Getting injured on the job is an upsetting situation for anyone, particularly if the injury results in medical expenses and time away from work. Thankfully, in many cases, workers in this situation will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to cover their medical bills and partially replace any lost wages.
If you are thinking about filing a workers’ compensation claim, it can be wise to consult an attorney first, as issues can arise that could jeopardize your claim. Below, we examine a few of these issues.
Issue: You are not eligible for benefits
While most people in North Carolina are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, some are not. This includes certain laborers, domestic workers and employees who work for an employer who is not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Issue: Your injury is not compensable
In order to receive benefits, your injury must occur as a result of work. If work was not a contributing factor to an illness or injury, or if the injury was not suffered while on the job, then claims for compensation can be denied. Additionally, as noted in the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, any injuries stemming from intoxication or willful acts and disobedience intended to result in death or injury will not be covered.
Issue: You failed to report the injury right away
Failing to report you injury in a timely manner can result in loss of benefits. State laws require that injured workers report an accident immediately, or as soon as is practicable. This notice should be in writing. If this doesn’t happen within 30 days, then the Industrial Commission may deny benefits.
Avoid issues with legal support
Considering how critical workers’ compensation benefits are to injured employees and their families, it is crucial to avoid any missteps that could lead to a delayed or denied claim. Because most workers have never navigated this complicated process before, having the help of an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation claims can be wise whether you are filing an application or you want to appeal a decision.