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Jacksonville, North Carolina Workers' Compensation Law: Important FAQs

What Is Workers’ Compensation and Who Is Eligible in Jacksonville, NC?

Jacksonville, North Carolina Workers' Compensation Law: Important FAQs The Workers’ Compensation Act provides financial support and medical care for employees who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses in Jacksonville NC and throughout North Carolina.

Most Jacksonville businesses with at least three employees are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. Some employers are “self-insured,” allowing them to pay Workers Comp claims directly and therefore are not required to carry insurance for workplace accidents and injuries. The NC Workers' Compensation Act (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-1) aims to protect both workers and employers.

Who's typically covered by Workers Comp in NC?

  • Regular, full-time employees
  • Part-time staff members
  • Temporary or seasonal workers
  • Minors in the workforce
  • Undocumented employees

Some workers may fall outside the coverage umbrella, including:

  • Many independent contractors
  • Domestic workers
  • Casual employees
  • Some farm workers
  • Federal employees (covered by a separate system)

It's worth noting that even if you're labeled an independent contractor, you might still qualify for benefits if your work arrangement resembles traditional employment.

Workers Comp benefits may include things like:

  • Medical treatment costs
  • Lost wages during recovery
  • Permanent disability compensation
  • Vocational rehabilitation, if needed

To qualify, your injury or illness must be work-related, occurring while performing job duties or activities benefiting your employer.

The "no-fault" nature of workers' comp means you don't need to prove employer negligence to receive benefits. However, this also generally prevents you from suing your employer for traditional negligence and injury-related damages for pain and suffering. Similarly, under the NC Comp laws, employers are not allowed to fire you for making a claim.

Given the complexities of workers' compensation law, employees who experience work-related injuries should consider consulting a Jacksonville NC lawyer with substantial experience helping people. We enjoy helping people and can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation.

For more information on workers' compensation in Jacksonville NC, call Kevin Jones at the Dodge Jones Injury Law Firm for a free case evaluation.

What Steps Should I Take To File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Jacksonville, North Carolina?

Filing a workers' compensation claim ordinarily involves several key steps. This process helps make sure injured workers receive their entitled benefits while safeguarding employers and insurers from fraudulent claims.

An important initial step involves informing your employer in a timely fashion about your injury. You should notify your employer within 30 days of the workplace accident. While exceptions exist in certain circumstances, allowing additional time to notify your employer of the work-related accident, it's in your best interest to report immediately. Swift reporting helps establish a clear connection between your work and the injury, which can be vital for your claim.

Once you've notified your employer of the injury, they should supply you with the necessary claim forms. The primary form you'll need to complete is Form 18, titled Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, Representative, or Dependent. This form should be submitted to the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC).

Here's a general outline of the process:

  • Prioritize your health by seeking immediate medical attention.
  • Provide notice of the injury to your supervisor or employer.
  • Your employer should file Form 19, Employer's Report of Employee's Injury, with their insurer and the NCIC.
  • You (or your legal representative) should submit Form 18 to the NCIC.
  • Maintain thorough records of all medical treatments, expenses, and any work time missed.

It's important to understand that merely informing your employer of the injury doesn't constitute filing a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, the “NCIC.” The claim isn't officially filed until Form 18 is submitted by the employee or a Form 19 submitted by the employer to the NCIC.

If your employer fails to report your injury or denies your claim, you have the right to file directly with the NCIC. You can submit Form 18 online via the NCIC website, by mail, or by fax.

During this process, your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier or the company's representatives (if self-insured) will investigate the claim. They might require you to undergo an independent medical examination with a doctor of their choice.

While it's possible to navigate this process independently, many injured workers in Jacksonville NC find it advantageous to consult with a workers' compensation attorney. An experienced legal professional can help ensure all necessary forms are correctly filed on time, advocate for you if your claim is disputed, explain the different types of disability benefits and help you comprehend your rights and options throughout the process.

Keep in mind that each worker's compensation case is unique, and the process can become intricate, especially if disputes arise about the extent of your injury or its relationship to your work for the employer. If you encounter difficulties or if your claim is denied, you may have the right to request a hearing with the NCIC.

It's also important to note that North Carolina law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for filing a workers' compensation claim. If you believe you're facing retaliation for filing a claim, it's important to seek legal advice promptly.

This information provides a general overview of the claims process in Jacksonville, NC, but it's not exhaustive and should not be considered legal advice. Workers' compensation laws can be complex and subject to change. For the most current and personalized guidance, please contact the Dodge Jones Injury Law Firm in Jacksonville, NC. Our office is located at 200 Valencia Dr, Jacksonville, North Carolina.

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