If you get injured on the job in North Carolina, you should notify your employer and apply for workers’ compensation benefits. You will need to take specific steps to get the necessary medical treatment and meet the state’s workers’ compensation requirements.
Many employees in North Carolina can qualify for support through this no-fault insurance program, as the state requires most employers to have it. Knowing that this coverage is available and how to apply can help you receive financial support while you seek treatment and take time off work to heal. However, the process can be complex if you are unprepared, which is why our firm is here to help.
Notify Your Employer of the Accident and Injuries Immediately
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, you should notify your employer of your injuries if possible. At this stage, verbal notification is acceptable and can be crucial to establishing that the accident occurred at the workplace.
You will also want to keep a record of:
- The date and time of the accident
- The date and time you notified your employer
- Who you told
Seek Medical Treatment for Your Injuries
Your next step after you get injured on the job in North Carolina is seeking medical treatment for your injuries. Doing so can protect you from further harm, create an additional record of the accident, and serve as another fundamental step in applying for workers’ compensation.
When you verbally notify your employer, they may offer any on-site health care services available. Alternatively, they may refer you to their designated health care provider.
If there are no employer-designated health care services or facilities, you will need to seek medical care on your own. In this case, you should tell the doctor you see that the injury is work-related so they can bill the treatment under a workers’ compensation claim.
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Formally Notify Your Employer with Official Written Notice
After receiving initial medical treatment, you can focus on the other workers’ compensation requirements. According to G.S. § 97-22 from the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, you must provide written notice to your employer within 30 days of the accident.
Generally, you will complete Form 18 – Notice of Accident to Employer and submit a copy to your employer to satisfy this requirement. This step is crucial to receiving medical and lost wage benefits under workers’ compensation coverage.
Follow Your Medical Treatment Plan While You Wait for Claim Approval
Once you submit Form 18 to your employer, they will have 14 days to respond, according to G.S. § 97-18. While you wait for this response, your priority should be following all instructions outlined in your treatment plan.
When your employer or their insurance company responds, it will be in one of three ways:
- Form 60 – Employer’s Admission of Employee’s Right to Compensation affirming your claim and outlining the terms of compensation under North Carolina workers’ compensation
- Form 61 – Denial of Workers’ Compensation Claim notifying you that your employer denied the claim and outlining the reason for the denial
- Form 63 – Notice to Employee of Payment of Compensation with or Without Prejudice explaining that you will receive medical compensation but reserving the insurer’s right to deny your claim later
If you receive a denial and disagree with the decision, you have the right to appeal. This process will involve additional steps.
What Can I do to Help My North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The main goal of the North Carolina workers’ compensation system is to provide financial support while you are out of work due to an injury. Ideally, this support should allow you to focus on healing so you can get back to work as soon as possible.
To help your claim, you should follow all recommended treatments your physician prescribes. Doing so will help you reach maximum medical improvement.
You may also need to provide your employer or their insurance company with supporting documentation of your injuries, recovery, and specific expenses associated with your claim. In this case, it’s helpful to have a journal documenting how the injury impacts your day-to-day life and any costs you incur due to the accident.
Contact Our North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers to Discuss Your Claim
If you are unsure what you should do if you get injured at work, our attorneys can help. We can explain your right to workers’ compensation benefits under North Carolina law and help you with the steps required for recovery.
Call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, at (828) 286-3866 to speak with our team about your workers’ compensation claim for free.