Accidents happen, they’re just a part of life. When they occur at work, the effects can be devastating. Fortunately, if you suffer an injury or illness while on the job, you won’t have to worry about your medical bills, or lost wages if you can’t work. The North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act requires all businesses with more than three employees, obtain worker’s compensation insurance, to help workers who are injured on the job. When it comes to filing a worker’s compensation claim, there are a lot of factors that can affect the outcome. Along with the obvious factors, like the seriousness of the injury and the length of time you’re unable to work, here are five lesser-known facts that can affect your claim.
Does Your Injury Qualify as an Accident?
Unfortunately, not every injury suffered on the job will be covered by worker’s compensation. In North Carolina, worker’s compensation insurance typically only covers injuries that happen by accident. It is defined as an unexpected incident that interrupts the workflow. If you’re injured doing your job in a normal way, you may find that your worker’s compensation claim will be denied. If your claim has been denied you should consult with firms like Brent and Adams personal injury lawyers to discuss your situation.
Did Your Employer Pay Any Expenses?
One of the most critical factors in a worker’s compensation case is the proper calculation of the correct average weekly wage (AWW). Any wage replacement disability compensation that is paid by your employer or their insurance through the entire case is based on the AWW. If you received any reimbursement for food, transportation, or lodging, this might qualify as wages, increasing the AWW. Even a slight increase in this number can have an enormous impact over the life of your case in North Carolina.
Have You Previously Injured the Part of Your Body You Injured at Work?
While a previous injury to the same body part won’t automatically disqualify you from receiving worker’s compensation, it can have an impact on your claim. With an earlier injury, your employer and their insurance company will look at the case differently, possibly causing your claim to be denied. When it comes to a prior injury, a worker’s compensation claim must be carefully managed.
Can Your Employer Accommodate Your Work Restrictions?
The goal of worker’s compensation is to have the injured employee returned to employment within their work restrictions imposed by their authorized medical provider, according to North Carolina Office of State Human Resources. If the employer is unwilling or unable to put the employee back to work in a suitable position, you will need to find employment elsewhere, which can be challenging. Not being able to be accommodated after a workplace injury can significantly affect your claim.
Are You Eligible for Benefits?
If you are eligible to receive other private or public wage replacement or health benefits, your worker’s compensation claim can be affected. If you qualify for other benefits, you need to carefully consider the impact they will have on your worker’s compensation case.
Being injured on the job is never a fun prospect. Armed with the right information, you can increase your odds that your claim will be accepted, allowing you to move forward with your healing and getting back to your life before the injury.