Injuries to ankles are common injuries in the workplace. If you’ve injured your ankle at work, you may worry about medical bills and income loss from taking time off.
Workers’ compensation aims to ease this burden on the injured employee.
Workers’ compensation benefits, including workers’ comp for an ankle injury, pay for medical treatment and lost wages from work-related injuries or illnesses.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be difficult. There are a lot of rules and regulations. You are already overwhelmed with your injuries and trying to heal.
You don’t need to add more stress to your plate. A workers’ compensation lawyer can direct you through the claim process and help you get the benefits you deserve.
Who Can Get Workers’ Comp for Ankle Injuries?
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act establishes workers’ compensation laws. Employers must have workers’ compensation insurance or qualify as a “self-insured” employer.
Your employer must be covered under workers’ compensation in North Carolina for you to receive benefits.
Who Is a Covered Employer?
An employer with three or more employees must have workers’ compensation insurance.
Some contractors and subcontractors are obligated to have workers’ compensation insurance for any work they sublet to another, even if that lower-tier subcontractor has less than three employees.
Employers often contest whether they qualify as “covered” under workers’ comp laws.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available only for injuries “arising out of and in the course of employment.”
This means you must be performing your job duties when an accident happens to qualify for workers’ compensation. You may not be covered if:
- Your injury was preexisting,
- You were injured on your way to or from work, or
- You were injured while running a personal errand during work time or while on a break.
However, certain circumstances disqualify you from workers’ comp benefits:
- Intoxication—you were under the influence of alcohol when you were injured;
- Controlled substances—you were under the influence of an unprescribed controlled substance when you were injured; or
- Intentional harm—you willfully intend to injure or kill yourself or another.
If an employer provides alcohol, you can still receive benefits.
If the workers’ comp insurance company suspects any of these circumstances, they will likely deny your claim. They may even try to twist the facts and events.
You need a North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer on your side. They can fight to protect your right to benefits.
What Is Covered with NC Workers Comp?
You may be able to recoup the following benefits from North Carolina workers’ comp:
- Medical treatment,
- Disability benefits, and
- Lost wages.
A seasoned workers’ comp lawyer can review your case and estimate your benefits with an ankle injury workers’ compensation calculator.
How Long Do I Have to File My Workers’ Compensation Ankle Injury Claim?
You have two years from the date of your accident to file a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina.
This is called the statute of limitations. If you file a claim after this deadline, the case can be thrown out by the court.
Can I Still Receive Workers Comp Benefits If I Am at Fault in the Accident?
Yes. You can still receive benefits for your ankle injury even if you are at fault. Workers’ compensation benefits do not depend on fault.
You need to show only that your employer was a covered employer and that you suffered a work-related injury.
Can I Get Workers’ Comp for My Ankle Injury If I Am an Independent Contractor?
Only employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, many employees get misclassified as independent contractors.
Just because your employer calls you an independent contractor or you file a 1099 form with your taxes does not mean you are necessarily an independent contractor for purposes of receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Whether you are an employee or an independent contractor depends on specific factors, such as your employer’s exercise of control over your work.
The more control the employer has, the more likely that you are an employee eligible for workers’ compensation.
What Is the Difference Between a Personal Injury Claim and a Workers’ Comp Claim?
A personal injury claim involves a person initiating a lawsuit against another person or business for negligence. The person must prove that someone else’s negligence caused their injury.
A workers’ compensation claim, on the other hand, provides benefits to injured employees regardless of fault.
A person can recover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages from a personal injury claim. However, this is not the same for workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation benefits are limited to medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. Pain and suffering compensation is not available in a workers’ comp claim.
Generally, workers’ compensation benefits are the only remedy for a work-related injury. You cannot sue your employer for negligence, even if they were at fault for your work accident.
However, you may be able to file a personal injury claim if someone other than your employer was responsible.
Speak with an Ankle Injury Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Before representing individuals, Viral Mehta and Jason McConnell represented insurance companies. They have intricate knowledge of how insurance companies operate, and they use this insight to bring justice to their clients.
We advocate to ensure that our workers’ comp ankle injury settlements are fair for our clients. Contact us at Mehta & McConnell, PLLC, for a free consultation.