Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Serving Greensboro
Were you injured in a workplace accident, or did you become ill due to workplace conditions in Greensboro? You may be eligible to claim workers’ compensation benefits to pay for your medical care and replace lost wages from missed work.
Under the workers’ compensation system in North Carolina, injured or ill employees may be eligible to receive medical treatment and compensation for time missed from work. Most employers in North Carolina are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect workers who are injured on the job. Even though the benefits are defined in the law, workers sometimes have trouble collecting the benefits they deserve. When that happens, an experienced Greensboro workers’ comp attorney can help.
For more than 30 years, the Greensboro workers’ comp lawyers at Hardison & Cochran have fought to protect the legal rights of injured people in Greensboro and throughout North Carolina. If you’ve suffered work injuries or an occupational illness, our law firm is focused on providing you with the personal attention and legal guidance you need to pursue the full workers’ comp benefits available.
We have attorneys who are recognized by the North Carolina State Bar as board-certified specialists in North Carolina workers’ compensation law. They have obtained additional training and passed a written examination regarding workers’ compensation law. Our attorneys have a detailed understanding of workers’ compensation law and how to pursue successful results on behalf of our clients. We know that being off work due to a work-related injury or illness can cause significant financial stress. That is why we handle our clients’ cases on a contingency fee basis, with no upfront fees or out-of-pocket costs. We receive a legal fee only when we secure compensation for you.
Contact Hardison & Cochran today to discuss your legal rights and options under the workers’ compensation system in Greensboro, NC. We’ll tell you more about how our firm can help make the claims process easier for you. We have offices throughout North Carolina in Greensboro, Dunn, Fayetteville, Durham, Southern Pines, Wilmington, and Raleigh.
Workers’ Compensation in Greensboro, North Carolina
Working people in Greensboro, North Carolina, are covered by the state law that says if they’re injured on the job or have an illness or disease connected to the job, then you are eligible for certain benefits.
The benefits available under the North Carolina workers’ compensation system include:
- Payment for all reasonable and necessary medical treatments for a work-related injury or medical condition.
- Wage replacement benefits to reimburse part of a worker’s lost income from missed work due to the injury or illness.
- Disability benefits, which provide money when a worker’s injury or illness results in permanent partial or total disability. The number of weeks of benefits is determined by the body part affected by the permanent disability.
- Death benefits, which are paid to the family of an employee killed by a work injury or occupational illness.
Under North Carolina law, most private employers with three or more employees (including part-time, temporary, or seasonal employees) must have workers’ compensation insurance. Certain categories of workers, such as railroad and maritime workers and federal employees, are exempted from North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system because they have their own systems under federal law.
Workers’ compensation is considered a no-fault system. A worker does not need to prove that the employer is at fault for their injury or illness. Instead, a worker may qualify for the benefits defined by the workers’ compensation law as long as the injury or illness is work-related. Because the benefits are available to cover injuries and occupational illnesses, a worker generally can’t file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer to recover compensation. They have to turn to the workers’ compensation system for benefits.
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Comp Insurance Benefits in Greensboro, NC?
Any employee who gets hurt at work while doing their job may file for workers’ comp insurance benefits. Workers’ comp benefits also are available to workers who suffer from an occupational disease or illness that arose in the course of their employment.
Workers’ compensation insurance benefits cover all employees of a business. Even part-time, seasonal, temporary employees, and teenaged employees may be eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits if they are injured on the job.
Independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under the law. But some employers improperly attempt to classify workers as independent contractors to avoid providing benefits. We can help you determine whether you should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits based on an analysis of whether you should be classified as an employee or independent contractor.
Common Work-Related Injuries in Greensboro
Depending on the industry or the type of work being performed, workplaces may pose risks of a wide variety of injuries. Some of the most common examples of work-related injuries that employees in Greensboro suffer include:
- Severe lacerations and bleeding
- Broken bones
- Sprains, strains, and soft-tissue tears
- Neck and back injuries, including whiplash injuries or herniated discs
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Head injuries
- Eye and ear trauma
- Traumatic brain injury
- Crush injuries
- Smoke inhalation injuries
- Electrocution injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Assault injuries
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Bacterial or viral infection
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me File for Workers’ Compensation?
A worker who sustains a work-related injury or occupational illness should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including payment for reasonable and necessary treatment and rehabilitation, partial wage replacement, or permanent disability benefits. Unfortunately, not every employee who suffers a work injury or occupational disease has a straight path to getting the workers’ comp benefits they deserve. Sometimes, employers or insurance administrators deny claims or dispute the benefits that a worker should receive.
Although you are not required to hire an attorney to file a workers’ compensation claim, you should get a lawyer if:
- Your workers’ comp claim is denied by your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer, or
- You believe you are not receiving the full benefits you are entitled to under the workers’ compensation system,
- Your employer is seeking to terminate your benefits and bring you back to work while you are still recovering from a work-related injury or illness,
In those situations, you may need an experienced Greensboro workers’ compensation lawyer to help you fight for your legal rights.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help by:
- Investigating the work accident that injured you or the underlying facts and circumstances of your occupational illness to gather evidence to help you make a successful claim for benefits.
- Preparing your claim paperwork, including doing such things as obtaining and organizing supporting documentation, like your medical records.
- Helping you understand the reasons for an initial denial of your claim and getting additional information and evidence to counter your employer’s stated reasons for the denial.
- Negotiating on your behalf with your employer and its workers’ compensation carrier to seek approval of your claim or to obtain a Greensboro workers’ compensation settlement.
- Representing you during a formal hearing before the North Carolina Industrial Commission when necessary to seek the benefits you need.
What If My Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied?
If your initial claim for workers’ comp benefits is denied by your employer or its workers’ compensation insurer, don’t panic. You have options for continuing to pursue your claim. In many cases, a workers’ comp claim might be denied because the worker failed to submit sufficient information to establish the right to benefits.
In these cases, a Greensboro workers’ comp attorney from Hardison & Cochran can help you submit additional information and documents as part of a request to have your employer or its insurer reconsider your claim for benefits. We may help you get a second medical evaluation to add information to your medical record.
When your employer and its insurer continue to deny your workers’ comp claim, you have the option of filing a formal claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission and request a hearing before a deputy commissioner. At a hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence and witness testimony and to cross-examine the witnesses who may be called by your employer. You will want a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney from Hardison & Cochran to represent you during your formal hearing to make sure that you present the strongest case possible.
If a deputy commissioner rules against you in the formal hearing, you can appeal to the full panel of the Industrial Commission. If the full commission also rules against you, you may have the option of pursuing further appeals in the courts.
Contact a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Greensboro, NC
If you have been injured on the job or have been diagnosed with a disease or medical condition that you believe you contracted due to your work, you could be entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact Hardison & Cochran or give us a call for a free, no-obligation consultation. You’ll have the chance to speak with a workers’ comp lawyer in Greensboro, NC, about what benefits you could be entitled to under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy.