Getting hurt on the job can be life-altering for you and your family. Not only do you have to cope with the pain and suffering from your injury, but you have to find a way to put food on your table and pay your bills—including your new medical bills.
Sometimes, injured workers are never able to make a full recovery and return to their former jobs—especially workers who contract an occupational disease. What’s worse is that even in this bustling U.S. economy, around 40% of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency or other unexpected expense—let alone being out of work for extended periods of time. Luckily, workers’ compensation insurance is there to take care of injured workers and their families in the case of workplace injuries, but be prepared to answer the who, what, when, where, and hows before qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits.
How did you hurt yourself?
It’s pretty commonsense that the first thing workers’ compensation adjusters will want to know is how you got hurt. The main job of the adjuster is to make sure that your claim is legit and that you were performing a work function when your injury occurred. Just like being at work doesn’t mean that you’re working, suffering an on-the-job injury doesn’t automatically qualify you to receive workers’ comp.
You need to be as detailed as possible when describing to the workers’ comp adjuster how your accident occurred. Be sure to pay close attention to all questions and craft your answers honestly and carefully. Like detectives, adjusters like to put applicants under a microscope, and any holes in your account of events will stick out like spaghetti sauce on a white sweater. If anyone was around when you hurt yourself, then the workers’ compensation adjuster will probably want to speak with them as well.
Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, if the workers’ compensation adjuster determines that your work injury was due to your own negligence, then they may reduce your wage replacement benefits by 10%. Conversely, if your injury is due in some part to negligence or other failures on the part of your employer, then your benefits could increase by 10%. Getting professional legal advice is the best way to get an idea of how the workers’ comp claims process will go and how much compensation you can expect.
If you’re looking for a team of qualified worker compensation lawyers in North Carolina to handle your workers’ compensation case, then give the Bishop Law Firm a look. They’ve been successfully handling workers’ compensation cases in North Carolina, for over 10 years, and they may be able to help you to get your disability benefits as well.
Did you notify anyone on the job of your injury when it occurred?
Whenever you get hurt on the job—even if you think it’s a minor injury—you need to let someone know immediately. Letting someone in the front office know about your injury ensures that the company will have a record of you being injured if and when you file a workers’ compensation claim.
Even if you’re feeling little to no pain at the moment, you need to make a record of the event while the details are still fresh in your mind. You may not develop any symptoms of an injury for days after an accident, but you’ll sound shady trying to file a workers’ compensation claim once too much time has elapsed and the details have gotten hazier.
Did you receive medical treatment?
If you have to leave the job site due to a workplace accident, then your first stop needs to be to the emergency room or your primary care physician. Receiving medical care is the most important step you must take before filing a workers’ compensation case. Being that it’s a work-related injury, the company will cover your medical expenses whether or not you qualify for workers’ comp, so be sure to get medical care.