Employers who have less than three workers are exempt from workers’ compensation in NC. If an employer is in the field of agriculture, they are also exempt from workers’ compensation if they have fewer than ten workers. In addition to these, sawmill employers, logging employers, and companies that employ domestic workers are also exempt.
If you or someone you love is employed in one of these industries and are injured at work and unable to return to work, a lawyer in your area can help you explore other financial compensation avenues. If you were hurt or became ill at work by an employer who is not exempt from workers’ compensation, a lawyer with Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can help you file a claim for medical and financial benefits.
What if My Employer Is Not Exempt but Does Not Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
North Carolina requires qualifying employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. According to the North Carolina Industrial Commission guidelines, if your employer disregards their responsibility to carry workers’ compensation insurance:
- They can be charged with hefty financial penalties.
- The employer can be charged with a misdemeanor.
- The employer can be charged with a felony.
- The employer faces possible imprisonment.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys are familiar with North Carolina’s laws and regulations. We can research your employer and determine whether workers’ compensation is required. Our legal team can also help you report your employer to the proper agency and discuss potential alternative avenues of financial compensation for your injuries.
What Should I Do if I Get Hurt at Work?
If you get injured on the job in North Carolina, you should act quickly to claim workers’ compensation benefits. It is your responsibility to report your injury to your employer as soon as is reasonably possible.
At the very least, you are required to report your injury within 30 days. This requirement is important. If you fail to make the proper notification within the allotted time period, your right to seek medical and financial benefits via a workers’ comp claim could be jeopardized.
Can I Go to My Own Doctor for Treatment?
You can get medical treatment under workers’ compensation in North Carolina, but you usually have to go to an authorized physician.
When you already have a primary care physician with whom you are comfortable, it can be hard to go to a different doctor. If you want your employer to cover the costs of your medical care, you usually must seek treatment from the health care provider they choose. If such a change is made without the proper approval in place, your employer may not have to cover the subsequent costs.
Health care is personal, and it can be difficult to warm up to a new doctor. The doctor-patient relationship is an important part of the healing and recovery process. We can explore your options for seeing a private physician when claiming workers’ compensation benefits.
What if I Need Emergency Medical Attention?
A delay in receiving medical care in an emergency can aggravate a workplace injury or diagnosis. Do not hesitate to get any immediate or emergency medical care your injuries require to ensure the best possible recovery option for you. This is usually the only exception to using your employer’s chosen health care provider. You must report any emergency care you receive to the proper agency for approval right away.
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How Much Workers’ Compensation Will I Receive?
You cannot receive benefits for the first seven days that you cannot return to work. After the first seven days, you can receive 66 2/3% (two-thirds) of your average salary on a weekly basis up to the state’s maximum. In 2022, the maximum weekly benefits are capped at $1,184.00, according to the most recent North Carolina Industrial Commission data.
How Long Can I Receive Weekly Financial Benefits?
Injured workers can receive weekly payments that cover the loss of their salary for as long as they remain unable to return to work. Your employer-provided physician will let you know when you have reached maximum medical improvement and are expected to return to your job. Our lawyers can explain your options if you disagree with their decision.
Call Today to Get Started on Your NC Workers’ Compensation Claim
Were you or someone you love injured at work or diagnosed with a workplace-related illness or disease? Learn more about who is exempt from workers’ compensation in NC, how to apply for the benefits you are entitled to, and what to do if your employer is not exempt but does not have the required coverage.
Start building your workers’ compensation case by contacting Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC.