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How Long Do I Have to Sue for Work-Related Injuries in North Carolina?

Sat Feb 17th, by Work Injury |

As difficult as dealing with a workplace injury can be, facing a potential legal battle can be substantially more stressful. Understanding the parameters for potential claims by consulting with a trusted Concord workers’ compensation lawyer can allow you to proceed through the legal process with confidence.

While you likely cannot sue your employer due to North Carolina law, if you have obtained a serious injury in the workplace, you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits. If a third party caused your injuries, you could sue them by filing a personal injury claim, and you would have three years to do so.

As a protected employee who has sustained a serious workplace injury, you are entitled to certain rights that allow you to receive sufficient benefits towards any necessary medical treatment that is a direct result of your injury. However, these benefits are not simply provided without legitimate documentation and legal procedure, so it is imperative that you begin the process as immediately as possible to give yourself the greatest chance for success while you recover from your injury.

How Long Do I Have to Report an Injury?

Ultimately, it’s highly recommended that you report your workplace injury as soon as it occurs, but it’s not always so straightforward. According to North Carolina state workers’ compensation laws, the employee must notify or report their work-related injury to their employer within 30 days of the injury occurring in order to qualify for a workers’ compensation claim.

As an employee, simply telling your employer that you were hurt while on the job does not suffice, as you are required to submit an official written report of the accident to your employer that includes the exact date the incident occurred and a brief account of the injuries that you sustained as a result.

It is also recommended that you seek medical care for your injury immediately following the incident, as it will create an official medical record of the injury you sustained.

If your workers’ comp claim is denied by the insurance provider, then you have the right to appeal the decision. The period for submitting an official appeal is only 14 days, and failure to file an appeal within this time frame will almost certainly prevent you from receiving the benefits that you’re entitled to as a result of your workplace injury.

Consulting with an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney at this stage is critical should you ever have a claim denied. They will be able to help you with the appeal process and ensure that you have legal representation during any mediation proceedings and court hearings.

In severe workplace injury cases that leave the employee with a permanent disability that prevents them from working, they could be eligible to receive lifetime permanent total disability benefits in order to cover the cost of their long-term lost wages.

How Long Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Last?

Once you have properly reported, filed, and begun receiving workers’ compensation benefits, it’s important to know the extent of the coverage and for how long it will last. Standard workers’ comp benefits will pay for all injury-related medical expenses and wage replacement for lost wages due to the injury.

The medical expenses for treatment related to your injury will be covered by your employer’s insurance provider as long as the treatment is approved by your doctor. For wage replacement compensation, benefits can be paid for as long as 500 weeks until you are able to return to work.


Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations for Injury in North Carolina?

A: Under North Carolina state law, the statute of limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim is two years after the date that the injury occurred. In the vast majority of cases, failure to submit your workers’ comp claim within the statute of limitations will result in your claim being barred. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years after the incident.

Q: Does Workers Comp Pay for Pain and Suffering in North Carolina?

A: Workers’ comp does not pay for pain and suffering; however, if you were injured at your workplace due to the negligence of a third party who is not your employer, then you may file a personal injury claim against the third party, which would be separate from the workers’ comp claim.

Q: Can I Sue My Employer for Negligence in North Carolina?

A: In North Carolina, workers’ comp is usually the single remedy for workplace injuries, but there are a few exceptions, which typically involve gross negligence or intentional harm by the employer. If your injury was caused by a third party who is not associated with your employer, then you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the responsible third party.

Q: Does Surgery Increase Workers’ Comp Settlement in North Carolina?

A: Yes, having surgery would increase the amount of your claim. Since your workers’ comp benefits would include all injury-related medical expenses, the cost of surgery would be included, increasing the total settlement amount accordingly. Also, workers’ comp insurance should cover any necessary rehabilitative treatment needed after your surgery, which would increase the settlement amount even further.

Contact an Experienced NC Workers’ Comp Lawyer

Dealing with the aftermath of a significant workplace injury is difficult enough, but when your workers’ compensation claim is denied, your employer committed gross negligence, or a third party is responsible for your injury, then the legal process that ensues can be complex and overwhelming to navigate by yourself.

It becomes crucial to make sure that you have a clear and precise understanding of the various timelines for filing a claim, in addition to the length of time for which you can expect to receive your necessary benefits for lost wages and medical treatment. Knowing just what to expect can help you proceed with confidence and peace of mind.

If you are a victim of a workplace accident, then you are not only entitled to receive proper benefits while you recover, to ensure that your legal rights as an at-will employee are appropriately upheld, and to have dedicated legal representation every step of the way so that you can focus on your recovery.

M. Reid Acree Jr., Attorney at Law, and his more than 30 years of legal experience can guide you through each step of the process with compassion and dedication as he and his team fight for your justified compensation. Please feel free to contact us and schedule a consultation.