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Filing for workers comp: do you need Wilmington attorneys?
January 10, 2022 at 5:00 AM
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When you’re injured at work, you deserve compensation. To get it, though, you need to know the steps involved with both filing a claim and appealing a denied claim.

Workers compensation laws are different for every state. Knowing the relevant laws in North Carolina is crucial for getting what you need to cover the costs of your injuries and any time away from work.

In this blog post, we’ll take a deeper dive into everything you need know to successfully file or appeal a workers comp claim and how the right Wilmington attorneys can help make the process easier for you.

How to file a workers compensation claim

If you sustain an injury while working, you need to file a workers comp claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission as soon as possible. The deadline is within 2 years of the injury or of the last payment for medical treatment provided by your employer.

The timeline is similar for an occupational disease. This kind of workers comp claim also needs to be filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission no less than 2 years after receiving a diagnosis from a doctor or becoming disabled by your condition.

You also need to provide written notice of the incident, whether it’s an injury, disease, or even death claim, to your employer within 30 days of its occurrence. You can notify both the NC Industrial Commission and your employer by sending a copy of a Form 18 Notice of Accident to both of them.

Fighting a denied claim

Even if you meet the deadline requirements and notify the appropriate parties in the correct manner, there’s still a possibility that your claim can be denied. This can happen for a few reasons.

One simple mistake many people filing a workers comp claim may make is to incorrectly describe the incident they’re filing a claim for. It’s important to focus on describing how you were injured, not what you were doing at the time of the injury, when you file.

Your claim can also be denied if your claim form was incomplete at the time of filing, if you failed to follow the guidance of your doctor, if your employer or their insurer didn’t follow the filing process correctly, or if there are disputes over the nature of the incident itself which leave the liability of the workplace in question.

Once you’ve received your denial, you’ll have 14 days to notify the NC Industrial Commission of your intent to appeal the decision. You’ll be scheduled for a mediation conference where the mediator will meet with you and a representative of your employer’s insurer to make a recommendation based on the information available, but if this doesn’t work, you may receive a hearing before a judge to argue your case.

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Do you need a lawyer?

Regardless of whether your workers comp claim is denied, having legal representation is valuable for getting the results you want. We’ve written a previous blog post outlining the specific ways in which an attorney can help you.

Meeting with an attorney before filing can give you a better idea of how likely your claim is to be denied based on the available evidence, but having one on your side when your claim is denied is critical. You’ll be dealing with insurance company representatives, mediators, and potentially judges with a strong knowledge of state workers comp laws and extensive experience finding reasons for claims like yours to be denied.

That’s why it’s worth your time to retain the services of the experienced Wilmington attorneys at Rodzik Law Group. We’ve represented clients in workers comp and other personal injury cases since 1999, and we’re ready to get you the compensation you deserve. Schedule a consultation now to learn more.