Unfortunately, workers in North Carolina and across the United States are injured in workplace accidents on a daily basis. If you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm, including lost wages. At Maurer Law, our Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys understand how to protect the rights of workers and can put our knowledge to use in your case. You can rest assured that we can gather evidence on your behalf and build a persuasive claim for the compensation that you need to deal with your injury.Benefits for Lost Wages Following a Workplace Accident
When a worker is injured or develops a disease due to an on-the-job accident or event, such as a construction accident, they can typically recover certain benefits through workers’ compensation. If your employer employs three or more individuals, North Carolina state law requires your employer to provide workers’ compensation coverage to all of its employees. This is true regardless of whether the employees are full-time or part-time. In order for a work injury to be covered by workers’ compensation, the injury must have occurred in the course of employment. In other words, you will likely be covered by workers’ compensation if your work caused or contributed to your injury or illness.
Injured North Carolina workers who suffer wage loss due to a workplace injury may be entitled to disability payments, depending on the specific circumstances of their case. The Workers’ Compensation Act provides that, among other benefits, injured workers are entitled to receive a portion of their average weekly wage, which is usually based on the worker’s earnings during the 52 weeks prior to their injury. Specifically, the insurer pays the employee a weekly wage equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage while out of work on doctor’s orders, which currently is not to exceed more than $978. It is important to note that the maximum weekly benefit is adjusted annually.
The first seven days that the worker misses work are considered a “waiting period,” during which no compensation is due. Once the employee misses 21 days of work, the insurer pays the “waiting period” check. If a worker can return to part-time work while healing, they can receive a partial workers’ compensation check and a part-time paycheck. The employee is eligible to receive weekly benefits, in addition to coverage for medical expenses, until the employee is able to return to work.
Disability payments can be temporary or permanent, and they can be partial or total. The types of disability benefits that are important to know are:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits, which are for workers who have been out of work for more than seven days. These are calculated based on two-thirds of the injured worker’s average weekly wage before the accident.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits, which may be appropriate when the injured employee is able to return to do some work after the injury but has a reduced ability to earn wages compared to before the injury. In these cases, the employee is entitled to two-thirds of the difference in wages for up to 500 weeks.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits, which may be appropriate when an employee is unable to earn the same wages in their job as they were earning at the time of the injury, due to their total or partial loss of use of a body part. The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) determines whether a worker is eligible for PPD, based on an impairment rating as well as other factors.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits, which may be appropriate in cases in which an injured worker meets strict North Carolina criteria for disability payments for life.
Dealing with a workplace injury or illness is stressful enough without needing to worry about the workers’ compensation claims process. If you have been injured in a car accident, a construction accident, or another incident on the job, you should consult a skilled Raleigh attorney who can assess the merits of your case. At Maurer Law, we are committed to getting our clients the compensation to which they are legally entitled for their harm. We also represent injured workers in Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, and Fayetteville. To speak to one of our attorneys about your case, call us at 919-229-8359 or contact us online.