In the aftermath of a sudden and nightmarish workplace accident, an injured worker's thoughts are invariably -- and understandably -- focused on securing the necessary medical care. However, as the days or weeks start to pass, and the road to recovery becomes clearer, their thoughts will likely start to shift to financial matters, wondering how they will be able to cover basic necessities when they aren't receiving a paycheck and spending considerable sums traveling to doctor's appointments.
As understandably disconcerting as this is, injured workers here in North Carolina should take heart in the fact that they have well-defined rights as they relate to compensation for both lost wages and sick travel.
When is an injured worker entitled to payment for lost wage compensation?
Unless a worker's disabling injuries exceed 21 days, they will not receive compensation for the first seven days away from the workplace. As such, the initial check for lost wages will not include payment for days one through seven.
However, once the disabling injuries prevent a return to work for more than 21 days, the applicable check will include the regular amount plus payment for days one through seven.
When could an injured worker anticipate seeing a check for lost wage compensation?
While the North Carolina Industrial Commission has the authority to authorize monthly payments, they are typically made on a weekly basis. Payment will continue until such time as the worker is able to resume employment.
How much money is an injured worker able to secure for lost wages?
The injured worker is able to secure 66.67 percent of their average weekly wage, not to exceed $978 per week. This latter figure represents the 2017 maximum and is adjusted annually.
What about reimbursement for sick travel?
Those injured workers who must go at least 20 miles round trip to receive medical treatment in work comp cases are permitted to collect for mileage at the rate of 54 cents per mile for travel on or after January 1, 2016.
Here's hoping the following information helped provide some measure of relief to those injured workers concerned about their finances. Indeed, those with any questions or concerns relating to work comp should seriously consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about their rights and their options.