WORKERS' COMPENSATION FAQs

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is an area of law covering injured workers, primarily for their medical expenses and loss of earning capacity. Most business in North Carolina carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

Who is eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim?

People who have been injured while performing their job duties, typically as a result of an accident.

What benefits am I entitled to under North Carolina law?

You are entitled to have 100% of your medical related costs paid for and to receive ⅔ of your lost wages at a minimum.

You might also be entitled to payment for any residual permanent partial disability that you retain after your medical treatment has concluded, and / or reimbursement for training necessary to move you into another vocation if your disability causes you to be unable to continue your previous job duties.

What types of work injuries are covered by workers’ compensation?

In general, workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover any injury that negatively affects your ability to perform your job.

Acute injuries like sprains, fractures, torn ligaments, dislocations, cuts, and burns are eligible, and so are compound injuries like chronic pain, migraines, loss of eyesight, or loss of hearing.

What if I am injured at work but my employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance?

The short answer is that your employer is most likely operating their business in violation of North Carolina law and, if they are, you can pursue legal action directly against your employer.

How long do I have to file a claim?

You have 30 days to file your claim if your injury was not witnessed or acknowledged by a supervisor.

Does filing a claim affect my eligibility for social security disability and medicare?

No. Workers’ compensation can be coordinated alongside SSDI & medicare but there is a complicated interplay between these three benefits.

Can I file for workers’ compensation if I am a 1099 contractor?

Just because your employer pays you via 1099 does not mean that you are excluded from filing for workers’ compensation. Legally speaking, your employment status (“contractor” vs “employee”) is determined by the Court, not your employer, and the Court considers many variables, not just whether you are paid via 1099 or W-2.

I am available to help you understand how the Court might interpret your unique circumstances.

How much is my injury worth?

Payouts vary from thousands to millions of dollars. Everyone’s circumstances are different but here are a few factors that affect payouts for your claim:

The amount of time you miss from work: an injury that avoids surgery and rehab would have you miss less time from work and therefore receive less benefits for time away

The disability rating you receive for residual impairment: a sprained ankle that fully heals in 1 week would not receive a payment for residual impairment, whereas a badly broken ankle that only heals to 50% of its previous mobility would be eligible for a potentially large residual impairment payout

The severity of your injury: a life altering injury that requires surgery, rehab, and a complete change of vocation would be eligible for the most benefits

What is residual permanent partial disability and how does it affect my payout?

Residual permanent partial disability is a continued loss of your ability to live life or perform job duties as you did before your injury, even after your medical treatment is finished. Examples might be damage to joints, ligaments, or interal organs. Permanent scarring or loss of hearing or vision.

Your disability rating is calculated using a formula that factors the amount of your disability, the injured body part, and your average weekly wage prior to your injury.

When will I receive my first check for lost wages?

You should receive your first check within 2-3 weeks.

Who pays my claim if it is approved?

Your employer pays for workers’ compensation insurance and your employers’ insurance company pays your claim. Checks will come from an insurance company. 

Is there a time limit for how long I can receive workers’ compensation benefits?

There is no specific limit to how long you are entitled to receive ongoing medical treatment. There is typically a five hundred week ceiling when it comes to receiving benefits for lost wages, but it is possible to apply for an extension.

Can I go see my own doctor?

Typically no unless your claim is denied, there is an unreasonable delay in your receiving medical treatment, or it is an emergency.

Accepted claims must be diagnosed and treated by doctors’ that are selected/approved by your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance provider and that will very rarely be your doctor.

Isn’t it a conflict of interest for my doctor to be selected by my employers’ workers’ compensation insurance company?

This is the million dollar question (quite literally, sometimes). Your employer would prefer you get back to work as soon as possible, and insurance would prefer your treatment be as short and cheap as possible, which is why I oftentimes pursue unbiased second opinions.

The reality of workers’ compensation claims is that the right diagnosis, treatment, and benefits for you will often come after a fight.

What do I do if I am unhappy with my diagnosis, treatment, or disability rating?

Fight back! 

A great workers’ compensation lawyer is 100% on your side and will empower and encourage you to demand exceptional care. I have a proven track record of winning better medical treatment and benefits for my clients.

When is the right time to get a lawyer involved in my workers’ compensation claim?

This varies from case to case, and I’m obviously biased, but my general advice is that if you’ve been injured at work and feel like you aren’t being treated fairly by your employer or their insurance provider — it is time to contact a lawyer.

Always contact an attorney before giving any recorded statements.

What can I expect from my workers’ compensation attorney?

I can’t speak for other attorneys but I can tell you that I earn my fee by taking a proactive interest in your recovery. I keep track of your important doctors appointments and call you before ( to make sure you’re prepared) and after (make sure you got the paperwork you need) each one. You can expect a tenacious advocate who will fight for your best interests. 

Most importantly, you won’t be passed around from case manager to paralegal to case manager. It’s just me, you, and your recovery.

How much will it cost to retain you as my lawyer?

I am paid by clients on a 25% contingency basis which means that I receive 25% of your final settlement at the very end of your case.  If your claim is denied, and I am not successful in getting benefits for you, then you pay me absolutely nothing for my services.  If your claim has been accepted and you are already receiving benefits before contacting me I only take a percentage of additional benefits that I am able to secure for you.

What is the charge for you to evaluate my case?

Case evaluations are completely free. Just fill out the form on this page if you’d like me to give you a call to schedule a time to meet and discuss your case.

Let's make sure you're receiving the best possible benefits and medical treatment.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Ken Martin Workers' Compensation Attorney

Benefit Eligibility

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is an area of law covering injured workers, primarily for their medical expenses and loss of earning capacity. Most business in North Carolina carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

Who is eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim?

People who have been injured while performing their job duties, typically as a result of an accident.

What benefits am I entitled to under North Carolina law?

You are entitled to have 100% of your medical related costs paid for and to receive ⅔ of your lost wages at a minimum.

You might also be entitled to payment for any residual permanent partial disability that you retain after your medical treatment has concluded, and / or reimbursement for training necessary to move you into another vocation if your disability causes you to be unable to continue your previous job duties.

What types of work injuries are covered by workers’ compensation?

In general, workers’ compensation insurance is designed to cover any injury that negatively affects your ability to perform your job.

Acute injuries like sprains, fractures, torn ligaments, dislocations, cuts, and burns are eligible, and so are compound injuries like chronic pain, migraines, loss of eyesight, or loss of hearing.

How long do I have to file a claim?

You have 30 days to file your claim if your injury was not witnessed or acknowledged by a supervisor.

Can I file for workers’ compensation if I am a 1099 contractor?

Just because your employer pays you via 1099 does not mean that you are excluded from filing for workers’ compensation. Legally speaking, your employment status (“contractor” vs “employee”) is determined by the Court, not your employer, and the Court considers many variables, not just whether you are paid via 1099 or W-2.

I am available to help you understand how the Court might interpret your unique circumstances, but here are a few variables that they might consider:

* Are engaged in your own full time business?

* Do you use your own tools and supplies for the job?

* Do you set your own work schedule?

* Are you free to hire and fire assistants?

* Are you paid a fixed rate by the hour?

* Do you use a company vehicle or uniform?

Does filing a claim affect my eligibility for social security disability and medicare?

No. Workers’ compensation can be coordinated alongside SSDI & medicare but there is a complicated interplay between these three benefits.

What if I am injured at work but my employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance?

The short answer is that your employer is most likely operating their business in violation of North Carolina law and, if they are, you can pursue legal action directly against your employer.

Payment of Benefits

How much is my injury worth?

Payouts vary from thousands to millions of dollars. Everyone’s circumstances are different but here are a few factors that affect payouts for your claim:

* The amount of time you miss from work: an injury that avoids surgery and rehab would have you miss less time from work and therefore receive less benefits for time away

* The disability rating you receive for residual impairmenta sprained ankle that fully heals in 1 week would not receive a payment for residual impairment, whereas a badly broken ankle that only heals to 50% of its previous mobility would be eligible for a potentially large residual impairment payout

* The severity of your injury: a life altering injury that requires surgery, rehab, and a complete change of vocation would be eligible for the most benefits

Is there a time limit for how long I can receive workers’ compensation benefits?

There is no specific limit to how long you are entitled to receive ongoing medical treatment. There is typically a five hundred week ceiling when it comes to receiving benefits for lost wages, but it is possible to apply for an extension.

What is residual permanent partial disability and how does it affect my payout?

Residual permanent partial disability is a continued loss of your ability to live life or perform job duties as you did before your injury, even after your medical treatment is finished. 

Your disability rating is calculated using a formula that factors the amount of your disability, the injured body part, and your average weekly wage prior to your injury.

Examples of permanent partial disability might be:

* Damage to joints or ligaments that never fully heal

* Permanent partial loss of hearing or vision

* Damage to internal organs

* Permanent scarring

* Recurring migraines

* Mental impairments

When will I receive my first check for lost wages?

You should receive your first check within 2-3 weeks.

Who pays my claim if it is approved?

Your employer pays for workers’ compensation insurance and your employers’ insurance policy pays your claim. 

Medical Treatment

Can I go see my own doctor?

Typically no unless your claim is denied, there is an unreasonable delay in your receiving medical treatment, or it is an emergency.

Accepted claims must be diagnosed and treated by doctors’ that are selected/approved by your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance provider and that will very rarely be your doctor.

What do I do if I am unhappy with my diagnosis, treatment, or disability rating?

Fight back! 

A great workers’ compensation lawyer is 100% on your side and will empower and encourage you to demand exceptional care. I have a proven track record of winning better medical treatment and benefits for my clients.

Isn't it a conflict of interest for my doctor to be selected by my employers’ workers’ compensation insurance company?

This is the million dollar question (quite literally, sometimes). Your employer would prefer you get back to work as soon as possible, and insurance would prefer your treatment be as short and cheap as possible, which is why I oftentimes pursue unbiased second opinions.

The reality of workers’ compensation claims is that the right diagnosis, treatment, and benefits for you will often come after a fight.

 

Legal Representation

When is the right time to get a lawyer involved in my workers' compensation claim?

This varies from case to case, and I’m obviously biased, but my general advice is that if you’ve been injured at work and feel like you aren’t being treated fairly by your employer or their insurance provider — it is time to contact a lawyer.

Always contact an attorney before giving any recorded statements.

I also recommend contacting an attorney if you are experiencing any of the following:

* Delayed payment of benefits

* Incomplete or low payment of benefits

* Claim denied

* Dispute over disability rating

* Poor medical care

What is the charge for you to evaluate my case?

Case evaluations are completely free. Just fill out the form below if you’d like me to give you a call to schedule a time to meet and discuss your case.

What can I expect from my workers’ compensation attorney?

I can’t speak for other attorneys but I can tell you that I earn my fee by taking a proactive interest in your recovery, and maximizing your benefits. 

I keep track of your important doctors appointments and call you before (to make sure you’re prepared) and after (to make sure you got the paperwork you need) each one.

You will not be passed around from case managers to paralegals to junior associate. I have been practicing law in Charlotte for 33 years and take great pride in communicating directly with my clients.

How much will it cost to retain you as my lawyer?

I am paid by clients on a 25% contingency fee basis. 

If your claim is denied, and I am not successful in getting benefits for you, then you pay me absolutely nothing for my services. 

If your claim has already been accepted and you are currently receiving benefits, my contingency fee only applies to any additional benefits that I am able to secure for you.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Let's make sure you're receiving the best possible benefits and medical treatment.