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From the Blog: Related Workers’ Compensation Articles

Contested Matters: Workers’ Compensation Hearings & Motions

If you have been injured on the job or been diagnosed with an occupational disease, you have a right to receive compensation and benefits under North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. However, the workers’ compensation system in North Carolina can be stressful, and without an experienced attorney on your side, you may not obtain the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.

The North Carolina workers’ compensation system is a “no fault” system. This means that an injured employee does not have to show that the employer was at fault for the injury in order to claim benefits. However, the employee must report the accident promptly and meet other obligations to be successful in making a claim for benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Unfortunately, obtaining workers’ compensation benefits is not as easy and straightforward as many injured workers believe. If an employer or their insurer contests a claim, a process of hearings and appeals is often necessary to pursue benefits.

Motions and Hearings

If your claim is contested, the North Carolina Industrial Commission adjudicates the claim and in most cases will order mediation. If the mediator cannot settle the dispute, a hearing before a deputy commission will be set. These deputy commissioners act as judges and these hearings occur in a live courtroom, similar to those that might occur during the course of litigation leading to trial. Motions are formal court documents that requests the deputy commission to do or require something to move forward in your case. Hearings are the process of bringing a motion to the attention of the deputy commission, at which point both parties make legal arguments advocating their position on the request before the commissioners. The deputy commissioners then makes a ruling and the case moves forward. Requests to the commision in the form of motions can range from matters like your employer’s request to dismiss your claim, a request for a second medical opinion, or ultimately for assignment of a disability rating to your injuries. At each unfavorable decision, an appeal can be made by either party.

Medical Motions & Expedited Hearings

The North Carolina General Statutes outline procedures for all medical motions, including those of an expedited or emergency nature. Once the motion is filed, the Commission will determine whether the motion warrants an expedited hearing. If the Commission determines that the treatment requested is so urgent that the injured worker should not be required to wait, an expedited hearing will be scheduled. During this time, both parties will be afforded an opportunity to present evidence and if necessary expert medical deposition testimonies may be ordered.

Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today for a FREE Consultation!

If you or someone you love has been injured on the job or acquired an occupational disease, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. At Hill Evans Jordan & Beatty, PLLC, we are skilled litigators with years of workers’ compensation experience. We will fight for your worker’s compensation claim and for your future. Call us today at (336) 379-1390 or fill out our confidential contact form for more information.

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Richard Granowsky is Certified by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law.

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