Workplace injuries and illnesses continue to pose a serious problem for American workers, with almost 3 million per year suffering from such incidents. In North Carolina, these injuries are a harsh reality for many employees as they cannot work and support themselves and their families.
Fortunately, the state has a Workers Compensation Act to provide for workers who cannot work due to injuries or illnesses sustained at work. This act streamlines the process for workers to receive compensation, ensuring they can focus on recovery and rehabilitation.
With this law in place, employers are held responsible for ensuring the safety of their employees in the workplace to avoid such incidents. By following these steps, we will walk you through all that needs to be done to file a worker’s compensation claim.
What Is a Workers’ Comp Claim?
In North Carolina, employees who suffer an injury or illness due to an unexpected accident or incident while on the job are protected by the state’s worker’s compensation insurance. Such injuries can range from minor accidents to severe injuries that require long-term medical care.
But, it’s not just sudden injuries that qualify for compensation, as occupational ailments that develop over time due to repetitive strain or other conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome, are also covered. Additionally, certain diseases that arise from specific occupational hazards, such as lung disease from exposure to hazardous chemicals or materials, can also qualify for worker’s comp benefits.
This insurance coverage is mandatory for most employers across the state. It helps employees obtain necessary medical treatment and financial assistance in the event of a workplace injury or illness.
Notify Your Employer of Your Work-Related Injury Orally
It is essential that you notify your employer of any workplace accidents, even if you do not miss any work due to injury. Failure to do so could jeopardize your ability to claim compensation or receive medical benefits.
See a Doctor As Soon As Possible
It is very important to seek medical attention from the designated health care provider on site or the doctor recommended by your employer if they send you off-site. Clearly inform the doctor or medical facility that your injury or illness is a result of a workplace accident or exposure. This facilitates proper recording and billing of treatment expenses as workers’ compensation.
Complying with these steps could ensure your workers’ compensation claim is completed on time
Speak to a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer if Needed
If you have experienced a work-related injury or illness, it’s important to seek the assistance of a workers’ compensation lawyer. These legal professionals have the expertise and resources necessary to analyze the details of your case and determine the best course of action.
A Charlotte workers’ comp lawyer can handle all aspects of the claims process, from filing paperwork to representing you at hearings and negotiations. With their help, you can receive the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages resulting from your injury.
Report the Injury to Your Employer in Writing Within 30 Days
It is recommended to submit a written statement detailing the incident, including the date it occurred. This documentation should be kept for personal records as proof of appropriate reporting. If you are unable to compose the letter, consider enlisting the help of a trusted friend or family member.
Complete All Paperwork and File Your Claim Correctly
North Carolina law requires that all workers’ compensation claims start with Form 18, which is available both in paper and electronic formats. This form must be properly filled out and submitted in full to the Industrial Commission.
Additionally, there will be other necessary forms during the processing of your claim, and it is essential to complete and submit each form that pertains to your situation. Please fill in all required forms to ensure your claim is processed on time.
The Final Points
Injury or illness in the workplace, no matter their causes, can be distressing for both employees and their families. Fortunately, there are experienced workers’ compensation lawyers ready to help those affected. They can guide you on seeking medical treatment, navigating the legal system, and securing rightful compensation.