Is Your Injury Covered Under NC Workers’ Comp Law?

Not all workplace injuries are covered under NC Workers’ Comp Law.  Workers’ comp in North Carolina generally covers 1) employees who are 2) injured as a result of an on the job accident that 3) arises out of their employment with an 4) employer covered by the NC Workers’ Compensation Act. Employers and their insurance carriers will carefully examine workers’ compensation claims to determine if any of these limitations provide a basis for denying the claim. Frequently, injured NC employees complain that they were led by an insurance adjuster or investigator to say something that later hurt their case. A North Carolina workers’ comp attorney can help injured NC employees avoid such traps.

Forklift driver Only injuries that are caused by an accident are compensable under the NC workers’ comp system. This means there must be some identifiable cause of the injury outside of the normal work routine. Whether an injury was caused by an accident or not is a frequent issue in contested cases and the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) has ruled on this issue in hundreds of different factual situations.

Back injuries are an exception and are compensable in North Carolina if they arise out of a specific traumatic incident, regardless of whether there is an accident. Common workers’ comp accidents in NC include falls, machine accidents, load handling accidents, and even automobile accidents.

A compensable NC workers’ comp injury must arise from the employment. This means the injured North Carolina employee must be going about the business of his or her employer at the time of the injury. Whether an employee was on the job is frequently a contested issue in NC workers comp cases. Occupational diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome, brown lung, and some cancers may be compensable under the N.C. workers’ comp system if: 1) the employee was at an increased risk of contracting the disease compared to the general public, and 2) the hazardous working conditions contributed to the disease.

Most businesses that employ three full or part-time workers are required to be covered by workers’ comp in NC. Corporate officers are counted as employees unless they opt-out. There are special rules for contractors and trucking operations that require coverage no matter how many workers are employed. Workers’ compensation in NC is mandatory and cannot be waived, even by written agreement.

An injured North Carolina employee can recover under the workers’ compensation system even if he or she is at fault in the accident. Recovery may be denied under the NC workers’ comp system if the on the job accident is intentionally self-inflicted or is a result of the employee’s use of alcohol or drugs. Violation of a safety rule by an employee may cause the recovery to be reduced and violation of such a rule by a North Carolina employer may cause a recovery to be increased.

If an employee is injured on the job as a result of the acts of a person who is not their employer or co-employee, they may make claims in both the NC workers’ compensation system against their employer, and in civil court against the at-fault third party. These third party workers’ comp claims in North Carolina frequently involve auto accidents, slip and falls, and defective products. The employer or workers’ compensation carrier has the right under North Carolina workers’ comp law to recoup their payments to the extent a third party is responsible for the loss however, the amount of this recovery is negotiable.

The North Carolina workers’ compensation system, sometimes called workman’s comp or workmen’s comp, provides important wage-replacement and medical benefits, but only if the NC workers’ comp injury is covered. An experienced NC workers’ comp lawyer can help an injured North Carolina employee determine whether their injury is covered, and help make sure benefits are properly paid.

Kevin Bunn is a Board Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law.  If you have a question about NC workers’ comp law call or email today for your free consultation.

Kurt Kettering
Kurt Kettering
15:06 25 Jul 17
I really appreciate the personal touch Mr. Bunn gave to all aspects of the case. I am very satisfied with the way the case was handled and the outcome received. I would highly recommend Kevin Bunn to anyone in need of help with their workers compensation claim.
Jake St. Peter
Jake St. Peter
18:07 19 Jul 17
I've used Kevin in the past and was extremely pleased with the results. Highly recommended and trustworthy attorney.
André L. Farmer
André L. Farmer
17:10 27 Jun 17
I would highly recommend Kevin Bunn. He was very professional and responded promptly to all questions. I am very satisfied with his services and his staff.
Daniel Chido
Daniel Chido
07:23 21 Mar 17
Kevin Bunn is a great lawyer and a great man. I consider myself very lucky and blessed to have had him representing and working for me over the past few years. I found him by word of mouth while I was looking for a lawyer to handle my worker's compensation claim and my application for social security disability. He was one of the only lawyers I found in the area who would handle both of these. I knew from the first time I met him in person that he was the right choice. Kevin is a straightforward, honest, rational, down to earth and very kind person who went above and beyond to help me and to bring forth favorable results on all fronts for my situation. He always explained things well, we were always on the same page before making any moves, and I truly felt like he put me as a person first and foremost, before lawyer fees or anything else like that. I honestly only have positive things to say about Kevin and my experience working with him. Also, his paralegal JoAnne is awesome, and it always cheered me up to hear her voice on the phone. I highly recommend Kevin Bunn to anyone who is searching for top notch representation for their worker's compensation claim or social security disability application. Thank you, Kevin and JoAnne!
Terri Perry
Terri Perry
21:20 25 Jan 17
Mr. Bunn was straightforward and a highly respected good attorney. I recommend anybody looking for a workers' comp lawyer in NC contact Mr. Bunn. He can represent me any time.
Paul Kemper
Paul Kemper
00:37 31 Oct 16
I have used Kevin, twice for work related cases. Kevin, was open and honest with me and my wife. I highly recommend Kevin Bunn, for any injury claim case. If I ever need anything attorney for an injury I will use him again. His secretary Joanne Latta, was always helpful and friendly to us. Thank you Kevin Bunn for your expertise and help. Paul Kemper
shane cargain
shane cargain
19:00 17 Jun 16
One of the best experiences I've had with a lawyer! He gets the money that you deserve and doesn't quit until you are satisfied with the outcome! He knows his stuff when it comes to the law and I HIGHLY recommend him to anyone for workers compensation cases or anything else that involves the law! You can't go wrong with him by your side when you need a good lawyer to battle for you!
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Top Ten Tips and Traps for North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims

After twenty years of practicing workers’ compensation law in North Carolina I have seen just about every mistake an injured worker can make.  These mistakes range from failing to file their claim, to settling when they should not have, and everything in between. Download my Top Ten Tips and Traps for North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claims

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