There are risks involved with almost every kind of work. Typically, higher-risk work environments are subject to safety regulations intended to minimize the risk of injury, but accidents still happen. Workers in North Carolina are supposed to be covered by worker’s compensation insurance, at no cost to them, if they work for a company with at least three employees.
For those who work in the manufacturing sector, particularly machinery manufacturing, severe injuries are a bigger risk. Employees at John Deere or Caterpillar face jobsite injuries that could be serious and life-altering. In the event of an injury at work, their medical bills and possibly other expenses could qualify for coverage under workers’ compensation. Filing a workers’ comp claim can be confusing, particularly in the wake of a traumatic accident. An experienced attorney can help.
What does workers’ compensation cover?
Coverage varies depending on the severity of the injuries. Typically, workers’ compensation covers all medical expenses associated with a workplace injury. However, the proper processes must be followed when reporting the incident and filing the claim. Traumatic injuries suffered in machinery accidents or falls and work-related acquired illnesses, such as certain cancers that developed due to chemical exposures, are two very different kinds of workplace injuries and illnesses potentially covered by workers’ comp benefits.
Injuries from the machinery used to manufacture industrial products can be catastrophic and permanently disabling. Workers’ compensation may also cover lost wages during recovery or provide financial assistance to families who lost a wage-earner due to a workplace illness or injury. There can even be payments to help those who were working in manufacturing retrain for new positions after their injuries have healed. From physical therapy to reparative surgeries, workers’ comp should cover all costs.
There are options if your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance
Although the state of North Carolina is working to identify employers who are not carrying appropriate workers’ compensation insurance, much more work is still needed. There are likely hundreds of businesses who are not complying with the state’s requirements. While companies like John Deere and Caterpillar are high-profile, smaller manufacturers and companies may not be as readily compliant with labor laws.
How an attorney can help
There are nuances to workers’ compensation laws, like complicated rules regarding filing and differing requirements for those with back injuries. Additionally, if you work as an independent contractor, typical coverage requirements don’t apply.
An experienced attorney who has successfully navigated worker’s compensation cases in the past can help you understand what needs to be done to ensure proper coverage. Your attorney can also help you document your expenses and argue in support of your claim if your employer tries to keep you from filing or denies or contests the claim. From working with insurance companies to filing a civil suit (if appropriate), an experienced personal injury attorney can make all the difference after you suffer a disabling worksite injury.