of your regular workers’ compensation payments.
Workers’ compensation is an important system that exists to provide for hurt workers, but filing a claim and actually accessing those benefits can be confusing, or even intimidating, for those who are unfamiliar with the process.
If you’ve been injured at work in Taylorsville, NC, or the surrounding areas and need assistance starting your workers’ comp claim, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC for a confidential, compassionate, and competent legal representation. We can help you access the maximum amount of compensation on the fastest possible timeline so that you can focus on what matters: healing.