How to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim in NC
If you are injured on the job in North Carolina it is your responsibility to both 1) give your employer notice of the injury or illness, and 2) file a NC Workers’ Compensation Claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This is true even if the employer knows about the injury or illness or is paying for medical treatment. Do not rely on your employer to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim in NC with the Industrial Commission.
There are important time requirements to give notice and to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim in NC. Many valid workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina are forever lost because the injured worker did not give timely notice to their employer or failed to file a NC Workers’ Compensation Claim with the NC Industrial Commission.
An injury by accident claim must be filed with the NC Industrial Commission within two years of the date of injury, unless wage replacement benefits are paid by the employer. If the employer has provided medical treatment then the claim must be filed within two years of the last payment for that treatment.
A claim for an occupational disease in North Carolina must be filed with the Industrial Commission within two years of the latter of 1) the date the employee is advised by a doctor that he or she has a work related disease, or 2) the date the employee is first disabled as a result of the condition. If the employer or their workers’ comp insurance company has paid for medical treatment for the disease, the claim may be filed within two years of the last payment of medical expenses.
The employee should provide written notice of an injury by accident as soon as possible, but within thirty days. The notice requirements for occupational disease and death claims are similar to the filing requirements and are discussed below. If you have not given written notice within thirty days you may still be able to pursue your claim. Contact a NC workers’ comp lawyer to talk about how to go forward.
The easiest and safest way for an injured worker to meet both the notice and filing requirements is to file a Form 18 Notice of Accident with the NC Industrial Commission and to send a copy to the employer. Do not delay. If you are injured on the job you should file a Form 18 as soon as possible.
Because workers’ compensation in NC only covers injuries by accident be very careful in describing how the injury occurred when completing the Form 18. For example a convenience store employee who sustains a shoulder injury trying to catch a box that has shifted and is falling may find their claim denied if they report only that the injury occurred while “moving a box.” Moving a box is not an accident, but catching one that is falling is.
After you file a Workers’ Compensation Claim in NC the employer or its insurance carrier should either accept the claim and begin paying benefits, or deny the claim. If the claim is denied, the injured worker has the right under North Carolina workers’ compensation law to request a hearing before the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
If you have questions about how to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim in NC please feel free to call experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation expert Kevin Bunn for your free consultation.