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Our Charlotte Workers’ Comp Lawyer Can Help You Get Fair Compensation After a Job-Related Injury

CHARLOTTE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAWYER

North Carolina workers’ comp insurance is intended to provide medical, rehabilitation and income benefits for workplace-related injuries, but benefit awards are often disputed or denied by employers and their insurance companies. Since premiums and costs go up when benefits are paid out, employers often do everything possible to avoid, deny or underpay claims. In addition, the rules and procedures for getting workers’ comp in North Carolina are complicated, and making mistakes in filing your claim or saying or doing the wrong thing can result in your claim being denied.

Fortunately, if you were injured on the job, the Charlotte workers’ comp lawyers at the Sumwalt Anderson Law Firm can help you get the benefits you deserve. We make sure your claim is filed correctly, in a timely manner, and in accordance with the law from the beginning. We can often reverse initial benefit denials and clear up mistakes and misunderstandings.

Our workers’ compensation attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case and determine the best way to proceed, so call us today at (704) 377-3770 to get started.

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How Long Does Workers’ Comp Last in NC?

After suffering an injury at your North Carolina workplace, you may end up facing an uncertain future. You may feel like your injury will leav[...]

How Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You Get Benefits

NORTH CAROLINA WORKERS’ COMP LAWS ARE COMPLICATED, BUT OUR WORKERS’ COMP LAWYER WILL FIGHT FOR YOUR BENEFITS

North Carolina law generally requires businesses with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance, with some exceptions for casual, domestic, and farm workers, as well as trucking companies and employees of the federal government or railroads. North Carolina law also requires workers’ compensation coverage to cover certain trucking owner/operators, even if the operator is an independent contractor. The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) is the state agency that handles workers’ comp claims based on North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act (Chapter 97 of the North Carolina General Laws).

Benefits you may be entitled to under workers’ comp include:

  • Wage loss benefits that cover any periods of time that your doctor holds you out of work or assigns work restrictions that your employer cannot accommodate.
  • Payment of your medical bills related to your injury.
  • Payment for a permanent injury.
  • Reimbursement for mileage to and from doctors’ appointments for trips that are over 20 miles roundtrip.
  • Vocational rehabilitation, f you haven’t been able to return to work at 75% or more of your pre-injury wages.
  • Death benefits and funeral expenses if death occurs as a result of a work injury or illness. The surviving spouse, children, or other dependents may receive death benefits and up to $10,000 for burial expenses.

Our Workers’ Comp Lawyers Know the System Inside and Out

WE BRING OUR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS

Unfortunately, North Carolinas law can make it difficult for injured workers to get benefits. Employers and their insurers don’t have to pay for on-the-job injuries unless a worker was hurt as the result of an “accident,” such as a slip, trip or fall.  Many injured workers are denied benefits on grounds that they were hurt while doing their normal jobs, and not from an accident.

Don’t try to fight this system on your own. To help you get all benefits you are entitled to, our Sumwalt Anderson workers’ comp lawyers can:

  • Make sure you know what to say and do after you are injured, according to North Carolina requirements, to prevent hurting your case.
  • Ensure all forms are filled out correctly in a timely manner in accordance with the law – injured workers are required to report the injury to the employer, orally and in writing, immediately and in any event within 30 days.
  • Investigate how the accident happened, interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence to help prove your claim is valid.
  • Obtain all relevant work and medical records.
  • Assist you if you experience delays in your medical treatment.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement.
  • Represent you at any hearings before the North Carolina Industrial Commission
  • Prepare your case and argue on your behalf if a claim goes to hearing.
  • Handle any appeals.

What Benefits Can a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Help Me Receive?

THERE ARE SEVERAL TYPES OF BENEFITS AVAILABLE UNDER NORTH CAROLINA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Depending on your injuries, our attorneys can help you with the following benefits:

TEMPORARY DISABILITY BENEFITS

Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD)

These are available if you aren’t able to work at all while you’re recovering from your work-related injury or illness.  TTD benefits aren’t paid for the first seven days of disability, unless you end up being away from work more than 21 days.

TTD benefits are for two-thirds of your average weekly wages at the time of your injury, up to the legal maximum for the year when you were hurt or became disabled. The minimum benefit is $30 per week, and the maximum weekly rates may be found at the website of the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD)

These benefits are available if you’re able to return to work in some capacity, but not at the same level as before. Benefits are equal to two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury wages and what you are able to earn now.

Generally, there’s a 500-week limit on how long you can receive total and/or partial temporary disability benefits. You may apply for an extension of TTD benefits, if you can prove that you are still completely unable to work. If you qualify for full Social Security retirement or disability benefits, your TTD benefits may be reduced by the amount of these Social Security payments.

PERMANENT DISABILITY BENEFITS

If you are found to have reached “maximum medical improvement” and are not expected to get any better, you will be evaluated to see if you qualify for permanent disability benefits. Benefit amounts will depend on the part of your body affected and your rated percentage of impairment, as determined by your doctor.

You may be eligible to receive permanent total disability benefits for the rest of your life for one or more of the following serious injuries:

  • loss of both eyes, hands, arms, feet, or legs (or a combination of any two)
  • a severe brain injury or severe spinal injury with permanent paralysis of both arms, both legs, or the trunk
  • second- or third-degree burns to at least a third of your body.

You may receive permanent partial disability benefits for permanent loss of vision, hearing, or the use of certain body parts. Benefits are based on a schedule under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-31 that lists the maximum number of weeks for each of these body parts or senses. Awards are two-thirds of your average weekly wages multiplied by the appropriate number of weeks based on your impairment rating.

You may choose to receive these permanent disability benefits in a lump sum rather than in weekly payments. You may also receive lump-sum awards for some other types of partial disability that are unscheduled. Your workers’ comp attorney can help you determine whether a lump-sum settlement is a good idea for you.

Examples of Workers’ Compensation Claims

Our Charlotte Workers’ Comp Attorneys Handle a Wide Range of Workers’ Comp Cases

Common injuries we handle include:

  • Injuries at the workplace, including in office environments
  • Injuries while traveling for work, including out-of-town travel
  • Construction site injuries
  • First responders injured on the job
  • Injuries from equipment and machinery
  • Car accidents while on the job
  • Injuries during air travel
    • Injuries of flight attendants, pilots, baggage handlers, and ground crew
  • Healthcare injuries
    • Exposure to contagious diseases
    • Injuries inflicted by a patient
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Inhalation of or exposure to harmful chemicals
  • Assaults at work causing physical or psychological injury
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Occupational diseases
    • Bursitis
    • Synovitis
    • Tenosynovitis
    • Other wear-and-tear injuries from repetitive motion over a lengthy career
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Our Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions

The following are answers to some questions our clients often ask:

  • How much will I get paid for loss of my wages?

    If your claim is compensable, you will be entitled to weekly checks in the amount of 66-2/3% of your average weekly wage, which is most often determined by looking at the injured worker’s earnings during the 52 weeks preceding the accident.

  • What is a rating, and how is it determined?

    A rating is a percentage of permanent disability to the injured body part. The percentage is assigned by the injured worker’s doctor at the point that the doctor determines the injured worker’s condition has improved as much as possible. The injured worker is entitled to a second opinion on the rating with a doctor of his or her own choice. Based on the percentage assigned by the doctor(s), the injured worker may be entitled to money for permanent disability in certain cases.

  • My injury has affected my marriage or relationship. Can I do anything about that?

    The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act does not provide a mechanism for spouses to recover damages for losses they experience as a result of a worker’s injury. However, in some cases, a spouse, family, or household member may be eligible to receive payment for care they are providing to an injured worker, when that care has been ordered by a doctor. If you think this may apply in your case, you should contact one of our attorneys to discuss attendant care benefits that may have been overlooked in your claim.

  • What is attendant care?

    In cases where the injured worker can no longer do basic things for themselves (e.g., prepare food, get dressed, move about their home without stand-by assistance, etc.), a doctor may order attendant care or supervision for a certain amount of time per day. Sometimes this care is provided through an outside home health agency and sometimes it is provided by family or household members. If this has been ordered in your case, or you think you need this care, we can assist you in obtaining that care either through an outside agency or obtaining payment for that care for your family or household member. We have litigated the issue of attendant care extensively in our appellate courts.

Attorney Mark Sumwalt

Mark Sumwalt is a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina who has practiced law in Charlotte since 1981, primarily in the field of worker’s compensation. He has litigated hundreds of cases to decision all over the state and handled many significant appeals to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court, particularly in the area of attendant care. [ Attorney Bio ]

$9
million

Recovered on behalf of a young woman who sustained a catastrophic brain injury as the result of an automobile collision with a large commercial vehicle. Learn More.

$5.2
million

Recovered on behalf of a young woman who sustained catastrophic injuries when she was involved in an automobile accident involving a tractor-trailer truck while she was on the job. Learn More

$4.5
million

Recovered on behalf of the gentlemen (plaintiff/client) who was injured when a mislabeled stack of batteries exploded causing significant burns on his entire body. Learn More

$3.3
million

Recovered on behalf of a husband and wife who sustained serious injuries in a rollover accident in New Mexico. Learn More

$3
million

Recovered for a married construction worker who suffered a catastrophic spinal injury due to a crush injury caused by cargo falling from an 18-wheeler. Learn More

$2
million

Recovered following the death of a young man from Charlotte, NC caused by a rear-ended collision with a tractor trailer that was parked in a travel lane of 1-40 without any lights on. Learn More

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    Get Help from Our Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

    No matter what the cause of your work-related injury or illness, the workers’ comp lawyers at the Sumwalt Anderson Law Firm are here to help with the many issues that come up in a workers’ comp case that require legal assistance to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

    For example, workers are often asked to settle or sign a “clincher” in their case. Doing so can have serious long-term effects on the amount of compensation you ultimately receive. In addition, your workers’ compensation claim is generally your exclusive remedy against your employer in North Carolina so you cannot bring a lawsuit, but there may be exceptions to this rule.

    SOME WORKERS’ COMP CLAIMS ARE VERY COMPLEX

    You may have a claim against a third party other than your employer. Examples of this type of claim include when you’re injured by another driver in an automobile accident that happened on the job. Another example is if the manufacturer of a machine that you use at work carries some responsibility for your injuries, which entitles you to a larger settlement, including benefits for pain and suffering.

    These types of workers’ comp cases are complex, and most injured workers don’t understand their options or their rights. When you have representation by our workers’ compensation attorneys, you can be sure we will not only pursue all the benefits and responsible parties, but we’ll keep you fully informed throughout the process. If it happens that you are wrongfully terminated from your job as a result of your workers’ comp claim, we will aggressively fight for your rights.

    Whether you need help collecting benefits for being out of work, for a permanent injury, or for medical treatment, the skilled attorneys at Sumwalt Anderson have the knowledge and experience to guide you through your worker’s compensation claim. We have helped injured workers navigate the workers’ compensation system for four decades.

    Let us take care of all the paperwork, deadlines, documentation, legal requirements and appeals, so you can focus on your recovery. Call Sumwalt Anderson today at (704) 377-3770.