Filing a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina might appear to be much easier than it actually is.
According to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, when a worker is injured he or she must first seek the help of an on-site health care provider. If one is not readily available, the worker is then instructed to seek the assistance of a designated health care office. If neither resources are available, a worker is instructed to then, depending on the circumstances, report to a family doctor or a hospital emergency room.
Our North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys would like to remind workers that these forms must be submitted to the North Carolina Industrial Commission within 30 days and a report of their injuries must be submitted to their employer within the same timeframe. A number of forms must be completed in a timely manner to help your case and to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Secondly, you are instructed to inform your health care provider that the injury was caused on the job and tell them the name of your employer. This will allow them to bill the treatment as a workers’ compensation claim.
Third, you are asked to inform your manager, supervisor or owner of the company about the work accident. If you can personally report the injury, you are asked to do so. If not, have a family member or health care provider do so. Be sure to do this as soon as possible as time is already ticking.
Fourth, you are asked to, within 30 days, provide a written notice to your employer including the date and details of the injury. Again, if you are not able to do so, have a family member or health care provider do it for you. Be sure to keep a copy of this letter for your records.
Finally, you are to follow physician’s instructions for treatment. The Workers’ Compensation System in North Carolina aims to ensure that you receive quality health care in an effort to restore you to the healthiest and best ability to work that you had prior to your injury.
These five steps will help you receive the appropriate and deserved health care treatment as quick as possible so that you and your employer can initiate workers’ compensation benefits.
But wait, it’s not that easy!
The state steps indicate a symbiotic relationship between an employer and an injured worker, but the truth is such a relationship may become strained from the moment you notify your employer of an injury. It’s recommended that you look out for your own good first and foremost and consult an attorney.
On the N.C. Industrial Commission website, there are several forms to be completed within a specific timeframe after the incident. Many of these forms can be confusing and difficult to understand.
These North Carolina claimant forms include Form 25P, Form 25T, Form 31, Fort 33, Form 42, Form 18B, Form 18M and Form 18.
Even after completing these forms and providing all documentation, your workers’ compensation claim can be denied by your employer. If your claim is denied, you have to fill out even more forms to appeal the decision. Again, a workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help if you find yourself in this situation.
Let’s say you were lucky enough to get through the stacks of paperwork and have your claim approved. How will you be sure that you’re receiving the appropriate compensation for your injuries and time away from work? It is not uncommon for insurance companies to short-change you on your deserved compensation. For this reason and many others, it is critical for you to contact an experienced attorney in the wake of a work accident in North Carolina.
If you are dealing with a work accident in North Carolina or are dealing with a workers’ compensation or disability claim, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.