Navigating the world of workers’ compensation can be overwhelming, especially when there are misconceptions and myths about how the process is supposed to work. Workers’ comp laws vary in each state, which means it’s important for both employees and employers to understand their roles, responsibilities and rights. At Prior, Criner & Edwards Attorneys, we’ve heard plenty of myths throughout the years; here are a few common examples you should stop believing right now:
1. Workers’ Compensation is Only for Large Companies
In most states, including the Carolinas, employers must have a workers’ compensation policy in place if their business employs a certain amount of full-time and part-time employees. North Carolina requires three or more employees and South Carolina requires at least four. What happens when companies don’t follow this rule? They’re faced with hefty fines and penalties. Luckily, the Carolinas are cracking down on this noncompliance problem!
2. Independent Contractors Cannot Receive Workers’ Compensation
Employers often assume independent contractors cannot file a claim if they’re hurt on the job. The truth is that some states allow contractors to pursue workers’ compensation while others don’t. The best solution is to consult with a local workers’ compensation attorney or employer’s insurance provider for more information. Under workers’ compensation law in the Carolinas, employers are not off the hook of providing workers’ comp to contractors because their courts look into several factors that determine a worker’s title. If the court agrees that the worker is an actual employee, the employer is responsible for providing benefits according to the North or South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
3. You Can File a Workers’ Comp Claim Any Time After an Injury
Waiting too long to file a claim after an injury may result in no workers’ compensation benefits. In North and South Carolina, injured employees must file within two years of the date of their injury. Don’t wait until the medical bills start piling up – if you’re injured at work and need medical attention, file a workers’ comp claim immediately.
4. Workers’ Compensation Covers all Costs Related to an Injury
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation does not cover every financial burden an employee suffers after an accident on the job. For example, compensation is not provided for pain and suffering no matter how serious the injury. That type of damage is settled in negligence lawsuits. When workers’ comp claims are filed and handled correctly, workers will receive the right compensation for medical bills and associated costs. It’s only when an employer or the insurance company denies or has been negligent to the claim that employees can file a lawsuit to win the compensation they deserve.
5. Most Employees are Faking Their Injuries to get Workers’ Compensation
We cannot deny there are a small handful people who outright lie about an injury to collect compensation, but the fact is that the frauds are outnumbered by honest employees that make legitimate claims. People get hurt on the job – we see it all the time. And those injuries usually require medical treatment and sometimes ongoing physical therapy sessions in order to make a full recovery. When it comes down to it, injured workers simply want to get the medical care they’re entitled in order to get back on track with normal life.
We hope this clears up some of the many myths out there about workers’ compensation. Remember, if you’re injured on the job, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation. If you’re feeling unsure about anything, whether you’re filing a claim or having trouble with an employer, contact our attorneys. We’re here to provide counsel on your case and put your mind at ease as you work through the process!
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 Lee Criner
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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