According to statistics, almost 2.9 million workers across the country sustained workplace injuries and illnesses in 2015.
Most of those injuries involved time off work, job restrictions or transfers. Workplace injuries in North Carolina put workers out of work every day leaving them unable to support their families. North Carolina workers’ compensation pays benefits to employees who are injured on the job. Workers may receive medical treatment, compensation for wage loss, and other financial assistance. Employers are mostly required to provide workers’ compensation to employees.
In order to preserve your rights in this regard it is important to understand what actually qualifies as a workers’ compensation claim. An injury caused by an unexpected accident or incident that occurred in the course of employment is what qualifies as a worker’s compensation claim. Other occupational injuries that occur over time such as repetitive trauma injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome also qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Employees diagnosed with diseases that are associated with certain occupations or employment also may be covered by worker’s compensation. All employers in North Carolina are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for employees that are injured or develop an illness related to workplace exposures.
Necessary Steps To File a Workers’ Compensation Claim In North Carolina
- It is important to notify your employer of a work-related injury in writing within 30 days of sustaining the injury. Make a simple written statement about what happened and include the date of the accident. Even if there is no time lost from work because of the workplace accident you should notify your employer as soon as possible. If you are unable to do so yourself because of the severity of your injury, then have a family member, friend or your health care provider inform your employer.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible. If your place of employment has a doctor on site then you should see them. If your employer sends you to a doctor or healthcare provider somewhere else, go see the health care provider. You can also visit your own doctor but you are required to see any healthcare provider your employer designates.
- Describe your injury or illness to the doctor in detail. The doctor should be aware of the fact that your injury happened in a workplace accident or your illness developed as a result of workplace exposures. Give your employer’s name to the doctor because it allows the doctor to record the treatment as a workers’ compensation expense.
- Follow doctor’s orders. It is imperative that you follow any and all directions that the doctor gives you regarding your treatment. The primary aim of workers’ compensation insurance medical care is to restore the employee to the health and ability to work as before the injury occurred. Failure to follow the doctor’s instructions and appointments will jeopardize your workers’ compensation benefits.
- It is important to make sure that your claim is filed correctly with the N.C. Industrial Commission. All claims are initiated with the Industrial Commission’s Form 18 which is available in paper and electronic form. It must be filled out completely and submitted. Additional forms should also be filled accurately as the claim is processed. Do not fail to complete and submit any form that applies to your claim.
- It is important to make and keep copies of every letter, every medical report, every bill, and every completed form. In the event that there is a dispute regarding your workers’ compensation claim, you may need to show proof that you have acted according to the law.
- It is imperative to follow the notification process and remain within the time limits otherwise your claim may be denied.
An injured employee is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits until he or she is able to return to work. If you or someone you love has suffered a job-related injury or illness, you may need to file a North Carolina workers’ compensation claim. Call us at 704.749.7747 for a free consultation or click HERE To request a call. We hope you’ll choose to recover with us.
Author: The Law Office of Pittsburgh Injury Lawyers offers a diverse range of legal services with special focus on workers compensation, personal injury, and Social Security Claims.