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THE WORK COMP BLOG

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What benefits can I receive under WC?

The employer is normally responsible for any medical expense your doctor feels will make you better. This normally includes prescriptions, medical supplies, TENS units, crutches, braces, physical therapy and any other expenses you would not have incurred but for your injury. These expenses are payable by the employer until the case is settled. While you have a general right to choose your own doctor for treatment, the insurance company retains certain rights to pre-authorize medical treatment. You should never go to a doctor without obtaining insurance pre-authorization. You should also never let an insurance company force their doctors on you without your approval. A rehabilitation nurse assigned by the insurance company does NOT have the right to be in your exam room with the doctor.

Lost Wages

In N.C., the employer is responsible for paying you only 66 2/3% of your gross average wages, up to a maximum that changes each year. This “temporary total” payment (TTD) continues, for a maximum of 500 weeks, until: 1. Your doctor releases you and/or assigns you a permanent partial or permanent total disability rating, OR 2. You are able to return to work, OR 3. The IC approves a “cut-off” of benefits.

These payments do not start until you have missed at least one (1) continuous week of work. Once you have missed a full month, that first week is paid.

Permanent Partial Disability

When a doctor releases you from his/her care, a permanent disability rating will often be assigned to your injured body part. A rating means that you will never be 100% healthy in that body part. Whether you can return to work depends on the severity of your injury and how that injury affects your ability to handle the physical demands of your work. The IC uses your rating and the N.C. law to determine how much money you are entitled to receive for you injury. The law requires that the rating and TTD compensation amount be used to determine this benefit. If you are only partially disabled but your employer won’t take you back, you may have a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Call the EEOC at 1-800-872-3362 to report a claim.

Permanent Total Disability

If you will never return to any type of work because of your injury, the IC can award benefits up to 500 weeks. These benefits can include payment of 66 2/3% of lost wages (PTD) for 500 weeks plus future medical bills. You may want to consult a vocational rehabilitation expert on whether you have any other job options based on your physical/mental condition. You may also want to apply for Social Security Disability or other retirement benefits that may be available to you. Since some benefits are offset or deducted because you receive WC benefits, you should consult your lawyer to minimize these deductions.

If you are able to return to work making less wages than before your accident, the IC can award 66 2/3% difference between your pre and post gross accident wage up to 500 weeks.

Each WC case is different. Other benefits for unusual injuries, scarring, disfigurement may be available depending on the facts of your claim.

P: 828-252-2852

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FREQUENTLY ASKED WORKERS' COMPENSATION QUESTIONS

Q. What if my work injury causes or exacerbates my depression or other mental illness?

A. Work injury related depression and other mental impairments may be compensable under NC Law. Our appellate courts are regularly expanding the consideration of mental and physical ailments that result from your employment and/or inability to work after a physical injury. If you believe your work injury caused or deepened any mental difficulty you might have possessed before or after the actual injury, you should fully discuss your thoughts with your mental counsellor. The Industrial commission is increasingly aware of and open to the concept that mental ailments can be as significant as physical ones.

What time limit do I have to file WC?

As soon as possible, you should file a Form 18, Notice of Accident, with the IC and employer, informing them that you wish to make a claim. While N.C. law requires this Form 18 to be filed within 30 days, an absolute time limit of 2 years may be applicable to your claim depending on the facts. After your claim is settled, time limits also exist for reopening the case. This form can be obtained by e-mailing our office or calling the IC at 828-348-4107.

Q. Can my employer fire me while I am on workers’ compensation?

A. No. The Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA) specifically prevents employers from firing you because you filed a WC claim against them. REDA protects you from any firing, demotion, punishment, or other retaliatory action the employer may try to take against you. You may be able to sue for monetary damages for a REDA violation. REDA also covers co-workers who testify in WC hearings on behalf of an injured worker. For guidance in filing a REDA claim, you should contact the NC Department of Labor at (919) 807-2796 or 1-800-NCLABOR.

Q. Can I be disabled under WC guidelines if the only problems I have are psychological in nature?

A. Yes. WC law recognizes mental or physical ailments that prevent you from working at your pre injury job or other “suitable” employment making similar earnings. Disability that results from pure mental difficulties are compensable but generally have to be supported by treating mental health care professionals.

Q. Do I have to allow my Rehabilitation Provider in the examining room while I am being examined by my doctor for a workers’ compensation claim?

A. No. Workers have an absolute right to a private examination by their doctors. The NC Industrial Commission does encourage the worker to allow the provider to meet with both the worker and the doctor immediately following the examination when the doctor discusses his/her findings and makes his/her recommendations for treatment. This will allow everyone to be aware of and understand treatment plans and expectations.

Q. Can I draw Workers’ Compensation benefits if my work injury only aggravated a pre existing condition I had?

A. Yes. North Carolina Workers’ Compensation law does NOT mandate that your disabling condition be caused by your accident. You may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits if your work injury aggravates, accelerates, or significantly contributes a pre existing condition that makes you unable to return to your job. The law that applies to pre existing condition changes regularly. You should consult a qualified lawyer to discuss the current law on this complicated subject.

Our Video Library is not closed-captioned.  Instead of embedding our videos, we have created posts for them, where full transcripts of can be found.
Click on the links below to view the video and its transcript.

Workers’ Compensation Overview on Vimeo

Workers Compensation Overview

Workers’ Compensation Injuries and the Complex nature of the law on Vimeo

Workers’ Compensation Injuries and the Complex Nature of the Law

Waiting Periods for Workers’ Compensation Benefit Payments

Waiting Periods for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

NC Workers’ Compensation Elements of Settlement

NC Workers’ Compensation Elements of Settlement

Settlements of Workers’ Compensation Claims on Vimeo

Settlement of Workers’ Compensation Claims in North Carolina

Pre Existing Conditions and Work Comp in North Carolina

Pre-existing Conditions and Workers’ Compensation Claims

NC Workers’ Comp Covers Many Different Kinds of Injuries

NC Workers’ Comp Covers Many Different Kinds of Injuries

Reopening Workers’ Compensation Cases

Reopening Workers’ Compensation Cases

Can’t Return To Work After an Injury

Workers’ Compensation Benefits When You Cannot Return to Work

Specific Traumatic Injuries

Specific Traumatic Injuries Under Workers’ Compensation

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Yelp Review 2019

December 19, 2019

David Gantt and his staff were excellent very informative, kept me updated on every move and with this dedication I was able to win my Social Security hearing. Highly Recommend.

November 2019 AVVO Review

November 27, 2019

Amazing! When my husband was injured, we didn’t know who to turn to. I started googling to find a attorney, I called Mr. Gantt, I couldn’t be more thankful! The nightmare was over as Mr. Gantt and his amazing team handled everything from that very moment! Not only was professional but extremely caring, taking time…

November 2019 AVVO Review

November 27, 2019

David Gantt and his staff handled my disability claim and they were excellent. I highly recommend him, he is the best in Western North Carolina. Mrs. Kelly Reaves 5.0 stars November 5, 2019

October 2019 Martindale Hubble Review

October 29, 2019

David is clear, precise, and delivers as promises.

2019 Google Review

August 7, 2019

The entire staff were welcoming, knowledgeable, helpful, and nice people! David was professional. He knew exactly what he was talking about and did what he said he was going to do. I have had a wonderful experience with this firm and will not hesitate to use them in the future.

2019 AVVO Review “Get ‘er done Gantt!”

July 10, 2019

I was very satisfied with David Gantt’s expertise and knowledge in all aspects handling my case. He dealt with all the paperwork and contacted all necessary providers to get my medical history – it was extremely hassle free! He communicated and counseled me on what to expect – being very forthcoming (he’s a straight shooter)!…

2019 Facebook review

June 5, 2019

I highly recommend Mr. Gantt. He is very kind and always professional. He prepared me for my disability hearing and calmed my nerves. Everything happened exactly as he said it would. I honestly do not think that I would have been approved for disability without his help. Also, his office staff were always ready to…

2019 Google Review

May 28, 2019

Mr. Gantt took good care of me. I will be forever grateful for him getting me the social security payments I need for a disability due to military service. He seems like a genuine compassionate good man. I highly recommend! ~C.M.

2019 Google Review

May 10, 2019

David and his entire staff are so nice and show compassion to everybody. He was there when I had any questions. David Gantt is the best attorney in his field, he goes above and beyond. I am extremely grateful to him and his staff. ~M.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

Very nice and friendly service. They always answered any of my questions. Had a great experience working with them on my disability case. I highly recommend there services! After trying for 6 years and 2 unfavorable decisions, David and his team did a great job representing my case and won. I appreciate there time and…

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

The whole office is very respectful. Answered all my questions. So Glad they were there cause I had no clue after fighting for 2 years. Thank you guys soo much. ~K.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

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Avvo Review 2019

May 7, 2019

Mr. Gantt is a highly compassionate and professional lawyer. He worked hard for me to show my disabilities. Always pleasant and supportive, while being very much on top of his cases. I recommend David Gantt to anyone. Great Attorney! 5 Stars. ~ Dakota

Google Review 2019

April 10, 2019

Wonderful client services..very friendly and willing to go the extra mile to help clients. highly recommend him for anyone needing assistance for the Disability SSI. ~T.D.

2019 Google Review

April 9, 2019

I am so grateful to Mr. Gantt & his staff. They have been so professional and knowledgeable. They’ve answered all of my questions and made a very stressful situation, bearable. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Gantt. He is knowledgeable, professional & caring. ~J.H.

Avvo Review 2019

April 8, 2019

Linda Calloway Mundy David Gantt is an outstanding Lawyer. I highly recommend him. He was beside me all the way and I would like to thank him. ~Linda 5 Stars

2019 Google Review

March 9, 2019

David Gantt and his staff are very professional, upfront, honest and nice. They made me feel at ease discussing my case. They helped me with every step of the way towards my disability approval. I would recommend them to anyone. They kept me updated on everything. Just wish I had contacted them sooner. ~D.P.S.

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

When I applied for Social Security Disability I saw no reason that I would need a lawyer since my case seemed clear. It wasn’t until the second rejection that I realized that I had no idea how the system worked. A couple of local lawyers I had contacted suggested that I talked to David Gantt…

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

This office is fantastic. The staff is helpful and friendly. He is honest with you about the pros and cons of your case. He works hard to get a positive result. ~S.G.

Martindale Review 2019

January 21, 2019

5.0/5.0 in Social Security. David was very professional, pleasant and focused on me and my situation while I was in his office. He did not allow interruptions. His office staff was helpful and readily available when I had questions.

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