If you suffer an injury at your workplace or contract a disease that was caused by your workplace, then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
The first step to receiving these benefits is for the insurance company to accept your workers’ compensation claim. Our lawyers can help if your claim has been denied or if you feel like you have been treated unfairly in the insurance company’s investigation.
If the insurance company has already accepted your claim, then you may already entitled to several forms of monetary compensation. These benefits are based on an average of your prior year’s weekly wages. Your employer will prepare a table -- called a Form 22 -- to show the days you worked in the year prior to the injury and the wages you earned. Pay close attention to this document and compare it with your own pay records to ensure that all your previous paychecks are represented.
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
When your doctor determines that you are unable to work because of your workplace injury, you may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits (TTD). If you qualify for TTD, you must wait seven days, then can start receiving weekly benefits equal to two-thirds of your pre-injury average weekly wage. Your TTD is capped, however, by the maximum compensation rate set by the state. In 2018, that maximum amount was $992.00 per week.
If your disability continues for more than 21 days, you will be entitled to receive the benefits from your first seven days. Under most circumstances, you are only entitled to receive TTD benefits for 500 weeks. Our lawyers can discuss with you whether you may qualify for additional TTD benefits, depending on your circumstances.
Temporary Partial Disability(TPD)
If you have returned to work, but your workplace injury has caused you to earn less than you did before your injury, then you may be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits (TPD). If you qualify for TPD, you are entitled to two-thirds of the difference between your new wages and your pre-injury average weekly wage. For example, if you were earning $600 per week before your injury and, upon returning to work, were only earning $300 per week, you would be entitled to an additional $200 per week in TPD benefits.
TPD benefits are also capped by the maximum compensation rate set by the state. In 2018, that maximum amount was $992.00 per week. Under most circumstances, you are only entitled to receive TPD benefits for 500 weeks. Our lawyers can discuss with you whether you may qualify for additional TPD benefits, depending on your circumstances.
Permanent Partial Disability
In many workers’ compensation cases, your doctor will find that you have reached “maximum medical improvement,” which essentially means that further medical treatment will not help your injury. Even though you may be at maximum medical improvement, you may still be symptomatic or your use of your injured body part may be limited. In those cases, your doctor will often assign you a permanent disability rating for that body part. You are entitled to an award based on this permanent disability. If you feel that your doctor has underestimated your disability rating or has misdiagnosed your condition, you may request a second opinion from another doctor.
Our lawyers can help you get every dollar that you are entitled to receive based on this permanent disability.
Permanent Total Disability(PTD)
In some circumstances, you may be entitled to total and permanent disability benefits for the rest of your life. For injuries that occurred after June 24, 2011, permanent total disability benefits (PTD) are paid if you have 1.) lost both hands, both arms, both feet, both legs, both eyes, or any combination of any two of those body parts; 2) spinal injury involving severe paralysis of both arms, both legs, or the trunk; 3) certain severe brain or closed head injuries; 4.) second-degree or third-degree burns to 33% or more of your total body surface.
If you are found to qualify for PTD, you may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits and medical care related to your workplace injury for the remainder of your life. These benefits are not subject to a 500-week limit. You may lose these benefits, however, if your employer is able to show that you are capable of returning to suitable employment. Our lawyers can help you protect these benefits and ensure that you receive all required medical care.
If your loved one’s workplace injury caused his or her death, then you may be entitled to a death benefit under North Carolina workers’ compensation law. Specifically, if you qualify as a beneficiary, you can receive up to 500 weeks of benefits, up to $10,000 in funeral expenses, and compensation for any medical expenses incurred leading up to your loved one’s death. Under this category of benefits, your weekly benefit is calculated at two-thirds of your loved one’s average weekly wage.
A beneficiary who is under the age of 18 or disabled may qualify for more than 500 weeks of benefits.