Answers to Your Burning Questions about North Carolina Workers’ Compensation

May 24, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Pursuant to North Carolina worker’s compensation laws as of the beginning 2006, here are some brief answers to FAQs you may have about worker’s compensation benefits and restrictions. Please speak with an attorney before making any decisions about your claim and coverage.

How long can you wait after you get hurt before filing for benefits?

One full week (seven days).

How long do you have to be out of work for an injury before you get retroactive North Carolina worker’s compensation benefits?

Three full weeks (21 days).

Who decides what physician you can see?

Your employer does, in general. But the North Carolina Industrial Commission can change your physician selection in certain cases.

What employees do North Carolina worker’s compensation laws cover?

• NC government workers
• Officers and employees of universities
• Elected officials of North Carolina
• Most temporary, part time, and full time employees

What does the North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act say?

A worker hurt by accident that occurred during the course of or out of employment can get compensations. Not all work injuries will be compensable. Some event had to cause the harm. One exception: hernias and back injuries may be compensable even if the claimant cannot identify a specific traumatic event stemming from work that caused the problem.

The Act also says that so-called occupational diseases can be compensable. These are diseases or illnesses that occur more frequently in a particular occupation. For instance, stenographers tend to suffer higher rates of typing injuries than do people in other professions. So, carpal tunnel syndrome may be classified as an occupational injury for a stenographer. However, say a stenographer comes down with diabetes. That may not be a compensable occupational disease, since being a stenographer does not typically predispose to getting diabetes.

What must an injured employee do to get compensation?

First, you must tell your employer as quickly as possible after the injury happens. If you wait 30 days or more, the employer may be able to refuse to pay out North Carolina worker’s compensation benefits. The injured party must also file a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission within two years from the injury or from the time that the injury was recognized.

Should you get legal help for your claim?

It never hurts to discuss your matter for free and in confidence with a qualified and proven North Carolina Worker’s compensation attorney. A free consultation is non-binding, meaning that you don’t have to pay for any services if you choose not to retain the lawyer after speaking with her.

More Web Resouces:

North Carolina Industrial Commission

North Carolina Worker’s Compensation Act


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