If you have experienced a job-related injury, you may find yourself facing steep medical bills as well as forced time away from your job. Your employer’s workers’ compensation policy may provide important benefits, such as coverage for work-related medical care and payment for a portion of your lost wages.
However, like many North Carolina employees, you may hesitate to file a claim due to misunderstandings about how WC benefits work.
1. You must sue your employer to receive workers’ comp
Filing for workers’ compensation does not involve filing a lawsuit against your employer. Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that most North Carolina companies must carry for their employees.
2. You must prove someone else caused your injury
Workers’ comp is a no-fault system. You do not need to prove that your employer or a coworker caused an accident to be eligible for benefits. Unless you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol or were otherwise extremely negligent, you may be able to receive benefits even if you were partly responsible for the injury.
3. You must be a full-time worker to receive benefits
You may be eligible for benefits even if you are a part-time, temporary or seasonal worker. Additionally, while your employer may call you an independent contractor, you may be able to receive benefits if the North Carolina Industrial Commission determines that your job duties are those of an employee.
It is important to get the filing process started soon after you experience a job injury. Failing to report the incident to your employer within a short period may make you ineligible to receive the benefits you need.