There are smaller nuances within your workers compensation case that can make a huge impact on the case itself. The answers to these questions, though you might not think about it much, can mean the difference between approval and denial of your case. Let’s take a look at these questions so you can be prepared when your lawyer brings up the subject.
1. Does your injury qualify as an accident under workers’ comp law in NC?
Unfortunately, not every injury is covered by NC workers’ comp benefits. One of the main stipulations to get your claim approved is that your injury is caused by an accident. These injuries are typically the only ones covered in North Carolina.
An accident is defined as an unexpected event that interrupts your work flow. If you’re injured by doing a task the way you would normally complete it, your injury will more than likely not be covered by workers’ comp benefits. Back injuries are the exception to this rule, with the only requirement being a specific traumatic event instead of an accident.
2. Did your employer pay any expenses like food, gas, or lodging?
One of the most important factors in your workers’ comp case here in NC is the proper calculation of your Average Weekly Wage (AWW). The amount you’re paid in workers’ comp benefits is based on the AWW.
If your boss pays any expenses, such as mileage for food, transportation, or even lodging, this could be factored in as part of your weekly wage. Any increase at all in the AWW, no matter how big or small, can make an impact on the life of your workers’ comp case.
3. Did you previously injure the part of your body in question?
If you have previously injured the area that is injured in a work accident, this new injury will not be covered by workers’ comp or medical benefits in the state of North Carolina. However, it could affect the way your boss or their insurance carrier looks at your case. Any previous injuries that are affected now have to be carefully managed in a workers’ comp case in North Carolina.
4. Can your employer accommodate the restrictions placed on your work output?
One of the major goals in a workers’ comp situation is to get you back to work safely. Of course, you’ll have a few medical restrictions, but your boss should be able to accommodate you during this time. The employer will need to find you a position within the company that can accommodate the restrictions imposed by your authorized medical provider. If your boss cannot find a suitable position within their company, you will have to find a different company to work at for the time being. This can be quite difficult and can affect your case in North Carolina.
5. Are you eligible for any benefits through other wage replacements or medical plans?
If you’re eligible for other health benefits or wage replacements, this can greatly affect your workers’ comp case. If you decide to settle your case earlier, some privatized health care plans may provide health care, while others might not. When it comes to Medicare, it may depend on whether you consider their interest in your
settlement properly and set aside enough funds for later use.
Wage replacement plans, such as a long-term or short-term disability, or even Social Security disability, present their own issues. These include whether you can combine the benefits of one plan with another or if you can get credit for payments for one by another plan. If you are eligible for one of these plans, you should definitely consider the impact they could have on your case.
Greenville, NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you or a loved one has sustained an injury at work, please call our Greenville workers’ comp attorneys at Ricci Law Firm, P.A. We can be reached at (252) 777-2222, or you can contact us online by clicking here.
Our founding attorney, Brian Ricci, is a longtime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Read more about it here.