January 5, 2016
If you have had an accident arising out of and in the course of your employment, you could be entitled to compensation. Worker’s compensation pays injured employees for their lack of capacity to no longer earn wages. If you are injured on the job, you must give notice to your employer within 30 days of the injury to qualify for worker’s compensation.
To apply for worker’s compensation, you must fill out the necessary forms on the North Carolina Industrial Website (www.ic.nc.gov). Many people apply for worker’s compensation and get turned down on their first attempt. This is nothing unusual. At this point in the stage of worker’s compensation, it is important to immediately contact an attorney because you could be losing out on your right to an appeal.
An employer must have three or more employees to qualify under the Worker’s Compensation Act. If an employer qualifies, their employee’s are generally covered under the Worker’s Compensation Act. Worker’s compensation pays for an employee’s medical services related to their injury, an employee’s lost wages related to their injury, and possibly permanent, lifetime wages, depending on the seriousness of their injury.
Worker’s compensation is calculated based on an employee’s average weekly wage. The Commission takes two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage and this is the rate at which the employee is compensated during their time away from work as a result of their injury. An employee is not compensated for the first seven days after their injury but will begin receiving weekly checks from the Industrial Commission once those seven days have passed. If an employee receives worker’s compensation for a certain length of time, they will then be paid for those beginning seven days as well. Generally, worker’s compensation continues to be paid until the employee either (1) returns to work, (2) is medically proven to have completely healed from the injury, or (3) is certified by a doctor that they are able to return to work.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission has expanded the definition of an “injury” to now include occupational diseases. The disease must have been obtained while in the course and scope of employment. The North Carolina legislature only recognizes 27 original occupational diseases that qualify for worker’s compensation. To learn more about the specific diseases, see North Carolina General Statute §97-53.
If you have been injured by an accident arising out of and in the course of your employment and have applied for worker’s compensation and been denied, please contact our office. We will be glad to assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.
For more information, visit the North Carolina Worker’s Compensation website at www.ic.nc.gov.