workers compensation laws

In 2020 there were 2.7 million work injuries reported, plus an additional 4,764 fatal work accidents in the U.S. Following a work-related injury, your loss of wages and medical expenses are paid by workers’ compensation.

The three top workers’ compensation claims are overexertion, slip and fall, and contact with equipment or an object. Every company with three or more employees in North Carolina must carry this insurance. 

Receiving coverage is not always easy. Insurance companies object to claims or fail to pay expenses. Stay informed about workers’ compensation laws and contact a lawyer for workers’ compensation if you think your rights are being violated.

1. What Classifies as Work-Related Injuries?

The North Carolina Workers Compensation Act establishes the rules that employers and employees must follow. This includes establishing whether or not you are an official employee of the company or a contract worker. Contract workers do not receive workers’ compensation coverage.

The act states that injuries are only covered if received by accident during a  person’s course of employment. Workers’ compensation coverage does not apply to diseases unless it is a direct result of the accident.

If the accident leaves you with a disability, you must meet the qualification level under workers’ compensation. Your level of incapacity must leave you unable to earn the wages you did at the time of injury in either the same or different employment. Be aware the requirements for disability coverage under workers’ compensation and Social Security are different.

Medical expense coverage relative to your work injury includes hospital, medical, surgical, nursing, attendant care, and rehabilitative services. Other expenses receiving reimbursement are sick travel, medication, medical supplies, and more.

2. Employee Obligations

When you suffer a work injury, to receive worker’s compensation benefits you must take appropriate action. First, you must promptly give notice of the injury to your employer.

You will need to complete an accident report form. Provide complete and accurate information. Fields to complete ask for your name and address plus the date, time, and place of the accident. Explain what happened and the reason for the accident.

You will need to sign the report. If you are unable to sign, someone may sign on your behalf.  This establishes the claim with your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company.

Complete all medical treatment, therapy, etc. your medical provider recommends. If you do not follow medical recommendations it will be hard to prove your case in the event of a dispute or litigation.

3. Workers’ Compensation Attorney Fees

The state of North Carolina regulates the fees workers’ compensation lawyers collect. Before they are paid the amount must be approved by the Industrial Commission. The standard amount is 25 percent of the award.

You owe nothing unless they win your case. In addition to the attorney fees, you may be responsible for costs including medical record charges, expert witness costs, filing fees, and any other office expenses. Your workers’ compensation lawyer will explain this to you when you contract their services.

Workers’ Compensation Laws Are Confusing

Trying to navigate workers’ compensation laws can be confusing. Overholt Law Firm practices in this area of law and understands your rights under the Workers Compensation Act. We know the obligations of your employer and workers comp insurance to cover your medical and financial losses relative to the accident.

Don’t try to juggle the law on your own. Call our workers’ compensation law firm at 910-798-5900 for a no-cost consultation or use our contact form. There is no fee unless we win your case.