Raleigh Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Sam Scudder on Workers’ Compensation Reform in NC

Published at Campbell Law School

Best Lawyers

Samuel A. Scudder has been listed in Best Lawyers for 2009/2010 in the workers’ compensation specialty

Super Laywers

 

Getting injured at work can mean facing months—even years—of physical pain, personal anxiety, and financial distress. Your injury may result in immense costs ranging from high medical bills to expensive lifestyle alterations. Often, such costs are accompanied by a loss of income as you are forced to take time off work to recover. When you need money the most, you are simply unable to go back to work.

At Scudder Seguin, PLLC, our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers understand that employees injured on the job deserve benefits and support from their employer. The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act specifies that most businesses and companies are obligated to provide compensation in the event of a workplace injury. This compensation can cover medical bills and provide money for lost wages and other expenses.

Unfortunately, employers have been known to deny workers’ compensation claims unfairly. Other claims have been delayed or severely reduced. If you were injured at work or became ill due to your work environment, you can greatly benefit from the knowledge and services of a skilled Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyer. A legal professional can help you make sure you get the compensation you deserve in a timely manner.

Our Practice Areas

Every workplace injury is unique, and every workers’ compensation claim will be, too. The legal team at Scudder Seguin, PLLC benefits from the hard-earned knowledge of two Board Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation Law. We are able to handle the nuances of the most complex workplace injury cases. Many of our clients require legal help with issues involving:

  • Workers’ Compensation: If you have been injured or gotten sick due to your job, you may be legally entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and lost work wages.
  • Permanent Disability: If your injury requires a lengthy recovery or has resulted in a permanent disability, our lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you need to secure financial stability for yourself and your family.
  • Temporary Disability: Our workers’ compensation lawyers can help you with your initial compensation applications, appeal rejections or reduction, and even go to court to fight for the benefits you deserve.
  • Workplace Injuries: More than one party may be responsible for covering the costs of your workplace injury. Speak with a lawyer to see whether you deserve compensation from a group other than your employer.

Handling a workplace injury can be stressful, and the process of filing for compensation can be complicated. Claims are often denied because of seemingly arbitrary deadlines and minor mistakes during the filing process. Whatever your legal needs, our workers’ compensation lawyers can help you if you have been injured on the job.

North Carolina Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries are alarmingly widespread. Every year, tens of thousands of people are injured in North Carolina alone. Accidents can happen even in the safest conditions, but it’s important to remember that serious injuries occur most often when an employer does not follow the proper safety regulations. Though most injuries occur in industries such as manufacturing, construction, and transportation, anyone can be hurt at work. Whatever your job, if you are eligible for workers’ compensation, you deserve those benefits.

According to the North Carolina Department of Labor, in 2016:

  • There were 48 workplace fatalities
  • 33% of 2016 workplace fatalities occurred in the construction industry
  • 25% of 2016 workplace fatalities occurred in the manufacturing industry

The Bureau of Labor Statistics elaborates on this grim image, informing us that over 74,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses affected North Carolina workers in 2015. That’s almost three injuries per 100 workers. These alarmingly high numbers reinforce the fact that employers have a responsibility to protect their workers. Unfortunately, sometimes companies allow their workplace to become dangerous. The North Carolina Department of Labor reports a total of 4,730 health and safety violations in 2016. That’s more violations per inspection than the federal average but less than the average for other state programs.

Workers’ Compensation Laws

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act has bound businesses to look after employees injured on the job since 1929. Currently, this law requires most employers that have more than three workers to possess workers’ compensation insurance. They are compelled to cover the medical costs of any injury sustained at work or any job-related illness.

Additionally, employers are obligated to provide financial compensation to replace the injured worker’s lost wages. Compensation payments should typically be made weekly and can start after the first seven days of lost time. If the recovery period extends past 21 days, the injured worker should be paid for those first seven days. The law specifies that an injured worker can receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage, but this average does have a maximum. The weekly average maximum is adjusted annually. As of 2017, the maximum amount that an injured worker can receive per week is $978.

Even though workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for most businesses, some employers might attempt to shirk their legal responsibilities. If you want to make sure you receive the benefits you are entitled to, you should acquire the counsel and services of a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer.

Workers’ Compensation Frequently Asked Questions

Injured workers often find themselves bogged down by uncertainty. We have compiled a short list of some of the most common questions our clients ask us. If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable legal professional about a question you do not see below, feel free to call us anytime at (919) 851-3311. We can help you with any specific concerns or issues you have about your unique circumstance.

Why should I choose Scudder Seguin, PLLC?

Our firm boasts not just one, but two Board Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation Law. Unlike many other legal practices that claim general knowledge of workers’ compensation, we actually have official credentials that prove our deep understanding of this field. Our specialists have helped a large number of people in the Raleigh area secure their workers’ compensation benefits. We understand that our clients are already experiencing anxiety and frustration the minute they pick up the phone to call our office. We aim to alleviate those worries by prioritizing clear, open communication, compassion, and swiftness. Our goal is to get your compensation to you as quickly and with little fuss as possible.

Why do I need a lawyer if I’ve been injured at work?

Even though North Carolina law requires most employers to provide workers’ compensation, businesses have been known to deny, delay, or severely reduce legitimate claims. Companies sometimes think that they can save money by exploiting workers who either do not know their rights or are too preoccupied with handling their injury to fight back. Some workers are also concerned that the company might retaliate and avoid seeking compensation because they don’t want to lose their job. Even though it’s illegal for businesses to punish you for filing for workers’ compensation, some employers still try to threaten or bully their workers into avoiding help.

An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. The compensation process can be complex and lengthy, and a lawyer can make sure you do not accidentally miss deadlines or file incorrectly. A lawyer will also be able to tell whether you are getting the monetary amounts you are legally due, including missed work wages and medical expenses.

Can I receive wages while I am recovering from my injury?

Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, you can indeed receive financial compensation meant to take to place of your work wages if you were injured on the job. It is important to remember, however, that you won’t necessarily receive wages for the first seven days that you have to take off work because of your injury. If you are forced to miss work for over 21 days, you can ultimately get compensated for that first week. You can still use sick days or vacation days to cover your initial missed work days if you are out for less than 21 days.

Contact a Raleigh Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have been hurt in a workplace accident or have become ill due to unsafe workplace conditions, you should seek legal counsel immediately. Many injuries require expensive hospital visits and treatment that you might not be able to afford easily. You might face costly long-term treatments including medication, surgeries, physical therapy, and counseling. Additionally, a severe injury will probably keep you from working, and that means losing out on work wages. That can be disastrous if you’re trying to afford medical treatment.

At Scudder Seguin, PLLC, our dedicated workers’ compensation lawyers have the knowledge and the skills necessary to get you the benefits you legally deserve. Call us today at (919) 851-3311 to speak with an experienced legal professional about how we can help you financially cope with a workplace injury.