The North Carolina Industrial Commission outlines five steps injured employees must take to apply for workers’ compensation. It is important to make sure you follow these steps and properly notify your employer of the injury. These are:
- Seek medical treatment. If your injury is severe and requires emergency treatment, go to the nearest hospital with an emergency room. If the injury is less severe, check with your employer to see if their workers’ compensation coverage specifies the doctor or hospital where you should be treated.
- Make sure the doctor and/or hospital is aware that your injury should be billed as a workers’ compensation claim.
- Advise a senior manager, your human resources department or the company’s owner of your work-related injury as soon as possible. If you are unable to do so, have a family member contact your employer.
- Notify your employer in writing of your work-related injury as soon as possible – always within 30 days. (For an occupational disease or repetitive injury, this would be within 30 days of the date your doctor first told you he or she believed your injury was work-related.) This notification should include the date of the accident and description of the injury. Make sure you keep a copy for your records.
- Follow your doctor’s orders so that you may recover as quickly as possible and return to work.
If your medical expenses are more than $2,000 or you miss more than one day of work, your employer will be required to notify the North Carolina Industrial Commission of your injury. At that time, the employer should also provide you with a copy of Form 18 “Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee” to complete. If they do not do so, you may complete this form online at the NCIC website to formally notify the state.
If you have questions about your claim or discover that your employer is not carrying workers’ compensation insurance as required by law, you may wish to consult with an attorney to protect your rights. If you are in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Merritt Webb would be happy to speak with you. Contact Merritt Webb today.