I got hurt at work, but my claim has been denied because my employer claims that my injury did not fit the definition of an ‘injury by accident’. What does that mean?

“Injury by Accident” has a very specific definition under North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law. It generally means something had to happen that was unusual, that was not part of the normal work routine. In other words, if you were simply performing your usual tasks at work in the usual way, and suddenly felt pain, this is not an “injury by accident.”

It generally means something like a slip, trip, or fall, or even an extra heavy exertion which immediately preceded, or caused, your injury.

The exception to this is with regard to a back injury. In 1983, the Legislature amended the law to say that with a back injury, you only need to show that the injury occurred from a “specific traumatic incident,” even if it was part of your normal work routine.