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What Is the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act?

Wed Jan 17th, by Workers Compensation |

Workers’ compensation is a protection offered to injured workers whose history can be traced back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The purpose of workers’ compensations was to provide a more efficient and equitable means of compensating workers for job-related injuries or illnesses while also protecting employers from potentially costly and lengthy legal battles. A Lexington workers’ compensation lawyer can offer insight into this no-fault-based system.

What is the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act?

What Is Workers Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is insurance that can provide both medical benefits and/or wage replacement for workers who have become ill or are injured in direct correlation to their employment. The goal of this insurance is to ensure that employees receive compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages from a workplace injury, regardless of who is at fault.

It is the responsibility of employers to cover the costs of workers’ compensation, as these benefits often lead employees to forfeit their right to sue their employers for negligence. The benefits received from this insurance are generally viewed as an exchange for not pursuing a legal claim against employers for damages caused by negligence or other reasons. Therefore, fault does not need to be proven to receive workers’ comp.

The key components of workers’ compensation include the following:

  • Medical Benefits: This insurance covers the expense of medical treatment and rehabilitation related to work-related illness or injury. This can include hospital stays, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and other medical services.
  • Wage Replacement: If an employee is not able to complete their work requirements due to a work-related illness or injury, workers’ compensation provides wage replacement benefits. The benefits are generally an average percentage of the employee’s weekly wage and intend to help compensate for the lost income due to their period of disability.
  • Disability Benefits: Disability benefits may be provided for workers who suffer a permanent impairment or disability due to a workplace injury. The amount and duration of disability benefits depend on the extent and nature of the impairment.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: In some instances, workers’ compensation includes vocational rehabilitation services to help injured workers return to appropriate employment. This can involve education, job training, or assistance in seeking a new job.
  • Death Benefits: In the unfortunate event of a work-related death, workers’ compensation can provide death benefits to the dependents of the deceased worker. Typically, these benefits include funeral expenses and compensation to dependents for their lost financial support.

Workers’ compensation laws and regulations vary by country, state, and jurisdiction, each having unique procedures and rules governing the system. A worker’s compensation lawyer from North Carolina can offer a specific breakdown of the laws and regulations that impact your unique case.

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act outlines the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees in the state regarding workplace injury and occupational illness. Here are key points to consider regarding this act:

  • Coverage: The act generally covers most employers with three or more employees.
  • No-Fault System: North Carolina follows a no-fault system, meaning that employees are generally entitled to this benefit regardless of who is at fault for the workplace injury or illness.
  • Compensation Benefits: The act provides for several benefits, including wage replacement for temporary and permanent disabilities, medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits.
  • Reporting Requirements: Employers and employees have specific reporting requirements in the event of a workplace injury. Employers are required to report incidents resulting in serious injury or death to the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC).
  • Claims Process: Injured employees can file a claim with the NCIC. The claims process requires providing documentation of the injury, medical treatment, and other relevant information.
  • Dispute Resolution: The NCIC provides hearings for dispute resolution regarding workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Insurance Requirement: Most employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured.


Q: What Are the Statutory Limits for Workers Comp in North Carolina?

A: As the statutory limits for workers’ comp refer to the minimum or maximum amounts established for certain benefits or damages, there can be limits on the duration of benefits, amount of weekly benefits, or maximum compensation amount for specific injury types. The statutory limits will differ with every employment field and type of injury. Generally, the amount of compensation is a percentage of an employee’s average wage.

Q: What Does Workers Comp Pay in NC?

A: Generally, workers’ compensation in North Carolina pays a percentage of workers’ overall wages, generally around two-thirds, or 66% of regular wages. Workers’ compensation amounts will vary based on the circumstances, as these calculations are made on an individual level dependent on an employee’s current salary. The maximum weekly compensation rate is $1,330.00 in North Carolina in 2024.

Q: Does Workers Comp Cover Lost Wages in NC?

A: Yes, workers’ compensation in the state of North Carolina generally covers lost wages for employees who are unable to work due to a work-related illness or injury. It typically compensates around two-thirds or 66% of regular weekly wages. There can be a waiting period before the benefits start, which is usually a few days after an injury occurs.

Q: How Is a Workers’ Comp Settlement Calculated in NC?

A: Calculating worker’s compensation settlements in North Carolina is not a straightforward process, as it involves reviewing various factors. These factors include medical expenses, lost wages, the severity of the disability, negotiation factors, and, if necessary, both vocational rehabilitation and future medical expenses.

Negotiations are often made between the injured individual or their legal representation and the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The settlement terms are then submitted for final approval to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, the state’s workers’ compensation system.

Contact M. Reid Acree, Jr., Attorney at Law

If you are seeking assistance with a North Carolina-based workers’ compensation claim, contact our Lexington workers’ compensation lawyer today for a consultation. We know how overwhelming it can be to manage the treatment of your work-related illness or injury alongside pursuing legal options, so allow M. Reid Acree, Jr., Attorney at Law to step in and help.