Workers’ compensation helps injured workers obtain the benefits they need. Almost all businesses that employ three or more employees are required to either obtain workers’ compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured employers under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. Knowing you are covered by workers’ comp insurance is one thing, but do you know how to obtain the benefits you need?
In general, injured workers can take the following steps to secure benefits after a workplace injury:
- Report the injury to the employer, both orally and in writing, as soon as possible within 30 days.
- An employee can identify an employer’s insurance carrier by using the Insurance Coverage Search System, filing a Form 18 claim against the employer or contacting the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC).
- Report your employer to the NCIC Fraud Section if the business does not have workers’ comp insurance and should, and file forms with the commission.
- If the employer fails or refuses to report an injury, injured employees should file a claim within two years of the accident with the commission.
- If it is an emergency and the employer fails or refuses to provide medical treatment, the employee may seek necessary treatment from any physician or hospital, but must request the commission’s approval as soon as possible.
If a claim is denied, an employee can request a hearing before the North Carolina Industrial Commission. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer may be able assist you through all levels of investigation and appeal. In addition, an experienced lawyer can help you determine whether you may be able to sue for personal injury.
If you file a claim and it is approved, you should receive medical treatment for your workplace injuries covered by your employer or its insurer. Depending on the injury, claim and employer (with insurer or commission approval), an injured worker may be entitled to several benefits, including medical treatment, reimbursement for certain medical travel and other compensation.