If you’ve suffered from an injury at work, you need to file a workers’ comp claim. Filing can seem daunting at first, but North Carolina law mandates that you are entitled to compensation if you’ve been hurt on the job - but only if you follow the necessary steps to file for a workers’ comp settlement.
That’s why it’s important to understand the workers’ compensation claims process from start to finish so you can file with confidence - and get the maximum settlement. Our workers’ compensation attorneys are here to detail how long a workers’ comp settlement takes and the complexities of the process.
The Timeline to File a Workers’ Comp Claim
How long a workers’ comp settlement takes depends on the case itself - and when the injured person decides to file. Each case is different. The time required for a workers’ comp settlement is also influenced by how long it takes you to medically improve.
The general timeline to file for a workers’ comp settlement is detailed below:
The First Day
When you are injured at work it is your responsibility to immediately report the injury to your employer. If you think the injury is small and doesn’t require reporting, think again. Big or small, any injury at work should be reported with urgency.
Your next step should be to seek medical assistance. It is your employer’s responsibility to direct you towards medical attention right away. If your employer does not direct you towards a proper health care worker, you can contact your own doctor or visit a hospital.
Within The First Five Days
Within the first five days, after you have reported your injury, your employer will file Form 19 with the workers’ compensation insurance provider.
The employer also gives the injured employee Form 18. This form is to be filled out and sent to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Without sending in this form, you cannot file for workers’ compensation. To ensure the form is properly completed, contact a workers’ compensation attorney.
Within The First Week
If you are unable to work seven days after a work-related injury and have filed for compensation, you become eligible to receive benefits. This includes balances on lost wages. At this point, it’s crucial that you seek counsel from a workers’ comp attorney so they can guide you through the next steps - and if necessary, can defend your workers’ comp case.
Within 21 Days
Once you have been out of work due to a work injury for 21 days, you may receive the payment in compensation for the first seven days you missed. If your employer denies your claim, the situation becomes more complicated. In this scenario, it’s best to seek help from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
Within 30 Days
While it is recommended to report a work injury to your employer as soon as possible, you have a time limit of 30 days to report an injury. Delaying it beyond 30 days may make it difficult to file a workers’ comp settlement and lead to unnecessary problems such as medical costs not being covered.
Within 2 Years
After reporting your work injury to your employer you should not waste time filing a workers’ comp settlement. The time limit to file a workers’ comp claim, however, is 2 years maximum. If you do not file a claim within 2 years you will be unable to receive any compensation or related benefits.
What Benefits Does a Workers’ Comp Settlement Include?
Once you’ve gone through the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, and it has been approved, you can expect to receive the following benefits:
- Cost of medical bills including ambulance rides and hospital charges
- Cost of any future treatment or physical therapy
- Past lost wages
- Expected lost wages in the future
- Attorney fees
How Long Do You Receive Workers’ Compensation?
If your workers’ compensation claim is accepted, you can accept to receive benefits weekly for as long as you are unable to work because of your injury.
Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you have been injured at work you shouldn’t have to suffer alone. Contact our workers’ compensation lawyers to receive the benefits you deserve. Call us at 910-295-2525 or fill out the form below to schedule an appointment.