How to Claim Workers' Compensation When Injured at Work
No matter what line of work you may be involved in, the risk of personal injury is always there. There are some professions that carry higher risks for injury than others, but even if you work in a "low risk" environment, it's important to know what to do in the event of a serious injury sustained at the workplace or job site.
An employee that is injured or killed in the course of his or her employment in North Carolina - either by accident or occupational disease - will generally have certain rights available under the North Carolina Workers' Compensation statute. These rights include the following:
- Access to reasonable and necessary medical treatment.
- Payment of temporary disability benefits if the employee is unable to work while recieving medical treatment.
- Payment of total or partial permanent disability benefits or scheduled benefits in the event of a permanent physical injury or reduction in the ability to earn wages.
Know that there are certain time restrictions when it comes to filing for Workers' Compensation. The employee is required to notify their employer and the North Carolina Industrial Commission of the incident within a certain timeframe, or the employee could risk losing their benefits. The Statute of Limitations is different in North Carolina for Workers' Compensation than it is for ordinary personal injuries caused by negligence. Additionally, an employee injured on the job may have both a Workers' Compensation claim for benefits, as well as a negligence claim for damages against the persons who caused the injury. Therefore, an injured employee should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible following the injury.
In order to actually file for Workers' Compensation, it is highly recommended that an employee enlist the professional help of an attorney. By hiring an attorney to represent their case, an employee will stand a better chance of receiving their benefits and preventing vulnerability during the legal process. There are many factors to consider when filing a case for Workers' Compensation, so the guidance of an experienced attorney can be very beneficial.
To give you an idea of the steps needed to take when filing for Workers' Compensation, take a look at this basic checklist:
- Notify your supervisor of the incident in writing as soon as possible.
- Complete a Form 18 - Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, Representative or Dependent for NC Workers' Compensation Benefits.
- File the Form 18 with the North Carolina Industrial Commission and provide a copy to his employer and/or its insurance carrier and be sure to keep a copy for yourself and your lawyer.
- Form 18 should be filed by the injured worker within 30 days of the injury for the most efficient results.
For any additional questions regarding Workers' Compensation, don't hesitate to contact the law office of Richard Flexner at 1-800-FLEXNER (353-9637).