Starting a Workers' Compensation Claim in North Carolina
If you have suffered a work related injury, it is important to follow these steps:
- Report the injury to your employer immediately
- Obtain medical treatment as needed - even if the injury is minor
- Make sure to tell your doctor that you were injured at work
- Report the accident and injury to your employer, in writing, within 30 days (use the North Carolina Industrial Commission Form 18 to make a claim)
- Call an attorney and get a free consultation before talking to the workers' comp insurance adjuster
Many workers' compensation claims are denied simply because the injured worker did not give enough details about how the injury happened. Adjusters working for the workers' comp insurance company will request that you give a recorded statement and these statements can be used to deny your claim. Many times, an injured worker will harm his or her claim without knowing by answering certain questions without an understanding of key terms. We frequently see recorded statements where the injured worker left out critical details about the on-the-job accident and, as a result, the claim was denied.
Attorney Help With Your Denied Workers' Comp Claim
If you receive a letter, or a Form 61 indicating that your workers' compensation claim has been denied, you should hire an experienced attorney to handle your claim. Once you receive notice that your workers' comp claim has been denied (you will most likely receive a Form 61), do not discuss your case any further with the insurance adjuster.
Time Limits to File Your Workers' Compensation Claim
If you are injured at work in North Carolina, or while working anywhere in the country while working for a North Carolina employer, you need to take action to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. You should first give your employer verbal notice of your accident and your injury. If you have an occupational disease, which can be a condition like carpal tunnel syndrome that develops over time, you should give your employer verbal notice of the condition as soon as you know about it. If you are injured in an accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Under North Carolina law you are also required to give your employer written notice of your injury within 30 calendar days. The North Carolina Industrial Commission Form 18, which can be completed online, is the form used to formally file your claim. You should call a North Carolina attorney experienced in workers' compensation claims for a free consultation in order to learn how to complete this form properly. Using the wrong words or failing to provide enough detail about an accident, or your injury, may result in a denial of your claim that could take months to undue.
Failing to Meet Time Limits for Filing a Workers' Comp Claim
If you fail to give written notice of your workers' compensation claim within 30 calendar days, the employer and the workers' comp insurance carrier may deny your workers' compensation claim. North Carolina law provides that notice given to the employer is notice to the insurance carrier, so don't worry about notifying the workers' comp insurance carrier separately. Your employer has a duty to notify the workers' comp insurance company. There are some exceptions to this 30-day notice rule which can be explained by an experienced workers' comp attorney.
Hire an Attorney Experienced With Workers' Compensation Cases
If you have questions about your possible workers' compensation claim, contact the Raleigh, North Carolina workers' compensation attorneys at Hemmings & Stevens, PLLC today. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingent fee basis, which means there are no fees unless we make a recovery for you. For assistance, call us at 919.277.0161 or contact us online. Our office is in Raleigh, but we handle workers' compensation cases statewide.
This article regarding workers' compensation is for informational purposes only and is not legal or medical advice. If you have a workers' compensation claim, you may need to seek the advice of a workers' compensation attorney at the law firm of Hemmings & Stevens, PLLC that has experience in these matters.