Workplace injuries and illnesses are common in the state of North Carolina. Some of these injuries often leave victims devastated, out of work for extended periods, and dealing with financial hardships. Fortunately, the state of North Carolina has a system in place meant to support workers who have sustained injuries while performing their duties, known as workers’ compensation. If you have suffered an injury as a result of a workplace accident, or have been diagnosed with an occupational disease, you may be entitled to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
All employers that have three or more workers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides benefits such as medical compensation and wage replacement for injuries and illnesses attributable to workplace accidents or occupational diseases. It is worth noting that it is a ‘no-fault’ system, which means that an injured worker can receive benefits regardless of who is at fault, provided that you suffered an injury or illness while in the course and scope of their employment.
However, receiving these benefits isn’t always as easy and straight-forward as one might expect. The Gastonia workers’ compensation claims process can be complex and you might encounter difficulties with your employer or their insurance carrier. This is why it is important to have an experienced Gastonia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer who will help you secure full and fair compensation for your injury.
At 1Charlotte, we are committed to helping you and your family get the financial support you need during these trying times. Call our personal injury lawyers today at 704.706.2689 to schedule your free consultation.
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How Can I Know if My Injury Will Be Covered By a Workers’ Comp Claim?
It is important to note that not all injuries suffered at work are covered under workers’ compensation. A basic guideline to know whether your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits is if:
- You are an employee
- Your injury was a result of a job accident
- You suffered the injury in the course of your employment
- Your employer is covered by the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
Under the NC Workers’ Compensation Act, an accident is any event outside the normal work routine e.g. machine malfunction, a falling object, or slip and fall that causes an injury. Some common injuries include Back injury, broken bones, crush injuries, head injuries from falling objects, etc.
For Occupational Diseases, the Act provides a list of compensable diseases, and they include brown lung, carpal tunnel syndrome, some types of cancer, etc. However, you need to prove that:
- You are at an increased risk of developing the disease compared to the general public
- Your disease was a result of the unsafe working conditions
How Long Do You Have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in North Carolina?
A claim for an injury by work accident should be filed within two years from the date of the injury with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. In case your employer has paid for medical treatment, the deadline for filing the claim is two years from the most recent payment for the treatment.
For an occupational disease claim, you should file it with the NC Industrial Commission within two years from the date you are diagnosed with an occupational disease and the date you first become disabled due to the disease, which comes later. In case the employer has paid for medical treatment for the illness, the claim should be filed within two years from the most recent payment of the treatment.
How To File A Workers’ Comp Claim in North Carolina
When it comes to filing a workers’ compensation claim in Gastonia, North Carolina, there are very specific rules and deadlines that should be met to avoid losing your right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits.
In the event that you are injured on the job, the first thing you need to do is to seek medical attention. You need to inform your doctor that you were injured at work and also give them the name of your employer, for insurance purposes.
Next, you need to notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible within 30 days of your injury. You are required to provide your employer with written notice of your injury within 30 days. Remember, you just need to tell them what happened and when it happened, nothing complicated.
You also need to file an official workers’ compensation claim. You do this by filing a Form 18 Notice of Accident with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. You can get this form from your employer or by downloading it from the commission’s website. Your employer is required to complete a different form known as Form 19. The employer will then send both forms to the NCIC and to their workers’ compensation insurance provider.
However, it is your responsibility to ensure that Form 18 is filed properly with the Industrial Commission, so you shouldn’t rely on your employer to do this for you. So, submit Form 18 directly to the Industrial Commission. Remember, it needs to be filed within two years of the date of the injury. The process for filing a claim for an occupational disease death is the same.
Once your NC Workers’ Compensation Claim has been filed, your employer or their insurance provider will either approve or deny your claim. Fortunately, if your claim is denied, you have the option of requesting a hearing before the NCIC.
Our Lawyers Can Help You Through The Gastonia Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
In the unfortunate event that you suffer serious injuries while at work, have your claim denied, or are dealing with a complex case, you need to seek the assistance of a qualified Gastonia workers’ compensation attorney. Our team at 1Charlotte will help you ensure that all procedures are properly followed and that all deadlines are met. We are here for you and we will ensure that you are fully and fairly compensated for your injuries. Get in touch with us today at 704.706.2689 to schedule your free consultation.