To be eligible for benefits under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation act, employees must:
- Prove that they were an employee,
- That they were injured, and
- The injury in question was caused by an event that occurred while they were on the job.
All of the above requirements sound pretty simple, but injured employees should beware trying to prove these points alone. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney knows how to navigate their way through a claim.
Workers have a certain responsibility according to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Let’s follow the steps an injured employee should follow:
- Report your injury to your employer.
- Seek out medical treatment.
- In the event that your employer has a health care provider on site, and your employer instructs you to see that provider, make an appointment to do so.
- It’s possible that your employer may instruct you to present yourself to a designated health care provider in the event of a work-related injury. Report to that health care provider.
- Otherwise, seek medical care that is suitable to your particular needs. This health care may be gotten from your family doctor or from the emergency room at the hospital, depending on the circumstances of your medical needs.
- Inform your health care provider that your injury is work-related, and give the health care provider the name of your employer. Now the provider can document that the injury happened at work. In addition, the provider can now bill your treatment to the workers’ compensation insurance company.
- Again, let an appropriate individual at your company know that you were injured, and let them know what treatment you are receiving. If possible, report this in person; otherwise, have someone from your family, or a friend, or even your health care provider notify your employer of the work related injury.
- Within no less than thirty days, give your employer written notice of your injury. This doesn’t have to be anything complicated. A simple and brief description of the injury along with the date it occurred should suffice. Remember to keep a copy of the letter for your personal records.
- And finally, follow your health care provider’s instructions.
The goal of Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina is to ensure that you get good health care. It is designed to get you back, as near as possible, to the level of health and ability to work that you were before the work related injury.
Filing your workers’ compensation claim can be tricky. The process, from beginning to end, is complex, and there’s plenty of room for mistakes along the way. Mistakes can derail a claim, and that’s the last thing you want happening while you’re dealing with an injury.
Whenever you’re injured on the job, take the time to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.