Workers’ Compensation Laws In North Carolina

Introduction

Workers’ compensation laws were enacted to protect the workers who are injured on the job in North Carolina. It is a system that provides benefits to the workers who are hurt on the job or develop any occupational diseases. The employers in North Carolina are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The North Carolina Industrial Commission is responsible for overseeing the workers’ compensation laws in the state.

Who Is Eligible?

Workers who are employed in North Carolina are generally eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on the job or develop any occupational diseases. This includes both full-time and part-time employees. However, independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Types of Benefits

The following are the types of workers’ compensation benefits available to the injured workers in North Carolina:

Medical Expenses

Workers’ compensation covers the medical expenses related to the injury or occupational disease. This includes doctor’s fees, hospital bills, prescription costs, and other related expenses.

Wage Replacement

If an injured worker is unable to work due to the injury or illness, workers’ compensation provides wage replacement benefits to compensate the worker for the loss of income. The amount of wage replacement benefits is two thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage, subject to a maximum limit set by the state.

Vocational Rehabilitation

If the worker is unable to return to his previous job due to the injury or illness, workers’ compensation in North Carolina provides vocational rehabilitation services to help the worker to return to work. This includes training, education, and counseling services.

Permanent Disability Benefits

If the injury is severe and the worker suffers permanent disability, workers’ compensation provides permanent disability benefits. The amount of permanent disability benefits depends on the severity of the disability and the worker’s future earning capacity.

Death Benefits

In case of an employee’s death due to a work-related injury, workers’ compensation provides death benefits to the employee’s dependents. This includes a percentage of the worker’s average weekly wage for a specified period of time.

The Process of Filing Workers’ Compensation Claim

The process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina is as follows:

Report the Accident

The injured worker must report the accident to the employer as soon as possible. The report must include the details of the accident, the date, and the time.

Seek Medical Treatment

The worker must seek medical treatment for the injury or illness. The employer may provide the worker with a list of approved doctors or the worker may choose the doctor. The doctor will evaluate the injury or illness and recommend treatment.

File the Claim

The injured worker must file a workers’ compensation claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The worker must file the claim within two years of the injury or illness or within two years of the discovery of the occupational disease.

Investigation

The Industrial Commission will investigate the claim to decide whether the worker is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The employer’s insurance company may also investigate the claim.

Negotiation or Hearing

If the claim is approved, the worker may negotiate with the employer’s insurance company to receive the compensation. If the negotiation fails, the worker may request a hearing before the Industrial Commission.

Appeals

If the worker is dissatisfied with the decision of the Industrial Commission, the worker may appeal the decision to the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Conclusion

Workers’ compensation laws in North Carolina provide benefits to workers who are injured on the job or develop any occupational diseases. The benefits include medical expenses, wage replacement, vocational rehabilitation, permanent disability benefits, and death benefits. The process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina involves reporting the accident to the employer, seeking medical treatment, filing the claim, investigation, negotiation or hearing, and appeals. It is important for workers to understand their rights and benefits under the workers’ compensation laws to ensure that they receive the appropriate compensation for their injuries and illnesses.

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