Health Care

Benefits from Your Worker’s Compensation Case

megan October 11, 2021

What Benefits Can I Receive for my Worker’s Compensation Case?

 

The benefits you may be entitled to receive as the result of your North Carolina Workers’ Compensation claim fall into two categories: Medical Compensation and Disability Compensation.  Unfortunately, there are no benefits you may receive for pain and suffering, based on how the injury impacts you outside of work or for the loss of raises, loss of 401K contributions or loss of health insurance due to your injury at work.  This means that assuring you receive all the Medical Compensation and Disability Compensation you are entitled to receive as result of your injury at work is critical for any workers’ compensation case.

Medical Compensation

Medical Compensation involves the employer/workers’ compensation insurance company’s payment to the treating physician for all the medical treatment, including doctor appointments, treatments provided, prescriptions and travel to/from the any medical appointments, necessary as the result of the injury at work.

For workers’ compensation cases where the employer/workers’ compensation insurance company has accepted liability for the injury at work, the employer/workers’ compensation insurance company will designate an authorized treating physician and to the extent this physician is recommending medical treatment, you want to receive the recommended medical treatment and the physician is relating the recommended medical treatment to the injury at work, the employer/workers’ compensation insurance company will pay the physician as the medical treatment is provided.

For workers’ compensation cases where the employer/workers’ compensation insurance company has denied liability for the injury at work, a trial may be requested before a Deputy Commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission.  As part of the trial, you may offer evidence from any physician you have chosen to treat with on your own in order to be able to argue for and potentially have the North Carolina Industrial Commission enter an Order for the employer/workers’ compensation insurance company’s payment for all past and ongoing medical treatment which may be necessary as the result of your injury at work.

For any travel to and from doctors’ appointments, which require more than 20 miles round trip, you may be able to receive reimbursement for such travel.

Disability Compensation

Disability Compensation in a workers’ compensation case can involve the payment of temporary total disability compensation, temporary partial disability compensation and/or compensation based on the assigned of a permanent partial impairment rating to the injured body part.

If the injury at work results in the physician issuing a work note removing you from all work, so long as the out of work time period is in excess of 7 days, you may be entitled to receive temporary total disability compensation for the lost time from work.

If the injury at work results in the physician issuing a work note indicating you can only return to work under certain work restriction and your employer is not willing/able to offer work within the assigned work restrictions, so long as the resulting time out of work is in excess of 7 days, you may be entitled to receive temporary total disability compensation for the lost time from work.

If the injury at work results in the physician issuing a work note indicating you can only return to work under certain work restriction and your employer is able to offer work within the assigned work restriction, but the position being offered results in a reduction to your pre-injury wages, you may be entitled to receive temporary partial disability compensation based on your reduction in wages.

If at the conclusion of your medical treatment the physician determines that there is some permanent injury to the injured body part and the physician reflects this via a percentage of disability assigned to the injured body part, you may be entitled to receive compensation based on the permanent partial impairment rating to the injured body part.

Whether or not your employer/workers’ compensation insurance company pays these benefits throughout your workers’ compensation claim as these benefits become due or if you may be required to argue for these benefits via a trial before a Deputy Commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission will oftentimes depend on if the employer/workers’ compensation insurance company has accepted or denied lability for your workers’ compensation case.

These legal issues in workers’ compensation cases can oftentimes be complicated and confusing.  For this reason, I always recommend an injured worker speak with a N.C. Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist in order to understand their legal rights and what actions may or need to be taken in order to address any issues to assure the injured worker receives all the benefits she or he is entitled to as a result of the work injury.

Should you have any questions about these issues or any other issues involving your workers’ compensation case, please feel free to contact us at Cardinal Law Partners and speak with one of the four N.C. Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialists.