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Workers Compensation Definitions

At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, we offer years of experience representing injured workers throughout Charlotte, North Carolina. We are committed to helping clients navigate through the maze of North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system.

If you feel overwhelmed or unclear as to what benefits you are entitled to receive, you are not alone. Our firm’s Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers understand the hurdles many injured workers face in trying to maneuver through North Carolina’s confusing workers’ compensation system. When you select our law firm, we will explain the steps you need to take, while defining key workers’ compensation terms. Contact our law firm today to meet with a highly-skilled workers’ compensation attorney.

Addressing Workers’ Compensation Definitions in North Carolina

Clients pursuing workers’ compensation benefits for the first time often feel like they are learning an entirely new language. At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, our job is to take the mystery out of applying for workers’ compensation benefits. We will explain how the workers’ compensation system works in North Carolina by shedding light on key terms, such as:

  • Average Weekly Wage: Generally, an employee’s average weekly wage is based on the amount earned during the weeks that the employee actually worked in the job over the 52 weeks before the injury. If this method of calculating the average weekly wage does not accurately reflect the employee’s wage-earning capacity, there are other methods that may be used by a skilled attorney.
  • Compensation rate: This is the amount that an employee will receive as a weekly disability benefit through the workers’ compensation system. The compensation rate amounts to two-thirds of the worker’s Average Weekly Wage. This is also an important number for determining the payment to which a worker may be entitled to his or her impairment rating.
  • Authorized treating physician: This is the physician to whom the injured party is sent by the workers’ compensation insurer. The authorized treating physician can be selected by the employee only if approved by the Industrial Commission.
  • Impairment rating: This is an assessment, provided by the authorized treating physician, which represents the loss of function to the worker’s injured body part. An injured worker can be entitled to a second opinion of this impairment rating at the insurer’s expense by a physician of the worker’s own choosing.
  • Maximum medical improvement: This is the point in time where the authorized treating physician feels that the injured worker has either made a complete recovery or plateaued and only requires ongoing maintenance care. This point does not mean that medical care will no longer be required but simply means that the authorized treating physician no longer has services to offer the injured worker. It is often at this point where a physician will assign an impairment rating, and provide the worker with permanent work restrictions if any are applicable.
  • The clincher: A workers’ compensation clincher is a global settlement of a workers’ compensation claim. The workers’ compensation insurer agrees to pay the injured worker a lump sum in exchange for the worker releasing the insurer from further obligations to make payments for medical care or disability benefits.
  • Industrial Commission: The Industrial Commission (the IC) is the state agency with the task of overseeing all workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina. Its Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners adjudicate disputes between injured employees and employers.

Contact Our North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today

At Brown Moore & Associates, PLLC, we work with a wide variety of clients who have been injured on the job. Our lawyers have the experience and skill to help you navigate through the complicated workers’ compensation process and make sure you get the compensation you need after suffering serious workplace injuries. Contact us online or call 704-335-1500 or 800-948-0577 toll-free for a free initial consultation.

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