In most cases, trucking companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in NC. However, a few exceptions allow some companies to avoid carrying workers’ comp. Find out more about the laws – and their exceptions – with our team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC.
In This Article
NC Laws for Trucking Companies and Workers’ Comp
North Carolina details the specialized workers’ comp laws for trucking companies under G.S. § 97-19.1. This section of the legal code applies to intrastate and/or interstate trucking companies using trucks or tractor-trailers with licensing from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT).
In this case, the state uses “up-the-chain” liability for workers’ comp. Basically, the liability for covering workers’ comp follows the truck’s US DOT number. For example, let’s say a trucking company hires a trucker who does not have coverage through workers’ comp. In this situation, the contractor may be liable to cover workers’ comp for:
- The trucker
- Employees of the trucker
- Subcontractors working for the trucker
These regulations apply even if the subcontractor involved works as an independent contractor. Responsibility for providing workers’ comp coverage falls on the business or individual who has operating authority from the USDOT.
Exceptions to NC Workers’ Comp Laws for Trucking Companies
Note that an exception exists to the abovementioned law involving trucks licensed by the US DOT, according to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Companies do not have a legal liability to offer coverage to individually licensed truckers who act as independent contractors if they’re personally operating a vehicle.
In this situation, the contractor or trucker may have to cover their own workers’ comp insurance.
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General North Carolina Workers’ Comp Laws and Truckers
What about truckers who do not meet the qualifications to fall under the above regulations for workers’ comp in North Carolina? These truckers generally receive coverage under the basic laws covering workers’ compensation in the state.
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires all businesses with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Therefore, any trucking company that fits this definition has to carry workers’ comp insurance for its employees.
Who Is Exempt from Workers’ Compensation in NC?
The North Carolina Department of Insurance (NC DOI) provides information about regulations and exceptions to workers’ comp laws in the state. Businesses may receive an exemption from workers’ comp coverage if they operate a(n):
- Agricultural business with fewer than ten employees
- Sawmill or logging operation, in some cases
Domestic employees (nannies, housekeepers, gardeners, etc.) are also exempt.
You can learn more about the exemptions to North Carolina’s workers’ comp laws by reaching out to a lawyer today.
Damages Covered by Workers’ Compensation in NC
If you sustain an injury while on the job, workers’ comp insurance may cover your medical losses. In this situation, you may receive funds to cover your:
- Emergency care
- Hospitalization, medical tests, and procedures
- Medication costs
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
The workers’ comp system may also cover some of your lost wages if you cannot immediately return to work after an injury. However, you only receive compensation for lost wages if you stay out of work for more than seven days.
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Handling Workers’ Comp Claims for Truckers
Trucking companies must provide workers’ comp coverage in North Carolina in most cases. So how do you file a claim to secure damages after an on-the-job accident? Generally, you must:
- Report the accident to your employer
- Seek medical care from an approved physician
- Follow all medical guidelines
- File a workers’ comp claim
Once you file the claim, your employer can approve or disprove your request. A lawyer can take steps to show that your accident occurred while you were working to help with your claim.
Note that the workers’ comp system functions on a no-fault basis. Therefore, you do not have to show that your employer directly caused your accident to secure compensation. However, the workers’ comp system also means that you cannot typically file a lawsuit against your employer in North Carolina.
Talk to Us About a Workers’ Comp Claim
Most trucking companies in NC must carry workers’ comp insurance, though there are exceptions to this rule. Learn more about the coverage applicable to your situation by contacting our team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC.