Is there a statute of limitations on workers’ comp in NC? North Carolina’s law provides a safety net for employees within the state who suffer any on-the-job injuries or illnesses. The law requires certain employers to take out workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. This insurance essentially covers the cost of treating the work-related injury or illness and other related expenses.
Few civil claims depend heavily on the time of filing as much as workers’ comp claims. For an injured employee to recover any compensation for their injuries, they must make their claim within a specific period. An experienced Charlotte workers’ comp attorney can ensure that your case isn’t struck out because you filed it late. Therefore, it would be best to hire one early.
Reporting Your Work Injury or Illness
Before filing a claim, you have to notify your employer of the injury. North Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act provides that an injured person or their representative must give written notice of the accident to the employer. The employee must provide the information immediately after the accident occurs or as soon as reasonably practicable.
You must inform your employer of your accident within 30 days. The 30 days start counting from the date of the accident or death. If it’s an occupational disease, your time starts counting from the date a medical authority notifies you of the illness and its cause. If you don’t file a notice with your employer within this 30-day window, no compensation shall be payable to you.
To receive compensation here, you must have a reasonable excuse that can satisfy the Industrial Commission. Furthermore, your employer mustn’t have suffered any prejudice because of your late notification.
Exceptions to the Requirement for Notice
An employee won’t be entitled to medical fees or any other compensation under the Act before giving notice to the employer. However, there are exceptions. They include:
- Where the employer, his agent, or representative knew of the accident
- The employee was physically or mentally incapacitated
- There was fraud or deceit from a third party.
Outside the above exceptions, a late notice bars your North Carolina workers’ compensation claim.
Statute of Limitations for North Carolina’s Workers’ Comp Claims
Injured or ill North Carolina workers can file a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The NCIC is the body that hears workers’ comp cases in North Carolina. You can institute your workers’ comp claim with a Form 18.
As with the requirement for notice, you don’t have all the time to file a workers’ comp claim. North Carolina’s Statute of Limitations prescribes the timeframe within which you must make your claim. Generally, the Act will bar your right to workers’ compensation benefits, except you file your claim with the NCIC within two years.
This limitation period doesn’t mean that your case must be decided in two years. It only means that you must institute the suit two years from the injury or disease. The law prescribes a rigid timeframe for workers’ comp claims. Therefore, if you don’t make your claim within this period, it may be barred forever.
Why You Should File Your Workers’ Comp Case Early
Two years is a long time to prepare for and file a workers’ comp claim. However, you don’t need to wait that long. It’d be best to file your claim as soon as possible. Below are some reasons why you should file your claim long before the Statute of Limitations.
Workers’ Comp Claims Rely Heavily on Medical Evidence
As with all evidence, the longer it stays, the more it loses value. For instance, eyewitness testimony of the accident may become less reliable, and medical evidence may get lost.
The Earlier You File, the Soon You Receive Benefits
The earlier you file and conclude your claim, the sooner you start receiving your benefits. Therefore, if you file your claim late, you won’t receive your compensation early.
Finally, as with every other claim type, unforeseen circumstances can stall your claims processing. If you waited to file your claim close to when the Statute of Limitations will kick in, these unexpected events might prevent you from meeting the time limit.
North Carolina’s Workers’ Comp Attorneys Can Represent You
You really don’t need an attorney to represent you during your workers’ compensation claims process. However, it would still be best to hire one. This is because a Charlotte workers’ comp attorney greatly enhances your chances of maximum compensation recovery. You should take the best shot at getting the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.
Furthermore, an experienced lawyer can help you beat the clock. Charlotte workers’ comp lawyers have successfully helped North Carolina residents get their benefits within the statutory period. We can do the same for you if you’ll call us today for a free consultation on your case.