How Long Does a Workers' Compensation Claim Take?
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, you are likely already feeling the pressure of everyday expenses and dreading the thought of missing paychecks. Add to that the fear that you may be suffering from a permanent disability that leaves you unable to work again. Don’t let this situation overwhelm you. Get help filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits now.
Our experienced Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers can help you get your claim together and answer any questions you may have about the process. We also have a successful track record of securing full and fair workers’ compensation settlements when our injured clients are unable to return to the work they did before. And we handle appeals if your claim was denied or if your benefits are lower than what they should be.
Schedule a free consultation with our legal team today to discuss your claim, and learn how we can help you and your family during this stressful time.
NC Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations Timeline
Although every case we handle is different, our attorneys work to get your workers’ compensation payments started as soon as possible. In cases involving an injury or illness that will likely end up being a permanent disability, how long it takes to reach a workers’ compensation settlement in large part depends on how long it takes you to reach maximum medical improvement, or be as well as you are going to be. In short, we need to know how your disability is ultimately going to affect your future employability and what future medical bills are likely to be in order to negotiate for a full and fair settlement.
In general, here is how a NC workers’ compensation claim will go:
Immediately Following a Work Injury
- You should report your injury to your employer. You need to quickly tell your boss or have a fellow employee tell them. Even if your injury does not seem serious, you should still report it immediately rather than waiting to see if it gets better.
- You should seek medical treatment. In most cases in North Carolina your employer has the legal right to direct you to a health care provider to seek treatment for your injuries. If your employer cannot identify a health care provider for you, seek appropriate care as soon as possible, either through your regular doctor, an urgent care clinic, or at a hospital. Be sure to tell the doctor you were hurt at work.
Within 5 Days
- Your employer or their insurance company must file a form with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This is called Form 19, and your employer should provide you a copy of the form along with a form for you to fill out.
- You should also receive a form to fill out from your employer. This is called Form 18, and it must be filled out and sent to the North Carolina Industrial Commission in order to file for workers’ compensation benefits. An attorney can help you fill out the form to ensure it is done properly. Please note: Even if your employer files a Form 19, you must still file a Form 18.
After 7 Days
- After seven days of being unable to work because of your injury, you become eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages. These benefits will cover two-thirds of your gross lost wages. You are not immediately paid for the first 7 days of work missed.
After 21 Days
- You can receive payment for the first 7 days of work you missed once you have been out of work for 21 days.
Throughout the NC Workers’ Compensation Process
- You need to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions for treating your injury. Be sure to attend all follow-up appointments, take medication as prescribed, and avoid restricted activities.
Within Two Years
- This is the absolute time limit, or statute of limitations, for filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You cannot wait longer than 2 years or you lose your right to benefits.
Once You Have Reached Maximum Medical Improvement
- Your doctor will determine when you have reached MMI, indicating that you have done everything you can to recover as much as possible.
- Our attorneys will be able to determine what a full and fair workers’ compensation settlement should be in your case, or whether your case should be settled at all. Every case we handle is different, and the amount of time it takes to resolve your case depends on many factors, the most important of which is whether you can work.
There is no time limit within which a claim must be settled
While the statutes put a 500 week limit on an injured worker receiving compensation, if we can prove that you have lost all wage earning capacity, you can potentially receive workers’ compensation benefits for the rest of your life.
Don’t Waste Time After a Work Injury
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured on the job, you need to speak with our knowledgeable N.C. workers’ compensation attorneys today. We do not charge anything to review your case, and you are under no obligation to hire us after an initial consultation. You also do not have to pay us anything to get started working on your claim. Instead, we only collect payment if and when we recover compensation for you.
Get started on your workers’ compensation claim today by calling or filling out our online form.
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