What You Want To Know About Workers' Compensation

How soon must you report your injury-by-accident to your employer?

Within 30 days from the date of the accident. Don’t panic, however, if more than 30 days has passed since your accident. You should still make your claim even if more than 30 days has passed. In the vast majority of the cases, your claim will be allowed even if it is late. 

Must your report of injury-by-accident be made in writing?

Yes. The law does require that this report be in writing. However, this is rarely done in practice. Usually, the injured employee verbally reports the accident to their supervisor. The supervisor then files a written report. Nevertheless, your report should be in writing. 

How soon should your workers' compensation claim be filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission? 

Your workers' compensation claim should be filed in North Carolina within two years. This rule is not flexible and, if you fail to file a written Notice of Claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, your claim will be denied and you will not be able to collect.

Must I keep a job search log of my efforts to find employment after I recover from my injury?

Answer: There is no legal requirement for you to keep a job search log. However, we highly recommend that you do so in order to be sure that your workers' compensation benefits are not prematurely terminated against your will.  

Should I keep my lawyer fully informed on all facts relating to my injury-by-accident or occupational disease, even when those facts may hurt my case?

Yes, you should fully inform your attorney of all facts.  

Must I do everything my vocational rehabilitation counselor tells me to do?

Yes.  When a vocational rehabilitation counselor has been assigned to your case it is a crucial and dangerous stage. You should have the advice of an experienced workers' compensation lawyer to guide you in your dealings with your vocational rehabilitation counselor. Taking the wrong action, or failure to do the correct things, could result in a permanent loss of workers' compensation benefits. 

When I am out of work because of my work-related injury or occupational disease, must I go back to work if my employer offers me a job?

It depends. The law states that you must accept suitable employment if it is offered to you. If you fail to accept suitable employment and go back to work, your workers' compensation benefits will be terminated. However, the job you are offered must be “suitable.”  The law does not require you to accept work which is not “suitable.” You should contact your lawyer when you have been offered employment and discuss with your lawyer whether the job you have been offered is, in fact, suitable. If it is not, it could hurt your case to accept that employment.
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