Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, most Charlotte-based businesses are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage in case an employee becomes disabled in a job-related accident. When a worker’s injury is serious enough to require surgery, the employee is likely to be out of work for a period of months or even years. Workers’ compensation can provide financial benefits during this period, including partial wage replacement plus coverage for reasonable medical care. Benefits may be available for up to 500 weeks, which is approximately 9.5 years, or in some cases even longer. If the injury results in the death of the victim, benefits may be available for his or her dependents.
If you or your spouse was seriously injured in a workplace accident, and your injury requires you to undergo surgery, discuss your options for getting compensated with the experienced Charlotte workplace injury lawyers of the Ramsay Law Firm. Our skilled and aggressive team of attorneys brings more than 20 years of combined experience to every claim we handle, whether we are helping a client file a claim, disputing the denial of a claim, or disputing an attempt to reduce, suspend, or terminate benefits. No matter what your occupation is, what type of injury you have sustained, or what stage of the North Carolina workers’ compensation process you have reached, our attorneys can provide compassionate, personalized legal guidance while protecting your rights and working to maximize the value of your claim.
Our work injury law firm serves accident victims throughout the Charlotte region. If you were hurt at work in the Charlotte area, we may be able to help. To arrange a free legal consultation, contact our law offices online, or call us right away at (704) 376-1616.
What Benefits Are Available After a Work Accident in NC?
Even a fairly routine surgical procedure, such as receiving stitches, is likely to generate medical bills for the patient. In cases where more specialized surgery is required, such as complex neurosurgery (brain surgery) or cardiovascular surgery (heart surgery), the costs can be astronomical. The already-heavy financial burden of surgery is worsened by the fact that the patient cannot work, leaving the patient unable to earn income at the very time when it is needed most.
Fortunately, it is not necessary for surgical patients to shoulder this financial burden on their own. If the injury occurred at work, or was related to the patient’s job – for example, an injury sustained while delivering food to a customer – financial compensation may be available in the form of workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation benefits are typically paid on a weekly basis following the approval of a claim. No benefits are paid for the first seven days following an injury, until the employee has been disabled for a period of 21 days (three weeks). The employer must be notified within 30 days of the accident.
Benefits serve two financial purposes:
- Partially replacing the worker’s pre-injury wages.
- Providing compensation for reasonable medical treatment, such as ambulance transportation, surgery, and medications or therapies that are part of the patient’s postoperative care and rehabilitation plan.
Medical costs may be completely covered by workers’ compensation, while disability benefits are capped at roughly 66.66% of the worker’s average weekly wage before the accident occurred. For instance, if the employee was earning $700 per week before the injury, he or she could receive up to approximately $466.62 per week in disability benefits, in addition to coverage for reasonable treatment costs. These benefits are nontaxable, keeping more in the employee’s pocket.
What Happens After I Receive Surgery for a Workplace Injury?
Even a relatively “minor” surgery can require days or weeks of recovery time, while a major surgery will generally require months of physical therapy and/or medication before the patient is completely rehabilitated. If any complications arise after the procedure is completed, such as the infection of the surgical site, recurrence of a tear during therapy, or a non-union of a bone, healing time can be significantly prolonged, and additional surgeries may be necessary.
The injury victim may be able to return to work after a period of weeks, months, or years, depending on the nature of the surgery, the development of complications, and other factors that impact healing time, such as preexisting conditions. In some cases, the worker will eventually be able to resume his or her prior job duties, while in other cases, the worker will need to take on lighter, modified duties.
Benefits are intended to counterbalance the reduction in the worker’s earnings. Therefore, if the employee returns to work, benefits will be decreased or even terminated, depending on how much the employee earns after rejoining the workforce. However, it is unlawful for an employer to reduce or cut off benefits at will. Instead, the employer must go through a legal process that involves filing a petition for court review. If your payments are suddenly lowered or terminated without warning, you should contact a Charlotte workers’ comp lawyer immediately for help.
Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Claim Lawyers Can Help
With more than two decades of experience serving disabled workers in North Carolina, the workplace injury surgery lawyers of the Ramsay Law Firm are committed to getting you the care you need and the benefits you deserve. Our skilled legal team works with a network of medical professionals to obtain evidence that makes your claim stronger, improving your odds of being awarded benefits. We handle a wide range of workers’ comp claims involving surgeries for workplace injuries, including:
- Amputation or removal of damaged tissue
- Arthroscopic surgery to repair meniscus tear injuries
- Back surgery and spinal surgery
- Bone fracture repair
- Cervical fusion or lumbar fusion
- Debridement and grafting for scald or burn injuries
- Discectomy to neck or back
- Head and neck surgery
- Hernia surgery
- Hip and knee replacements
- Implantation of medical devices, such as plates and screws
- ORIF (open reduction and internal fixation) of a fractured bone
- Reattachment of severed fingers or toes
- Reconstructive surgery
- Repair of torn rotator cuff in shoulder
If you or your spouse needs surgery due to a recent workplace accident in Charlotte, contact the Ramsay Law Firm online or by calling (704) 376-1616 for a free legal consultation about how we may be able to help your family with a workers’ compensation claim.