North Carolina Workers Compensation Attorney

If you’ve been injured in an on-the-job or work related accident you are likely facing issues you hoped you would never have to deal with. Workers compensation claims can be complex and require you to comply with specific statutory procedures in order to protect your rights. Without guidance from an experienced workers compensation attorney you may lose valuable rights and fail to receive the compensation necessary for you and your family.

The attorneys at Price, Hargett, Petho and Anderson have the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through your workers compensation claim. Since 1979 our firm has helped thousands of individuals with many of the same issues you are facing. Our record of million-dollar and multi-million-dollar workers compensation awards is a testament to our aggressive representation of our clients.

We understand no one wants to get hurt at work. We understand the injuries affect only your health but your family’s income. Making sure your claim is handled correctly from the start is our number one priority.

Never a fee to see if we can help

Every workers compensation claim presents different issues. Disputes may involve a refusal to provide medical care, evaluating and calculating wage benefits, return to work issues, vocational rehabilitation etc. We will listen to you to help identify those issues unique to your case. Most of all, we will never charge a fee to see if we can help.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the North Carolina workers compensation claim process:

Frequently asked questions: What is workers compensation?

Workers compensation is a remedy created by the North Carolina legislature to provide relief for employees injured at work. In North Carolina, workers compensation provides benefits to employees injured by accident in the course of their employment. Unlike some types of insurance, work comp pays even though the employer is not at fault. In fact, work comp will pay even when the employee is negligent in causing their own injuries.

While workers compensation provides a remedy to an injured worker that would otherwise not exist, there is a trade-off. Under North Carolina law there is a mandatory waiver of an injured employee’s right to sue the employer for negligence in causing the injuries. There is no prohibition however on an employee’s right to sue a third-party responsible for the injury.

Is my injury covered under workers compensation?

North Carolina law requires almost all employers with over three employees to provide workers compensation coverage. The coverage applies when an employee is injured by an “accident arising out of the course and scope of employment”. Not every injury which occurs while at work is covered under workers compensation. The injury must result from an “accident”.

There is an an exception for injuries to the back. A back injury claim may be brought even without an “accident” so long as the the injury arose from a “specific traumatic event”.

North Carolina worker’s compensation law also provides coverage for 29 enumerated occupationally related illnesses.

What does workers compensation pay for?

In North Carolina, the employer is responsible for:

Medical Care: This may include:

  • medical, surgical, hospital or nursing care,
  • rehabilitative services, including, but not limited to, attendant care services prescribed by a health care provider.
  • vocational rehabilitation,
  • Medicines,,
  • medical and surgical supplies, as may reasonably be required to effect a cure or give relief;
  • Travel expenses to and from doctor visits

Lost wages:

The amount paid for most wages is calculated at the rate of two thirds of the employee’s average weekly wages. "Average weekly wages" are the earnings of the injured employee in the employment in which the employee was working at the time of the injury during the period of 52 weeks immediately preceding the date of the injury.

Compensation for any Permanent Injuries:

For permanent injuries to body, the amount of compensation is calculated on a statutory schedule of benefits that lists the number of weeks of compensation payable to a worker with a particular injury.

How do I file a workers compensation claim?

First, make a report of your injury to your employer as soon as possible. It is important to make sure that you document exactly how the injury took place. Be sure to take note of anyone present at the time of the injury, including any co-workers or supervisors.

Second, you must file a Claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This is done by completing a Form18 which is filed with the NC Industrial Commission.

How long do I have to file my claim?

Your workers compensation claim must be filed within two years of the date of injury, unless wage replacement benefits are paid by your employer. If the employer has already begun providing medical treatment, then the claim must be filed within two years from the last payment for treatment.

When alleging an occupational disease, a Form 18 must be filed within two years of either the date the employee diagnosed work related disease, or the date the employee is first disabled as a result of the disease.

Can I get fired for making a workers compensation claim?

No. It is against the law for your employer to fire you or otherwise retaliate against you for requesting work comp benefits under theNorth Carolina Retaliatory Discrimination Act.

What happens after my workers compensation claim is filed?

Once you have filed your claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, your employer has several options to respond. Your employer can admit compensability by filing a Form 60 “Admission of the Right to Compensation”. If your employer disputes the claim, then the employer may file a Form 61 “Denial of Workers Compensation.” If the employer is unsure as to whether or not compensation is owed, but nevertheless wants to direct your medical care, the employer can file a Form 63 Notice To Employee of Payment Without Prejudice.”

Do I need a lawyer to receive workers’ compensation benefits?

No. But it can be difficult to get the benefits you need without an experienced North Carolina workers compensation attorney. The economic interests of employers and their insurance providers may not always have your best interests in mind, and they may be reluctant to pay you a fair amount for your lost wages and medical bills .

How much does it cost to hire an experienced workers compensation attorney?

Attorneys fees in Worker’s Compensation claims are paid on a contingency fee basis. The Industrial Commission must approve all attorneys fees. The fee is usually set at no more than 25%.