If you suffered an injury that led to a personal financial loss while working as an employee, you likely have a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina. Your financial loss could involve medical bills, lost wages from an inability to work, or prescription drugs to help with your injuries.
Workers’ compensation claims can be complex, which could make it challenging for you to receive the benefits you should have. When filing a workers’ compensation claim, you always have the right to hire an attorney to help with your case.
In This Article
Proving Your Case to Qualify for Workers’ Compensation
If you want to file a workers’ compensation claim, you must satisfy a few different criteria. Simply suffering an injury at a job site or while performing what you consider work is not necessarily enough to file a workers’ compensation claim.
You Must Prove Your Employment Status
You must be an employee to receive workers’ compensation coverage. If you fit under the definition of an independent contractor in North Carolina, you might not qualify to file a claim.
If you believe you should qualify as an employee rather than an independent contractor, the North Carolina Industrial Commission may investigate the case. Some employers try to classify employees as independent contractors to avoid having to pay benefits. The commission will make a ruling on this.
You Must Show the Employer has to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Although most employers in North Carolina must carry workers’ compensation insurance, there are exceptions. According to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, the employer must carry the insurance if it:
- Has three or more employees
- Has some sort of business structure, such as a sole proprietorship
Additionally, any employer that has a presence of radiation as part of the business must carry workers’ compensation insurance, even with fewer than three employees.
You Must Suffer a Work-Related Injury
For a workers’ compensation case under dispute in North Carolina, the most common cause is that your employer does not believe your version of events that led to the injury. To qualify to file a claim, you must be able to show the injury occurred in an accident as part of your normal workday requirements.
Sometimes, an employer may say you suffered an injury at home that you later tried to pass off as a work injury. An employer also could try to claim you were not actually doing work-related tasks on the job site when you suffered your injury. Perhaps the employer believes you caused your injury on purpose.
To prove your injury happened in the workplace, you may need witness testimony or video evidence. Sometimes, a doctor’s testimony can help you prove that the only way your injury occurred is through a work-related accident.
You Must Have Suffered Financial Loss
If you suffered an injury on the job but did not have a financial loss, you would have no reason to file a workers’ compensation claim. The purpose of this type of claim is to receive payment for your losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy costs
- Prescription medication
- Lost wages after you missed work
- Permanent disabling injuries
- Disfiguring injuries
- Emotional trauma related to the injury and the aftermath
For a legal consultation, call 828.286.3866
Taking Steps to Protect Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you are unsure whether your accident at work qualifies as a workers’ compensation claim, you must perform a few tasks right away to protect your rights to file a claim.
- Notify your employer about your injury on the job site in writing within 30 days of the accident, as North Carolina requires.
- See a doctor to have your injuries diagnosed and documented.
Even if you do not believe your injuries are serious enough to warrant a workers’ comp case, you should take these early steps immediately. Your injury could worsen within a few days, so you need to protect your rights.
Our Team Is Ready to Help with Your North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Case
If you are unsure if you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina, the team at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, is ready to discuss your case with you. We will study the facts to determine if you have a claim. Once you hire us, we will begin working for you immediately.
We encourage you to come to us with your questions and concerns. Navigating workers’ compensation claims can be challenging, so we’re here to help you get the information you need. For a no-obligation, free consultation with our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers, call us today at (828) 286-3866.