Q Do my injuries qualify for workers' compensation benefits in North Carolina? I got hurt two weeks ago and have not told my employer yet.
Possibly. Qualified workers who are injured during the course and scope of their employment should report their injury to their employer in writing within 30 days of the incident. Our workers' comp lawyers in Raleigh provide an example of a simple letter a worker can use to notify their employer of the incident. Some leniency is granted if this notification is delayed to the employer. However, there is a two-year statute of limitations for work injury claims and a Form 18 must be filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission within time limits.
Whether the worker qualifies is conditional on three factors:
- Worker status. Is the worker truly an employee or an independent contractor?
- Part of employment. Did the injury occur during the course and scope of the employee's work?
- Circumstances. Was the injury caused by a deliberate act or was it a true accident?
Of course, in addition to the above the worker must be injured or diagnosed with an illness that stems from work-related causes. One of the first steps to begin a workers' comp claim is medical attention. The worker should immediately advise the attending medical provider how their injuries are connected to their workplace. This helps establish medical records pertaining to the potential claim. The injury does not necessarily need to be caused by something in the work environment, the injury could also be worsened or exacerbated by the workplace to be considered compensable.
After reviewing the items above, the next helpful step would be to consult with workers' compensation attorneys. This should not come as a cost on the injured worker. Most attorneys, like the ones at our firm, provide complimentary case evaluations. Feel free to schedule a confidential evaluation with one of our workers' comp lawyers in Raleigh, which can be held at one of our other locations, in the privacy of your own home, while you recover in a hospital, or via phone conference.