The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires all employers with three or more regular employees to carry insurance that will cover any employee injured on the job. This workers’ compensation insurance pays the medical expenses and a portion of the employee’s wages, as specified by law, if they miss work due to this injury. There are two exceptions to the law: any company with even one employee who works with radiation must carry workers’ compensation insurance; and if the employer provides agriculture or domestic services, the requirement to carry insurance begins when the employer has 10 or more full-time, non-seasonal workers. Note that workers’ compensation laws are defined on a state-by-state basis, so the requirements elsewhere may differ from those in North Carolina.
If you were injured on the job in North Carolina and your employer meets the requirements above, you are eligible for workers’ compensation. This includes injuries sustained at the office or factory, while attending events on behalf of your employer (for example, while working at the company’s trade show booth in another city), and while traveling for business. Injuries do not have to be the result of one specific event—for example, a fall. The injury may be the result of repetitive motion (carpal tunnel syndrome, for example), or it may fall under the classification of an occupational disease like long-term exposure to asbestos.
It does not matter whether the injury was your fault. We should note, however, that in certain states the law protects employers by preventing an employee from drawing workers’ compensation if their injury was due to willful misconduct or the use of drugs or alcohol on the job.
Your health comes first. If your injury is severe, get to a hospital right away. If your injury is less severe, check with your employer to see if they have specific doctors or hospitals you should use for the treatment of your injury. In a workers’ compensation case, failure to follow the rules set up by your employer may result in your claim being denied.
If you have questions about your workers’ comp claim or discover that your employer is not following the law, you may wish to consult with an attorney to protect your rights. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Merritt Webb handle workers’ compensation cases in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Charlotte and elsewhere in North Carolina. They would be happy to speak with you. Contact Merritt Webb today.