Workers Legal Rights And Workplace Injury Claims
Not all workplace injuries result in a trip to the ER. What rights do you have when your injuries are slow and progressive, like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or other types of repetitive motion injuries? If this type of injury prevents you from working, how can you take it up with an employer?
Workers Legal Rights And Workplace Injury Claims – When we think of workplace injuries our thoughts often jump to serious falls or accidents with machinery. However, a large number of work-related injuries actually develop over time from the cumulative effect of repetitive movements or postures while performing your job. Fortunately, employees can receive workers’ compensation benefits for repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) so long as they can prove their work duties are the cause. These cases can be complex to evaluate and even more complex when trying to claim from an employers’ workers’ compensation insurance – so talk with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help evaluate your case.
What Are Repetitive Stress Injuries?
Known as repetitive stress injuries, overuse injuries, or cumulative trauma, these types of injuries are sustained over time from repeating the same tasks over and over again. They can be caused by activities such as keyboarding (Carpal tunnel syndrome), scanning groceries, repetitive assembly-line work, and repetitive manual labor work like hammering—just to name a few. They cause many different conditions including tendinitis, bursitis, trigger finger, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff syndrome, epicondylitis (often called tennis elbow), lower back pain, and others. [Ref WebMD] You may experience symptoms including tingling, numbness, loss of strength, pain, or reduced range of motion or flexibility. Eventually, these symptoms could cause you to be unable to do your job.
If you are experiencing an RSI and believe that it was caused by activities in your work, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. In some cases you may be eligible for Social Security Disability.
What to do if you suspect you have a work-related RSI
The first thing to do if you are experiencing pain from what you believe is a work-related repetitive stress injury is to see a doctor. Be clear with the doctor about why you are there and be specific about what you believe caused the injury, and when you experience the most pain. They may advise that you take a break from certain tasks or even pause your work for some time to allow you to recover. The doctor’s recommendations are important if you are planning to file a workers’ comp claim.
It is better to seek legal advice from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer before any condition becomes completely debilitating. At Kellum Law firm we have lawyers on staff who are experienced both in workplace injury claims and North Carolina’s Social Security Disability Law, so contact us to set up a free consultation.
In North Carolina, most employers with three or more employees are required to have Workers’ Comp insurance that covers workplace injury claims. Most of the time, RSI’s are covered, but your lawyer can help you determine what is and what isn’t.
Workers’ compensation claims generally cover hospital and medical expenses for diagnosis and treatment as well as disability payments while you are unable to work (at a reduced wage). Depending on the injury, they may also cover rehabilitation, retraining, and other benefits.
When It’s Time to Get a Lawyer to Help With A Workplace Injury Claim?
Workers’ compensation /workplace injury claims are complicated matters involving many laws, rules and regulations. It’s unfortunately not uncommon that the insurance company attempts to cut or limit services and treatments along with any salary payments in an attempt to cut their own costs. If you are not receiving adequate medical care or if the insurance company is trying to minimize the extent of your injuries, illness, or disability, you should speak with a workers comp lawyer. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate this complicated process and make sure you get the treatment and benefits to which you are entitled.
Rules on Selecting a Doctor
If you plan to file a worker’s compensation claim to help cover the costs of your medical care and missed work, your choice of physician will be influenced by insurance company providing coverage. The physician you work with plays an important role in treating your injury or illness. They decide how much time off work you need to recover and whether the injury has left you with a permanent disability that may require long-term care or permanently affect your ability to work. If you feel that the doctor or treatment you are receiving is not adequate, you can fight for better care. Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the treatment you’re entitled to.
Settling Your Claim
Oftentimes, workers’ compensation claims end in settlements where the worker receives an agreed-upon lump-sum payment which generally signs away your rights to any future claim or payment. Before you pursue settling, it’s important to understand the most common types of workers’ compensation settlements and their associated legal ramifications.
If it’s unclear to you which type of settlement claim is in your best interest, or if you want to explore other options, consider speaking with a workers’ comp lawyer before making any commitment or signing any agreement.
Form 26A and Form 21 Settlements
“http://www.ic.nc.gov/forms.html” Form 26A and Form 21 settlements involve North Carolina workers’ compensation cases where the insurance company has agreed to give the worker a partial disability rating. In the case of Form 26A, this rating is permanent and the insurance company will pay the value of the disability rating in weekly installments. In exchange, you agree to forego your right to any future disability agreements. Form 21 holds the same agreement, but it is used for temporary disabilities.
In these situations, the case is not fully settled and you have an opportunity to receive medical benefits beyond the period of the original agreement. All candidates automatically receive medical benefits in the two years after the date of the last compensation payment and can file an application to extend these benefits once the two-year period is up.
To avoid leaving anything behind on the table when settling workplace injury claims, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer – Contact Kellum Law Firm today!
The content on this website is provided for general information only. It should NOT be construed by the reader as LEGAL ADVICE. The LAWS of the Nation and of the State of North Carolina are subject to frequent change and addition. Such changes and additions may periodically render the general information on our website out-of-date, thus, we disclaim any and all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken by the reader based on his or her interaction with the content of this website.
OUR ADVICE TO YOU:
It’s often the case that the outcome of an accident or injury claim can hinge on the smallest of details. While it may seem appealing to try to handle a case on your own, it’s rare that acting independently of a lawyer will yield the best results for the plaintiff. Therefore, whilst we encourage you to read the useful articles at our website, we strongly recommend that you seek sound legal advice before attempting to deal with any type of accident or injury claim on your own.