Workers' Compensation in North Carolina
Work compensation (or workers' comp, workers' compensation, and workman's comp) gives sick or injured workers income to replace lost wages, and medical care while they are recovering from their workplace related injury or illness in North Carolina. Death benefits may also be available for the dependants of workers whose job connected injuries cause their deaths. Employers with 3 or more employees must have workers' compensation insurance in North Carolina. Independent contractors do not count as employees and are not covered under workman's comp. Workman's compensation claims must be filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission within a specified time.
Workman's comp issues may need to be settled with the assistance of a North Carolina work compensation attorney. If your claim is contested, your employer is uncooperative, uninsured, underinsured, or if your injury or illness is lengthy or may be permanent, it is recommended that you consult a North Carolina workers' comp lawyer. In addition, if your injury resulted from a defective product or piece of equipment, or if there is a third party involved, your case can become complicated, and a North Carolina workers' comp lawyer can best help you figure out how to proceed.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under North Carolina Workers' Compensation Law
Accidental Physical Injuries
- Slip and fall accidents are covered in North Carolina, as well as tripping at the worksite.
- Injuries resulting from an intoxicated or drug using worker's actions, or injuries that occur when an employee is breaking his employer's rules, are not generally within the category of injuries covered by employers' workman's comp insurance policies.
- Diseases arising from the work you do at your place of employment or the conditions in your place of employment, such as hearing loss resulting from loud noises, carpel tunnel syndrome, and/or lung damage resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Death benefits may be paid to the family (or other dependents) of a worker who dies as a result of his job-related injury or disease.
The North Carolina Worker's Comp Claims Process
- Notify Your Boss
- You must notify your boss of your injury within 30 days of the day you were injured. Failure to notify your employer of the injury within 30 days may mean that you lose your workmans' compensation benefits, or that your benefits are delayed.
- Get Medical Help Promptly
- File a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission: Your employer should file a Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, Representative, or Dependent for Workers' Compensation Benefits (Form 18) with the North Carolina Industrial Commission after receiving the report of your injury. The Form 18 must be filed within two years of the accident causing the injury or you may lose your permanent disability compensation, lost wage payments, and/or medical benefits.
- Speak with a North Carolina Workers' Compensation Attorney if you need help filing your claim, or if your work compensation claim has been contested or denied.
Benefits Received in North Carolina Under the Workers' Compensation Program
There are several kinds of workman's comp in North Carolina. You should talk to a North Carolina workers' comp lawyer about the compensation options you are entitled to:
- Medical Treatment: The employer's insurer disburses money directly to the health care providers for hospital and physician's bills, as well as for other treatment connected with your on the job injury.
- Wage Reimbursement: Your employer's insurer must compensate the injured employee for lost wages incurred in traveling to and from appointments for medical treatment, and for the time when you were not working because you were attending workers' comp hearings at the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
- Funeral: $2,000 for actual funeral expenses.
- Death: Dependents of a worker who died from an occupational disease or a work-related injury may get death benefits. The amount of the benefits depends on how dependent the employee's dependants were on him for money.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: North Carolina assists injured employees in getting new employment because they can no longer perform their old jobs due to their injuries.
- Income Benefits: there are several kinds of income benefits in North Carolina:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): When an employee is totally disabled, but nor permanently, and the injury makes it impossible to work.
- Amount: The injured worker will receive weekly payments of 2/3 of his average weekly wage.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (or TPD for short): The worker is able to work, but only at a reduced wage, and is expected to return to work eventually.
- Amount: The employee is entitled to 2/3 of the difference in his wage earning capacity pre and post injury.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): A permanent injury that makes the worker unable to work for life.
- Amount: The same as temporary total disability.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): If the disabled employee's injury or disease permanently prevents him from returning to the job he was doing prior to his injury of illness. But, the employee can still work for diminished pay.
- Amount: The employee will receive 2/3 of the difference between what he was making before and after his injury or illness for as many as 300 weeks after the injury.
Why Hire A North Carolina Workers' Comp Lawyer?
The denial of a workmans' compensation claim will have serious effects on your life. It is possible that your injury may be hard to prove, or may cause you to be incapacitated for a long period of time. Because of these possibilities, it is essential that you hire a North Carolina work compensation lawyer who can help you through the complex practices and procedures of North Carolina workers' comp law, and make your case in front of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, if necessary. Additionally, a North Carolina workmans comp lawyer can assist you in meeting filing deadlines, planning a strategy, and consider all your possible alternatives for compensation and recovery.
North Carolina Workers' Compensation Code
For North Carolina Workers' Comp Statutes:
- Employers Subject To Workers' Compensation
- Workers' Compensation Act, Chp. 97 § 3.
- Covered Employees
- Workers' Compensation Act, Chp. 97, Tit. 9 § 3.
- Workers' Compensation Act, Chp. 97 §§ 20, 27, 29.
- Claims Procedure
- Workers' Compensation Act, Chp. 97 § 22.