How to file a workers’ compensation claim correctly is a common question many ask when they speak to our lawyers. It’s true that making a mistake when filing a claim can result in delayed or denied benefits, but don’t panic over this crucial step in the workers’ comp claim process. At Prior, Criner & Edwards Attorneys, one of our main duties is to ensure you file correctly and avoid any oversights. Here are five common mistakes to avoid when filing a claim.
1. Failing to Report an Injury/Claim
Employees cannot begin to collect workers’ compensation benefits until they’ve reported their accident to their employer. Workers have 30 days after the accident occurs to do this, and while this might seem like a sufficient timeframe, it’s better to do it immediately to avoid any issues. If a severe injury has occurred and an employee is prevented from reporting the accident, a co-worker or family member may report it on his or her behalf.
2. Not Seeking Medical Treatment
Receiving immediate medical attention is important for an injured worker’s health and recovery. Not seeking treatment right away can prevent an employee from obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. Even if an injury isn’t physically obvious or very serious, you could be eligible for benefits. Find out if your employer has an on-site healthcare provider or if you should be directed to a designated office. If neither of those options exist, seek medical treatment from your family doctor or the closest emergency room.
3. Failing to Provide Complete and Accurate Information
When filing an injury claim, it’s important to be thorough about the location, date and time of an accident, and to provide a detailed description of the injury. This is also true when you’re speaking to a healthcare provider. Insurance companies carefully investigate every detail of a claim and medical records to ensure the right actions were taken.
4. Not Filing a Form 18
Form 18 is an official notification to an employer that an employee was injured during an accident at work. It provides personal information about an individual, including details about the injury. The form is then sent to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which oversees workers’ compensation in the state. Form 18 must be submitted within two years of the date of the injury, or injured workers are at risk for not recovering benefits.
5. Believing a Pre-Existing Condition Makes You Ineligible
In most cases, workers’ compensation benefits are only for injuries related to activities conducted on the job. But when an employee is already suffering from a pre-existing condition that has worsened while on the job, workers’ comp benefits may still be owed. When hired, employers must accept their employees as they are and make no distinction between workers who are physically capable versus those with some weaknesses that might make them more susceptible to long-term injuries from normal duties or a workplace accident.
If you’ve been injured at work, we highly recommend consulting with one of our workers’ compensation lawyers first before settling a claim to ensure you’re getting what you deserve. By working through the claim process together, we can help you avoid any mistakes and achieve satisfactory results.
Our attorneys specialize in workman's comp, personal injury, and dispute resolution services.
We have have a long history of building long-term client relationships founded on trust and mutual respect.
With over 25 years of experience in civil litigation and thousands of cases mediated, Frank specializes in the fields of workers compensation and personal injury law.
Sherman is Licensed to Practice Law in North and South Carolina. He has extensive education in law and the mediation practice, professional experience and impressive memberships in many noteworthy political, civic and business organizations.
Ashley M. Edwards
Ashley is a NC attorney and certified mediator in North and South Carolina, Ashley has represented hundreds of clients and mediated thousands of cases for attorneys, insurance carriers and private companies.
“These guys are awesome and care about their clients very much. I would suggest anyone hurt on the job to contact them. Cannot express my appreciation enough to them!"
“Ashley Edwards genuinely cares about his clients and holds himself to the highest standards in all of his professional interactions. I am happy to recommend him to anyone who needs help navigating the workers compensation process."
“Ashley has been practicing compensation law in the greater Wilmington area for 15+ years. I have often turned to him for advice and counsel. He knows the law, is trustworthy, listens to his clients, and fights to do the right thing for them. He is my first call!"
“Mr Edwards made my case feel like it was his most important case. He is so caring and attentive."
“This was the first and only law firm I contacted after being injured. Everyone there has been on point concerning my case and extremely professional. I highly recommend contacting workers comp first if injured. It will be as if it's the most important case they have and they will not disappoint. Thank you to the entire team."
“Wonderful Experience under difficult circumstances. They helped me understand my rights and options under the law. Mr. Edwards took the time to help and meet with me whenever I had questions. He is highly recommended for his expert advice and service. "
“This is the place to go if you get hurt on the job Ashley and his paralegal Janet are really nice and super easy to talk to and they take the time to really listen to your problems and get you the help you need and deserve."
“They came out took out time to listen very smart he knows what he's talking about he heard me out and took my case under difficult sircumstances and i highly advise this is the law firm to consider."
“Sherman is one of the best mediators that I know---he is extremely proficient in Workers' Compensation Law and he is an outstanding communicator. I give Sherman my highest rating!"
“Great Experience with a caring lawyer who took the time to actually meet with me. He handled my case to the end and explained everything. Highly recommended."
“Ashley is very knowledgeable and relatable to his clients, to opposing counsel, and to all parties when acting as mediator. "
“Ashley didn't always tell me what I wanted to hear but he always told me the truth. He is very knowledgeable and professional... I would highly recommend Ashley if you feel the need to hire an attorney. "
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