You have been injured at work. You have filed a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Either your case is accepted and you receive benefits, or it is denied and you don’t. Some big issue – like the denial of medical treatment, or the insurance company trying to cut off your benefits — may have caused you to file for a hearing. But in a North Carolina workers’ compensation case, hardly anything happens quickly. What’s the best thing to do when you just have to wait until your case is done?
1. Look for work
When you are injured in North Carolina, and you cannot return to your job, you have to look for work if you can work. Sometimes workers don’t understand this. After all, they might have the right to return to work in their own job or a like job when they get better. Federal law requires employers to put employees back to work if they have more than 50 employees if you return during 12 weeks under the FMLA.
2. Start thinking about school
You didn’t start working so hard because you wanted to go to school. But you are realizing that you won’t be able to work in your old job or occupation anymore. You want to be the best you can be, so you realize that you might need to go to school to retrain.
Your lawyer needs your full participation in your case. This means you should be active in:
- gathering documents, like emails or out of work notes
- identifying witnesses, and getting their contact information
- keeping a log of places you have looked for work
- asking and answering questions.