Health care is an important industry that protects the well being of all North Carolina residents. Unfortunately, some of our health care workers, including nurses, doctors and staff, suffer injuries while they are helping others.
If you are injured while working at the hospital, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can help you pay for medical bills and cover lost wages as you recover. However, filing a claim does not guarantee recovery. Do you know what steps to take to increase your claim's chances of success?
Key steps to increase your claim's chances of success
Once you experience an accident, or notice a repetitive strain from your occupational tasks, you should take certain steps to protect your right to workers' compensation benefits. Filing for workers' compensation is not the same as suing your employer. It is more similar to filing an insurance claim. If you are injured:
- Notify your employer immediately.You must inform your employer to initiate the claim process. You should notify them as soon as possible in order to start collecting benefits.
- Seek medical attention. Undergo necessary medical treatment and ensure that your medical provider thoroughly records all injuries. They should be notified that you will be filing for workers' compensation benefits.
- Record information about your injury. Keep a detailed journal about the nature of your injury, the name and contact information of any accident witnesses and photos of visible injuries. This information can be used to prove the extent of your injury.
- Complete a claim form. Injured North Carolina workers must complete a Form 18 workers' compensation claim form. It should be completed within 30 days of your accident, and will not be accepted if it is filed after two years of the injury date.
- Follow up with your employer. Ask them about the status of your claim and make sure that everything is correctly submitted. You should soon hear whether your claim was accepted or denied.
What can you do if your claim is dismissed?
If your workers' compensation claim is wrongly dismissed, you can still take action to secure benefits. You have a right to request a hearing with North Carolina's Industrial Commission. The commission will then evaluate whether you can collect benefits from your employer.
An experienced attorney can carefully evaluate the nature of your injury and advocate on your behalf. They understand the intricacies of the workers' compensation process and how to provide your case with the best chances of success.