Work-related injuries are frustrating, to say the least, and potentially devastating. If you were injured or became ill within the scope of employment, you may be entitled to North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits.
North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Laws
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (“The Act”) provides remedies for workers who are injured on the job, including necessary medical treatment, and wage replacement for disabled employees.
This compensation covers only economic losses and does not cover pain and suffering for the injury.
Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, all businesses that employ three or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This includes businesses operating as sole proprietorships, LLCs, partnerships, or corporations.
Workers’ Compensation Statutes of Limitation in North Carolina
In the workers’ compensation setting, the statute of limitations is the amount of time from the initial date of accident or diagnosis that an employee has to initiate a workers’ compensation claim.
If an employee fails to report their injury or diagnosis before the workers’ compensation statute of limitations expires, the case will automatically be dismissed.
The initial statute of limitations contained in The Act requires the injured worker to give written notice of the injury to his or her employer within 30 days of the accident unless they have a reasonable excuse for their failure to do so.
An example of a reasonable excuse for failing to provide written notice would be if the employer or a representative of the employer witnessed, or had reason to know of the accident.
Another would be if the employer provided initial medical treatment to the injured worker.
A second, more significant Statute of Limitation requires the injured worker to file and claim for compensation within two years of the date of the initial accident or diagnosis, in the case of occupational diseases.
In North Carolina, it is important for injured workers to file a claim for benefits as soon as possible. Timely action means that medical reports and evidence of the injury are easier to obtain.
Further, in cases in which monetary compensation is owed, the timely filing of a claim will more readily ensure that the employer and the workers’ compensation carrier perform their duties to the injured worker.
Who Can File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
When a North Carolina employee is injured on the job or develops an occupational illness, they are generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
The two-year statute of limitations begins from the initial date of accident or, in the case of occupational diseases, when a qualified medical expert diagnoses the employee and relates the disease or condition to their occupation.
How to File a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claim
The first step in the workers’ compensation claim process is to notify your employer of the injury. It is important to do this within 30 days of the injury. Notification should be provided via written notice, but can be verbal if giving written notice is not feasible.
As an employee, you should then file a Form 18 Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which serves as an official claim filing. As noted above, an injured employee has two years to submit this form.
Can a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help?
The claim process can become complicated because you are likely dealing with the employer, insurance company, and healthcare providers to receive fair compensation.
It is important to take into consideration the extent of your injuries, including future medical needs and the impact of your injury on future wages and earning potential.
The experienced, board-certified workers’ compensation attorneys at Mehta McConnell Law have over 30 years of combined legal expertise.
We understand the intricacies of North Carolina workers’ compensation law and can help you get the relief you deserve for your injuries.
Our team can assist you in determining fair compensation and negotiate a settlement that makes sense, with the option to litigate if necessary. Contact us today for your free consultation.