If you have been injured at work in North Carolina, there are a number of steps you should take in order to make sure your accident is covered under the state’s workers’ compensation laws.
Report the accident or the occurrence: Even a slight accident needs to be reported. It is better to retract a claim if your injury appears to be superficial than to report an accident weeks after it actually occurred. Your case would look bad to your employer if you belatedly file a claim, when no one remembers or can confirm what happened. Remember that an employer becomes suspicious about a case if there is no clear link between the accident and your job, or between the accident and your injuries.
File your claim within the time limit: The time limit to file a workers’ comp claim in North Carolina is two years from the time of accident or diagnosis of occupational disease. Many injuries, like neck and back injuries seem harmless at first but get worse if left untreated. Even if your claim is filed months after the accident, make sure the event has been recorded in writing for the reasons explained above.
Follow the rules: The Human Resources (HR) department will inform you the strict rules and regulations you should be aware of. Failure to comply with these guidelines could seriously slow down the compensation process, or worse, could lead to your claim being denied. Get the details of the insurance scheme your employer has opted for. Once you have filled out all the forms and contacted the approved care providers, make sure you do not miss any appointment, and inform the insurance carrier and your employer immediately if something prevented you from attending.
Think hard before you sign any agreement form: In many cases, if you sign a form for approval, your agreement is likely to have a serious impact on your benefits and your recovery. If you don’t understand what you are reading, ask a trusted and informed friend. If you disagree or still have doubts, request a free consultation with our law office. You may disagree with your lost wage benefits calculation, with the doctor’s diagnosis, with the treatment, with your impairment rating, and with the return-to-work process. Every one of these aspects could seriously affect your health and your finances.
Attorney Joseph Miller’s FREE book restores the truth about Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina. Download now: The Nine Biggest Myths About North Carolina Workplace Injuries, which answers all the questions you have about workplace injuries, claims and benefits.
Contact Joe Miller Law in Elizabeth City, where attorney Joseph Miller, Esq. has been representing injured North Carolina workers for over 20 years. Call us locally 757-455-8889 or toll-free 888-694-7994, or send us an e-mail for a FREE, no commitment discussion of your case.