If you have suffered a work-related injury in the State of North Carolina, you need to know that the North Carolina workers’ compensation system is complex and fraught with pitfalls that can trap the unwary and uninformed. Many injured workers who have handled their own claims have made innocent but disastrous mistakes that severely impaired or eliminated their rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Changes by the North Carolina General Assembly to the Workers’ Compensation Act in recent years have dramatically altered the rights of injured workers. Our experience can help make sure you receive everything that you rightfully deserve.
You have a right to a healthful and safe workplace. If you have suffered an injury on the job, make sure you know what kind of benefits you are entitled to through your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage. In general, If your employer regularly employs three or more employees, then your employer is subject to and bound by the Workers’ Compensation Act and must either carry workers’ compensation insurance or qualify as lawfully self-insured. The Workers’ Compensation Act imposes serious consequences upon employers who unlawfully fail to maintain workers’ compensation coverage. If you are hurt at work, your employer must complete and file a Form 19, Employer’s Report of Employee’s Injury or Occupational Disease to the Industrial Commission with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. You should also receive a Form 18, Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, Representative, or Dependent (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-22 through 24) from your employer to complete and file as per the instructions on the form. If you have suffered an injury on the job, you must notify your employer of your injury, preferably in writing, as soon as practically possible. Additionally, you must give your employer written notice of your injury within THIRTY (30) DAYS of the date of your injury. Generally, you must also file a claim for benefits with the Industrial Commission within TWO (2) YEARS of the date of your injury or your claim is likely to be time-barred. Completing Form 18, giving a copy of the completed Form 18 to your employer within THIRTY (30) days of your on-the-job injury, and filing the completed Form 18 with the Industrial Commission within TWO (2) years of the date of your injury is the best was to preserve your right to pursue a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
In some instances, aggressive workers’ compensation carriers may deny legitimate workers’ compensation claims. An insurer can claim you have not been injured by accident, or that the injury you have suffered is not serious enough to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If this is the case, you may stand to lose critical benefits, weekly disability payments, medical care coverage, and job retraining. If you feel your legitimate benefits have been denied and you live in our area, we would like to talk to you to see if we can assist you with your workers’ compensation claim. For a FREE consultation, call us at (336) 725-1000 or toll free at (877) 514-0995. You may also contact us online for a FREE consultation as well.