Workplace accidents can occur at any moment and it’s best to prepared on how to proceed with filing a workers’ compensation claim. It is important that employees, especially with the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer, seek compensation for lost wages and medical bills incurred while out of work due to an injury. The following steps are a helpful guide on what to do if you or a loved one has been injured on the job in North Carolina.
Step 1: Report your injury
It is crucial that employees report an injury to their employer as soon as possible. In many cases, employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies try to deny claims if the injury was not promptly reported.
Step 2: Inform the health care provider the injury is a work-related
This first time you seek medical care it is important to notify your doctor that an injury is related to work. You should also make sure your doctor records this information in your medical notes from the first visit. In many cases, employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies try to deny claims if the first medical note does not include a notation that the injury is a work injury.
Step 3. Present a written notice to your employer
North Carolina provides that written notice of injury be provided on a Form 18. This form includes the date of the injury and a short description of the injury. Provide this statement to work as soon as possible after the accident. Make sure to keep a copy of the statement for your records. If you are not familiar with the Form 18, or if your employer does not provide a Form 18, Mulligan Attorneys, can help.
The Form 18 must also be filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission to officially start the workers’ compensation claim. After Form 18 is filed, your employer must fill out Form 19, which is the first report of injury required from the employer. If you are not familiar with these North Carolina Industrial Commission report of injury forms, Mulligan Attorneys, can help.
Step 4. Keep a diary of all missed days of work, all travel, and all out-of-pocket expenses
North Carolina Workers’ Compensation law allows the employee to start receiving weekly wage replacement payments from the workers’ compensation insurance company once the injured employee is out of work for 7 days. When the injured employer is out of work for a total of 21 days, the employee must be paid for the first 7 day missed. This is the seven-day “waiting period” for wage replacement payments. Also, mileage must be paid for all medically necessary travel over 20 miles round trip, in addition to reimbursement for any necessary out-of-pocket medical expenses paid by the injured worker. A Form 25T is required to receive these payments. If you are not familiar with these North Carolina Industrial Commission expense reimbursement forms, Mulligan Attorneys, can help.
Step 5: Contact a workers’ compensation attorney for help
Navigating through the workers’ compensation process can be confusing and stressful. Insurance adjusters are trained to take recorded statements that can be used against you in your claim. Be careful! There are also steps to filing a claim that are required by the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Our lawyers can help if you would like assistance filing your workers’ compensation claim. We can fill out and file the injury forms, deal with the workers’ compensation insurance company, and make sure you are receiving the treatment you need to recover from your injury and the wages you deserve while out of work. Mulligan Attorneys, will stay with you through your entire case and we will work hard to make sure you receive the lump sum settlement you deserve at the end of the case. Finally, we do not charge a fee unless we recover benefits for you.