What Is Workers’ Comp?
Workers compensation or (“Workers’ Comp”) is a state mandated insurance coverage that covers employees when they are hurt on the job. The primary difference between Workers’ Compensation (“Workers’ Comp”) and Personal Injury is that in order to establish a Workers’ Comp claim, you must be employed at the time of the injury, and the injury must be a direct result of the employment.
Entitlements from Workers’ comp include benefits such as medical care, coverage for rehabilitation services, indemnity wage benefits, and in certain cases death benefits. This type of claim does not provide for mental anguish or pain and suffering the way a personal injury claim might provide for such categories of damages.
Scope Of Employment
If you seek Workers’ Comp benefits, the employer will fight to make sure that the injury was within the scope of employment. The scope of employment is a way to determine whether the injury was an “on the job” injury. This doesn’t require the employee was physically on the employer’s property. Quite often employees perform tasks which take them off the job site, though they are still within the scope of their employment. For example, the employer would more likely be liable if an employee on a construction site was hit by a falling pipe or injured in a trench collapse.
If the same employee was in a car accident while driving to get lunch at a gas station, the employer might argue at the time of the car accident, the employee was not performing his job and was “outside the scope of employment” and therefore the employer is not responsible. Of course, the employee may have a personal injury claim against the individual who hit his vehicle.
Medical Treatment In Workers’ Compensation
The employer or its insurance company has the right to direct the medical treatment of the injured employee. The reasoning for this is that the employer or insurance company will be paying for the treatment. The employee can petition the Industrial Commission of NC to change physicians if good grounds for doing so are established.
If an employer refuses to provide medical treatment in an emergency, the employee can and should seek medical treatment. Shortly following that treatment, the employee should notify the Industrial Commission and request approval retroactively.
No compensation is due for an employee during the first seven days of missed work. However, if the loss of work exceeds twenty-one days then the employee is entitled to be compensated for all lost wages.
Payments for lost wages in a Workers’ Comp claim are made to the employee on a weekly basis, or sometimes on a monthly basis if authorized by the Industrial Commission of NC.
How Much Will I Get Paid?
The general formula for Workers’ Comp is 66 2/3 of the average pay per week, not to exceed $978.00 per week. This maximum weekly benefit is revisited and adjusted by the Industrial Commission every year.
You will receive your agreed upon wage until you are able to return to work, at which time your salary our hourly rate will resume and your Workers’ Comp claim will close.
Lawyers Fees In Workers’ Comp
Lawyers fees in Workers’ Comp cases must be approved by the state of NC, the Industrial Commission. Typically, those fees will be approved for up to 25% of the total settlement or award.
The injured employee benefits from this compensation structure in a few ways. First, the employee doesn’t owe the attorney anything if the attorney doesn’t win the case for the employee. Second, because most attorneys will get paid the exact same amount in a Workers’ Comp case, it allows the employee to choose a Workers’ Comp lawyer they want to work with—rather than choose the cheapest attorney for the job.
Call A Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, please call us to find out your rights. We are more than happy to hear your story and give you a complimentary assessment of your case or claim. If we can’t take your case for some reason, we will help refer you to another trusted lawyer or law firm that can assist you. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, call 704.749.7747 or click HERE to send us a request for a phone consultation. We hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.