Why Do I Need a Workers' Compensation Lawyer?

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Posted about 5 years ago. Applies to North Carolina, 4 helpful votes

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1

An attorney assist you if your claim is denied.

An employee who files a written notice of claim with the Industrial Commission is entitled to a detailed statement from the employer or insurance company within fourteen days that explains the Defendants' position on acceptance or denial of your claim. On occasion, the insurance company may not admit or deny your claim in this time period. If this happens, an attorney can assist by filing a "Motion to Compel" the insurance company to promptly admit or deny your right to benefits under the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act. If the claim is denied, you have the right to request a hearing before a Deputy Commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Deputy Commissioners essentially act as judges and preside over the hearings of workers' compensation cases. When a hearing has been requested, the Industrial Commission will, in most cases, order that the parties attend a mediation and attempt to settle the claim prior to a hearing.

2

An Attorney can advise you through the investigation process.

Before the insurance companies pay workers' compensation benefits, they will want to make sure that your injury actually happened at work. For you to be entitled to benefits; the injury must have been one "by accident" and it must have occurred "in the course and scope of employment". An insurance adjuster may contact you and ask to take a recorded statement. The adjuster will ask you questions that are designed to obtain an answer which gives them the ability to deny your case. An attorney can help you through this process and an attorney can be present for the recorded statement to make sure that your rights are being protected.

3

An Attorney can assist in making sure that you are getting the correct medical treatment.

If your treating physician is not cooperative or you feel that you are not getting the treatment you need or if the doctor seems to be in your employer's corner, an attorney can assist you in changing physicians and ensuring that you are getting proper medical attention. Sometimes, a motion must be filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission and an attorney can assist with this process. It is the North Carolina Industrial Commission, not the insurance company, that has the final word on medical care.

4

Chances are that the insurance adjuster handling your case will, at least, consult an attorney

You should do the same thing. Workers' Compensation law in North Carolina is a very complicated and specialized area of the law and an experienced attorney can help preserve evidence, obtain photographs of the accident scene and find experts to assist you in the prosecution of your case. A person who is injured on the job in North Carolina has the right to enforce his employer's liability under the North Carolina Workers Compensation Act through appropriate proceedings, motions and hearings against the insurance company. An Attorney can assist you with this process.

5

DISCLAIMER

Materials in this guide are provided for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Law Office of Jesse Shapiro or any of its attorneys or clients, and are not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or up-to-date. This guide is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Office of Jesse Shapiro. You should not act or rely on information in this brochure without seeking the advice of an attorney. We would be pleased to communicate with you concerning legal matters, but we cannot do so until we first know that doing so would not create a conflict of interest. If you are interested in having the Law Office of Jesse Shapiro represent you in a legal matter, you can contact the office at (919) 303-1116. We will arrange to have you go through our conflict of interest procedures and following that put you directly in touch with the attorney and practice team best suited to handle the matter.

Additional Resources

North Carolina Industrial Commission

Law Office of Jesse Shapiro

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