Workers’ compensation in North Carolina (also “NC workman’s comp” or “NC workmen’s comp”) provides for medical treatment and disability payments. NC workers’ comp generally does not provide for direct payment for pain and suffering, however to the extent that pain is disabling then disability benefits may be allowed, and medical treatment to lessen pain must be provided by the employer or their insurance company. NC workers’ compensation benefits in summary:
- Medical treatment that is necessary to cure the workers’ comp injury, give relief from pain, or lessen disability must be paid by the employer or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. There is no deductible or co-pay. You do not have to miss work to receive medical benefits. The employee must show a relationship between the work place accident and the medical treatment. Injured employees in NC have the right to a second opinion from the doctor of their choice at the employer’s expense on any permanent disability rating. Who controls the medical treatment is frequently the key issue in a NC workers’ compensation case.
- If an injured NC worker is written out of work by a doctor for more than seven days then the worker is entitled to receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits. If the disability lasts three weeks then the employer must pay that first week as well. Disability payments are generally two-thirds of the injured employee’s average weekly wage (AWW) prior to the accident. Disability benefits are generally not taxed.
- If a doctor decides that an injured North Carolina worker is permanently partially disabled (PPD), he will assign a disability rating. Workers who are assigned a disability rating are entitled to benefits determined by a formula that includes the AWW, the part of the body that is injured and the percent of disability. An injured worker who is permanently and totally disabled may be entitled to receive benefits for life.
- Injured North Carolina workers are often encouraged by their employer’s insurance company to settle, or clincher, their claim. Injured NC workers should carefully consider the long term effect of such an agreement, and should consult a workers compensation lawyer in North Carolina before signing a clincher.
If you have any questions about your workers’ compensation case, please feel free to call for a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in NC: 1-800-665-8945.