Workers’ Compensation Overview
Greensboro, North Carolina, Workers’ Compensation Law Firm
Attempting to maintain bills or provide for a family after sustaining a serious work injury can be very difficult. Hard workers are often distraught at the thought of not bringing in income to support their household. If you have been injured while on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to assist you until you are able to work again. At Jay Gervasi, P.A., we strive to educate our clients about the workers’ compensation system and to guide them through the process of obtaining benefits. To inquire about scheduling a free initial consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, contact our North Carolina workers’ comp law office.
Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system (with only a few exceptions) in which a worker with qualifying injuries on the job is compensated by his or her employer or the employer’s insurance company, without regard to the negligence of the employer or the injured worker. The system is governed by the Workers’ Compensation Act and is administered by the Industrial Commission, which also serves as the court for litigating disputes. Injuries qualify if they arise out of and in the course of employment, and are the result of an “accident,” a “specific traumatic incident” (only for back injuries and hernias) or an “occupational disease.” The compensation available generally includes:
- Weekly wage compensation in the amount of two-thirds of the average pre-injury wage for as long as the worker is unable to work. (The maximum duration of compensation for total disability has become complicated, with revisions to the Workers’ Compensation Act in 2011. Injuries before the effective date of those revisions allow for compensation for an indefinite time period. Injuries occurring after that date may be limited to 500 weeks of compensation, though some injured workers will qualify for longer periods. If your claim involves such long periods of time out of work, you should consult a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer.)
- Payment of medical expenses.
- Additional compensation for permanent bodily damage or wage loss, in appropriate cases.
While receiving compensation, the worker is generally required to cooperate with medical treatment, as well as with medical or vocational rehabilitation professionals assigned to the case, and to return to suitable work, if it becomes available. Compensation cannot be terminated legally without approval of the Industrial Commission.
While this may seem simple enough, complicated issues often arise. For example, the suitability of substitute employment, when the worker is unable to return to the original job, particularly when the substitute employment pays less or is less secure than the original, can be a very complicated issue. Similarly, whether there has been an “accident,” calculation of the average weekly wage, whether the worker is an employee of the employer (or an employee of a subcontractor) and many other issues can become difficult. Accordingly, the information provided on this site should not be used as legal advice. If you have questions about workers’ compensation, you should contact a qualified lawyer.
Guilford County Wage Loss Attorney
Whether you have questions regarding workers’ compensation, need assistance filing a claim or have had a claim denied, we will work diligently to serve your needs. Contact North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer Jay Gervasi to ask about a free initial consultation.