Workers’ compensation is a way for injured employees to seek restitution for any injuries they suffer at work. Employers or their insurance companies are the ones paying workers’ compensation to anyone injured. The law leaves room for some exceptions and cases where an employer may not be liable to pay for damages.
Anyone injured on the job should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss the case and see how much money they should get from their employer. A visit with the attorney may be the difference between a princely $10,000 settlement and paying your medical bills with no assistance.
Who’s in Charge of Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation falls under the purview of the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This body legislates the laws regarding workers’ compensation and sets terms for who can apply for the service.
North Carolina enshrined workers’ compensation into law by the Chapter 97 Workers’ Compensation Act of 1929. The act formed the basis for workers’ compensation in North Carolina and established the Industrial Commission.
When filing and fighting for workers’ compensation, you will likely be dealing with your employer’s insurance company. You may have to speak with representatives from companies like Hiscox, Progressive, or Travelers, to name a few.
Who Is Eligible For Workers’ Compensation?
Let’s look at an example to understand a basic workers’ compensation situation. Karen works at a dock loading cargo containers. The job is full of hazards and requires employees to be careful with handling their daily duties. One day, Karen is assisting in unloading a shipping container when a strap snaps and ends up striking her in the arm. She visits a doctor who tells her the arm has a fracture.
In another example, Bill works in the office at the dock, ensuring all cargo is accounted for and sent to the right place. He pulls long hours at his employer’s request but notices his wrists begin to hurt. A doctor tells him he has carpal tunnel syndrome.
Both situations will likely lead to the injured employee receiving workers’ compensation. Other common reasons for employees seeking workers’ compensation are from falls, sprains, and electric shocks.
The state exempts some employers from paying workers’ compensation. Some instances where an employer is not responsible for paying workers’ compensation include when a worker is the following:
Some railroad employees Casual employees Household domestic servants Farm laborers when there are less than ten full-time employees on the farm Federal government employees in North Carolina Some agricultural product sellers
Additionally, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation even if your company must pay it for injuries. For instance, if Ralph works in one department but is visiting another and goofing off. It will likely lead to him not getting his benefits if he gets hurt while in an unauthorized area.
Going back to Karen in our first example, if she was being negligent or showed up to the job intoxicated and was injured, she would likely not receive workers’ compensation benefits.
While many workers’ compensation situations are simple matters, others are tricky and require a lawyer to navigate successfully.
Does My Employer Pay for Workers’ Compensation?
Yes! If the Industrial Commission approves you for workers’ compensation, your employer is responsible for paying the bill. Almost every company carries workers’ compensation insurance, so you will likely be dealing with a company like Chubb or Allstate when receiving workers’ compensation.
Determining How Much Money a Worker Gets in Compensation
Your employer must pay you 66 percent of your weekly pay for any time you miss due to your injury. The Industrial Commission set the maximum weekly payments at $1,184 for workers’ compensation. Even if you’d receive more to make up 66 percent of your weekly pay, any payments cap at this number.
Q: Who Pays Workers’ Compensation in NC?
A: Employers or their workers’ compensation insurance companies pay for workers’ compensation in North Carolina. Many insurance companies and employers will attempt to low-ball employees to limit how much they need to pay for an injury. Talking to a Salisbury workers’ compensation law firm will assist you in getting a full settlement.
Additionally, unlike in other states, North Carolina companies do not have to pay for “pain and suffering.” You won’t be able to get money for your mental distress.
Q: How Does Workers’ Comp Function in North Carolina?
A: To be eligible for workers’ compensation, you need to be injured on the job while working at a company the Industrial Commission obligates to supply compensation. You need to file a report of the injury with your employer and then speak with the insurance companies. You will then get an offer of how much the company is willing to pay you.
Having a lawyer on your side can help you negotiate a better settlement with the insurance companies.
Q: Is Workers’ Comp Mandatory in NC?
A: You do not have to file for workers’ compensation or report any injuries if you do not want to in North Carolina. You cannot receive any benefits if you do not report an injury at work.
On the employer side, any company with more than three employees – excluding a few specific circumstances – must provide workers’ compensation to an injured employee. Insurance companies handle claims on an individual basis.
Q: How Much Does North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Pay?
A: Insurance companies will look at each case individually to determine how much the affected party should receive. On average, workers’ compensation pays about 66 percent of your regular wages while you are missing time due to an injury or disease. The company may also pay for any medical visits or treatment for the reason you file for workers’ compensation.
M. Reid Acree, Jr.: Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer
If you sustained an injury while working, you’re likely eligible for workers’ compensation. Having an experienced Salisbury workers’ compensation lawyer on your side can help you get what you deserve. M. Reid Acree, Jr. has been working on workers’ compensation claims for years.
Contact us today for a consultation and to get the ball rolling on your workers’ compensation claim.