601 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203       1.800.WORKERS        Se Habla Español

Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim? - Workers' Compensation Attorney

One of the biggest concerns that people have when they are hurt at work is about the future of their job. The news and the internet are filled with horror stories about employers who turn a blind eye to their worker's safety, and then fire them once someone gets hurt. This leaves the employee out in the proverbial cold with mounting medical bills and no visible way out. We often field calls from people who are worried to the point of tears about their family and how they will continue to care for them without their jobs if they file a claim. We know it’s hard, but if this sounds like you, it's important to breathe and remember one main thing: It is not legal for an employer to fire you simply because you file a workers compensation claim. This is often difficult to remember at the time of the injury, but it is something that you should know. Keep repeating this fact to yourself. You cannot legally be fired for your work injury. If you believe that your employer is preparing to fire you, let your attorney know. Keep a detailed journal that explains why you think this may be happening and anything else odd that happens to you at work. See if you can get a coworker to back up your claims if possible. If there is nothing else that would normally result in your being fired, then you should definitely bring it to your attorney's attention. Remember, we are here to help you get what you deserve. If your employer has told you not to file a workers compensation claim despite the fact that you were hurt on the job, you should immediately contact an attorney. This is especially true if an employer threatened you in order to try and keep you from filing. It is unlawful for your boss to do that, and if it has happened to you it most likely has already happened to someone else or will the next time someone gets hurt. Letting someone know that this happened can help prevent someone else from going through the same struggle that you are. If something like this happens to you, you should call Collier Law Firm for a free consultation. We will do everything we can to get you the help and compensation that you deserve. Let us help you today!

My Employer Says We Don’t Have Workers Comp Insurance, What Do I Do? - Workers' Compensation Attorney

A common tactic that we have noticed when employers don’t want their workers to file for workers compensation is for them to tell the injured person that they don’t have, or need to provide, workers compensation insurance. This would mean that the worker is not covered and shouldn’t file a claim either way, as it wouldn’t do anything. Unfortunately, this does often work because people aren’t aware of the workers compensation laws in North Carolina. Our advice is always to file a claim anyway, regardless of what the employer says just in case they are trying to keep you quiet. The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires that all businesses that employ three or more employees have workers compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured employers. The exceptions include some agricultural workers, workers of some railways, federal government employees, and domestic workers employed directly to a household. You may also not be covered if you are considered an independent contractor, however you also might be incorrectly labeled as one and the North Carolina Industrial Commission might rule in your favor despite your official title from your employer. If your employer says that they do not have workers compensation but do not fall under one of those exemptions, they may very well be operating illegally. If this is the case, they need to be reported to the North Carolina Industrial Commission and dealt with through the courts. An employer being found to have no workers compensation insurance when they are legally required to can result in everything from fines to prison time. It is dangerous for employers to not have workers compensation insurance for their workers and this kind of fraud is something that is actively being cracked down on. By reporting this type of activity, you are not only helping the state, but also protecting someone else from being in the same position that you are now. If your employer tells you that they don’t have or need workers compensation insurance, give us a call at Collier Law Firm. You will receive a free consultation and we can help you figure out whether or not this is true and legal. You deserve to have someone in your corner and we would love for it to be us. Give us a call today and see what we can do to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Do I Need an Attorney? - Workers' Compensation Attorney

With workers compensation, we often hear people ask if they really need a lawyer. After all, you just need to go into the courtroom, explain what happened, and get compensated for it, right? Well, nothing is ever quite that simple, and filing a workers compensation claim takes a bit more work than you may expect. You need to remember that workers compensation is a type of insurance and just like any other form of insurance, the insurance company doesn’t want to pay you money if they don’t have to. This is why you need an accomplished attorney on your side. While some workers compensation cases are open and shut, most have a lot of factors that mean that things can go in a different direction than you think. After all, you may think that if you were up on a ladder moving boxes and fell at work, you deserve workers compensation. However, there are questions that will be asked such as “Were you following proper safety procedures while on the ladder?” or “Had someone told you not to use the ladder until you could have assistance?”. You never know exactly what a company will argue, so it is always safer to have someone on your side than to go in alone and become overwhelmed with all the questions. It is also important to hire an attorney so that you know you aren’t being swindled. Workers compensation law is very detailed, so you may be led to believe one thing, and even shown “proof” to back it up, while in reality what you were shown means something entirely different. It is always possible that your employer or their workers compensation insurance company is trying to make sure that you don’t get as much money as you deserve through your claim. These are the things we are here for, to prevent them from happening to you. If you have been hurt on the job and believe you have a workers compensation case, call Collier today for your free consultation. We will fight in your corner until you get what you deserve after your injury and won’t let anyone bully you into something less. Remember that we don’t get paid until you do, so you won’t be saddled with excessive fees on top of medical expenses if you don’t win your case. Call us today and let us guide you through the workers compensation process!

Coming and Going - Workers' Compensation Attorney

One of the most confusing laws when it comes to workers’ compensation is the coming and going rule. The coming and going rule is an umbrella term for when you are traveling to and from your place of employment and any injuries that may occur along the way. Every situation is different regarding whether or not you are allowed to file a workers’ compensation claim. The decision is fully dependent on the circumstance of your travel and whether or not it is defined as within the scope of your employment. Let’s look at a few examples. If you drive yourself to and from work and you are injured in a car accident, then you generally are not covered under workers’ compensation. Although you obviously need to get to work, the argument that is often made is that you could have left at a different time or taken a different road and therefore avoided the accident. Driving from your home is not considered to be within the scope of your employment and so most travel is not eligible for compensation. However, there are always some exceptions. If you are asked to drop something for your company off at the post office at the end of the day, that’s normally a good thing. You will probably get out a little early so that you can make it to the post office before closing, which is always a plus. However, if you are in an accident on the way to the bank you may find yourself wondering what your best path forward will be. According to the coming and going rule, you may be covered by workers’ compensation. This is because you were completing a task for your job that your boss asked of you. Even if you planned on mailing some things for yourself while there, you are still covered. However, if you asked to leave early so you could go to the post office for yourself, you would not be eligible to file a claim in North Carolina. With the laws surrounding the coming and going rule being as specific as they are, you will want to contact an attorney as soon possible after you are hurt. Give Collier Law Firm a call today and get a free consultation to see if you are eligible for workers’ compensation even if you were traveling for work. You never know until you call, so let us help you out today!

How to File a Claim - Workers' Compensation Attorney

When you get hurt on the job, there are going to be a lot of questions. These questions will likely come at you from all angles, including from yourself. Your employer will want to know what happened, your doctor will want to know what hurts the most, your coworkers will want to know if you're okay, and you will probably start asking yourself if there was anything you could have done to prevent the injury. These questions can really get to you if you aren't expecting the intensity, but they do all need to be answered, likely multiple times. One of the first questions you should ask, however, is how to file an injury claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) was created in 1929 to administer the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act. Since then, it has branched out into other things as well, but the main goal for the agency remains that it was specifically designed to help streamline the process of workers compensation within the state. This makes the NCIC one stop shopping if you have been hurt while on the job. If you are trying to file a claim, you can easily do so by visiting ic.nc.gov. This page will not only answer the majority of your questions, but will also give you access to the forms you need to complete. The most common form that you will need to complete is Form 18, however if you are filing due to lung disease you will need Form 18B instead. This must be done within two years from the date of the accident, but you should always report the injury to the employer immediately. The NCIC will send you a letter acknowledging your form has been processed, so always be sure to follow up if you haven't received this correspondence. If you are unsure how to file a claim, or would simply like help doing so, give us a call. Here at Collier, we know how stressful and intimidating a situation like this can be. We will do everything within our power to make sure that you are given the right tools to get back on your feet and working again in no time. You deserve to get the compensation that you are entitled to, so give us a call and let us know what part of the process you need help with today!