Find the Best Workers' Compensation Attorney Serving Fayetteville
No worker expects to be injured in a workplace accident, even though some jobs come with more hazards and greater risks than others. The truth is that anyone can be injured on the job or contract an occupational illness in a Fayetteville workplace. That’s why, with a few exceptions, nearly all Fayetteville employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their workers if they are injured in a work-related accident or develop an occupational illness.
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to cover injured workers’ medical expenses and part of the worker’s lost wages while unable to work. The concept is straightforward. In North Carolina, if you are an employee and are injured in an accident or suffer an occupational illness while you are working—whether the accident was your fault or not, you are most likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
To learn about the workers’ compensation benefits that you are eligible to receive, contact an experienced Fayetteville workers’ compensation attorney at Hardison & Cochran. For more than 30 years, our workers’ comp attorneys have fought for the rights of hard-working people who have suffered injury or illness while performing their jobs.
Hardison and Cochran attorneys practice law with uncompromising integrity and strive to meet the needs of each one of our clients. We have a Client Bill of Rights and Code of Ethics that guides our attorneys and staff every day. Contact us in Fayetteville today for a free consultation. If we do not secure workers’ compensation benefits for you, we will not charge for our legal services.
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Comp Insurance Benefits in Fayetteville, NC?
In North Carolina, workers’ compensation benefits are available to employees who suffer injuries or develop an illness that occurs in the course of their work. An employee may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits even if he or she works part-time. Teen-aged employees are also entitled to workers’ compensation coverage. However, workers who are properly classified as independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits from their employer.
To be entitled to benefits, generally:
- Your injury must have occurred while you were performing your job duties.
- Your injury must be caused by an accident; and
- Your employer must have three or more employees.
You may still qualify for benefits even if you caused the accident. North Carolina workers’ compensation law defines an accident as an incident or event that does not occur as a regular part of your job.
Certain occupational illnesses listed under the workers’ compensation law may also qualify for workers’ compensation coverage, as long as you can establish that the illness was caused by your employment.
Common Work-Related Injuries in Fayetteville
Some jobs are inherently riskier than others. But any worker may be injured on the job. There are just as many types of work-related injuries as there are different jobs.
Falls—especially those from heights— are among the most common causes of workplace injuries. They can occur at the water cooler, on a ladder or scaffold, or on a wet floor in a food processing plant.
Other commonly suffered work-related injuries in Fayetteville include:
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints and sprains, strains, tears, and other soft-tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Burns, including thermal and chemical burns
- Smoke inhalation injuries
- Electrocution injuries
- Crush injuries
- Perforation injuries
- Head injuries, including eye trauma or hearing damage or loss
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me File for Workers’ Compensation?
Most injured workers will benefit from the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Dealing with a disputed workers’ compensation can be a complicated process and your employer and the workers’ compensation administrator are not on your side. They may question your claim and say that you not entitled to benefits. They may withhold a portion of the benefits you should receive.
An experienced Fayetteville workers’ comp attorney will fight for the full value of your claim. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Hardison & Cochran can walk you through the steps of reporting a workplace injury or illness to your employer, including providing oral notice and written notice.
A Fayetteville workplace injury attorney can also help you complete the forms necessary to begin a workers’ compensation claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which oversees the workers’ compensation system. Many workers’ compensation claims are denied because an injured worker failed to provide sufficient information or provided incorrect information with their initial claim application.
If you have tried to seek benefits on your own, even if you have properly filed your claim and followed the rules, you may still benefit from the legal representation of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
The benefit you can get from workers’ compensation attorney representation especially if:
- Your employer has not reported your injury to its workers’ compensation insurer.
- Your benefits have ended without any explanation.
- You are not consistently receiving benefits.
- You are struggling to deal with the insurer and your medical providers.
- Your employer is pressuring you to return to work before you are ready.
- You tried to return to work too early and now need to take more time off.
- You have questions to which you cannot get satisfactory answers.
- You want to seek a second medical opinion about your condition, and the insurer is denying your request.
- Your doctor and your employer have different expectations of the tasks you can physically perform upon return to work.
- You are worried about paying for future medical expenses related to your injury or illness.
Do not forfeit your rights. Contact an experienced Fayetteville workers’ compensation attorney who can guide you through the claims process, negotiate with your employer and its insurer, help you access medical care, file required documents, follow state appeals procedures, and, most importantly, protect your rights.
What If My Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied?
You should talk with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney if your employer or the workers’ compensation insurer has denied your claim. You have legal rights to appeal your employer’s denial of benefits. However, the formal claims process has certain rules of procedure and requirements that you must follow.
When your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance provider determines that your work injury or illness does not qualify for benefits, you have the right to file a formal claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission and request a formal hearing before a member of the Industrial Commission. At a formal hearing, you and your employer will have the opportunity to present evidence and witness testimony regarding your workplace injury or illness and your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. The judge who hears the case will review the evidence and issue a formal ruling either awarding you benefits or agreeing with your employer’s denial of benefits.
If the Industrial Commission judge rules against you, you have the right to appeal that decision to the full panel of the Industrial Commission. If the full panel denies your claim, you have further options to take court action, but your chances of successfully securing benefits may be limited.
If your employer or its insurer denies your claim, you should not try to pursue the formal appeals process on your own. Let an experienced Fayetteville workers’ comp attorney from Hardison & Cochran represent you during the formal hearing process.
Our firm has attorneys who are recognized by the North Carolina State Bar as board-certified specialists in North Carolina workers’ compensation law. We have extensive experience representing clients in formal workers’ compensation hearings. We know the types of medical evidence to seek and present to give you the best chance at getting a favorable result. If the hearing officer rules against you, we can advise you of your legal options to seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
Trying to predict the impact of a devastating accident or occupational illness is a difficult task that may have consequences long after your workplace injuries have healed. Navigating the workers’ compensation benefits process is difficult, especially if you are doing so while you are injured and in recovery. You do not have to shoulder that burden alone. We know that being injured or getting ill from work can have a significant financial impact on you and your family—especially if you are unable to work and earn a living. Our attorneys are ready to guide you through the process. We do not charge any legal fee unless we are successful in helping you obtain benefits.
If you have been injured at work or suffered an occupational illness, contact the experienced Fayetteville workers’ compensation attorneys at Hardison & Cochran. Our consultation is free. Your recovery—physical and financial—is our top priority. Our Fayetteville, NC attorneys know workers’ compensation law and will work to protect your rights and seek the full compensation you are entitled to under the law.