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Kelly & West News

5 things you need to know about Workers’ Compensation

Accidents happen every day. Do you know the proper steps to take when it happens in your workplace?

Some jobs pose no immediate hazards, but accidents can happen in any environment. From emergency personnel to working in a candy store, if you are injured or fall ill from a covered illness at your workplace due to work-related activities, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is insurance that employers buy to cover medical bills. It can even reimburse you for missed days of work.

Photo by quietlyurban.com.

Photo by quietlyurban.com.

Worst-case scenario: You end up in the hospital and your bills start to pile up. You can’t afford to make your payments on time and you are unable to work. What do you do?

Here are a few tips to consider if you experience an accident in the workplace.

1) Each state has different regulations that they have to follow regarding worker’s compensation. It is imperative that you research how your state regulates workers’ compensation. The following covers North Carolina laws:

  • You are eligible for workers’ compensation if you are injured or fall ill from a covered illness during the course of your employment.
  • A physician must take you out of work for you to receive lost wages.
  • You must incur the first seven days out of work on your own, without payment from the workers’ compensation insurance company; however, if you miss more than 21 days, the insurance company should reimburse you for the first seven days you missed.
  • Forms must be filed within 30 days of the accident stating that you had an accident or a covered illness and that you are claiming workers compensation benefits. This form is known as a Form 18 and is available online at www.ic.nc.gov.

2) You must report the accident immediately. Your employer should have a trained HR department that handles these situations. Communicating the accident immediately to the appropriate supervisors can increase your chances of receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Paperwork needs to be filed and procedures need to take place, so do not waste your time. Also, communicate with your doctor about the incident. Doing so will help you receive the benefits you deserve.

3) Will your accident qualify? You may be questioning whether or not your accident qualifies for workers’ compensation. Here are a few examples of eligible injuries that may surprise you:

  • Pre-existing conditions worsened by work-related activity
  • Hearing loss from working in loud environments
  • Illnesses from various chemicals
  • Disfigurement and scarring due to burns or cuts

4) There is usually drug screening performed by your employer if you are trying to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you fail these tests, you will be responsible for all of your own medical bills and will not receive any benefits. Hurting yourself on the job while being impaired, will forfeit your ability to be eligible.

5) Attorneys can help! Invest in an attorney and they can help you get the benefits you deserve. Attorneys are trained to handle these kinds of situations so their clients don’t have to. Insurance companies are not going to want to pay more than they have to. Let attorneys of law help you get back on your feet and live your life again.

More questions? Contact our attorneys to schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation.

What Our Clients

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When Reggie Kelly and Thomas West opened their Lillington law practice in 1982, neither guessed they’d be in business so long. 

We love helping people get through tricky situations, and we’re flattered to have been in business this long. It means we’re doing something right. This year we’ve seen some growth in our staff.

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