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Do You Have A Case?: Workers’ Compensation

May 26, 2017

Workers’ compensation cases can be different from personal injury claims in a number of ways, one of most significant of which is there is no issue of “contributory negligence” in workers’ compensation claims. In personal injury cases, contributory negligence will often apply and can act as a complete bar to recovery. Not so in workers’ compensation.

A workers’ compensation claim will be compensable as long as certain criteria are met, including: the injury must have been in the course and scope of the employment, the employer is timely placed on notice of the claim, and there is no issue regarding impairment on the part of the injured employee. Fault on the part of the injured employee is not a consideration in most workers’ compensation claim.

Injured employees are entitled to receive compensation in the following categories:

  • Medical Treatment. All reasonable and necessary medical treatment both past, present, and future for the related injury must be paid by the employer/insurance carrier.
  • Lost Wages. This is also also known as indemnity, which in most cases is calculated by averaging weekly wages for the 52 week period prior to the date of injury. There are other methods of calculating lost wages, but this is the most common. In North Carolina, payment of lost wages by and employer/insurance carrier is limited to a total of 500 weeks.
  • Disability Rating. This is a percentage rating to determine the amount of permanent loss of use to a particular body part. A lump sum payment for the determined rating can be calculated using a schedule contained in the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act..
  • Permanent and Total Disability. If the injury results in permanent and total disability, the amount of any compensation must be calculated utilizing a number of factors, some of which are complicated and require estimations on future medical care.
  • Scarring. Compensation for scars to a person’s body and face are set by statute and the value of any scarring is determined by the Deputy Commissioners and Commissioners with the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

The above-listed items are not an exclusive list of categories of compensation in a workers’ compensation claim as there are other smaller benefits, such as travel reimbursement, etc. that are not discussed; however pain and suffering and emotional distress are not damages that are covered by the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.

If you think you may need legal help for a workers’ compensation case, call Slaughter Law at 910-763-1109 for a free consultation.