If you or someone you know has been injured or fallen sick in the workplace, you may be able to pursue compensation. Work-related harm includes physical injuries suffered while on the job, as well as illnesses or diseases contracted due to dangerous chemical exposure. Most states offer financial protection for victims of workplace injuries, known as workers’ compensation. Laws in this area can be complex, so it is vital to consult a lawyer who can help you explore your options. At the Tatum Law Firm, experienced workers’ compensation attorney Brian Steed Tatum can help fight for your rights and seek the compensation you deserve. We proudly represent clients in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Every year, tens of thousands of employees suffer non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses across the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a total of 4,585 fatal work injuries were recorded nationally in 2013. According to the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 75 workers were fatally injured in South Carolina in 2013. The North Carolina Occupational Health and Safety Division reports 35 fatal accidents on job sites in North Carolina in 2012.
Companies are subject to federal and state regulations when it comes to maintaining a safe work environment for employees. While some jobs are inherently more risky than others, employers are required to take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable harm. Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws, so you should talk to a lawyer familiar with the situation in your state.
There are often administrative procedures an employee must take in order to seek compensation after an accident has occurred. For example, in North Carolina, an injured worker should take the following steps:
After these steps are taken, the employee has a right to a detailed statement by his or her employer or the employer’s insurance carrier for any grounds denying the claim within 14 days of receipt. If the claim is denied, the victim can ask for a hearing by filling out a copy of Form 33.
When employees use Form 33, they are not suing their employers. Instead, they are merely asking that the North Carolina Industrial Commission make a formal decision regarding the workers’ compensation claim. Typically, the Commission will order a mediated settlement before the hearing that tries to resolve the matter without taking the dispute to court. Again, since laws differ in each state, it is best to consult an attorney about any workers’ compensation issues.
Injured employees are typically entitled to workers’ compensation under the laws of their specific state. Sometimes an employer or insurance company may deny coverage or prematurely terminate benefits, which can exacerbate an already stressful situation. In situations like these, a lawyer knowledgeable in this area can help.
If you or someone you know has been hurt or killed due to a work-related accident, you may have a valid workers’ compensation claim. North Carolina and South Carolina injury lawyer Brian Steed Tatum has represented many clients across both states and can help you too. Since laws vary from state to state, it is crucial to consult an attorney who will be able to create a strategy specifically suited to your situation. If you want to learn more about your options, call the Tatum Law Firm at 704-307-4197 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.