Given that approximately 10 million people reside in North Carolina, it is not unexpected that many of them are working in small businesses. Approximately 98% of all North Carolina businesses and 46% of the state's private employment are small businesses.
If you own a small business in North Carolina, the following information will help you understand workers’ compensation insurance. It assists in providing benefits to employees who sustain an injury or illness on the job. It can help cover a worker's medical expenses and replace a portion of their lost wages if they are unable to work. In North Carolina, if you have three or more employees, you must have workers' compensation coverage.
What Workers’ Compensation Covers In North Carolina
Workers' compensation in North Carolina can help cover:
- Ongoing care: A workplace accident or illness may necessitate continuing care for the employee. For instance, if a person is wounded on the job and requires physical treatment, or if a worker becomes ill due to their employment and requires rehabilitation services. In such situations, workers' compensation would help cover the medical expenses of your employees.
- Missed or lost wages: A work-related injury or illness may result in an employee's absence from work. Workers' compensation can assist in compensating a portion of your injured employees' lost wages throughout their rehabilitation period.
- Illness: North Carolina's working environment may expose people to hazardous chemicals or allergens that might cause disease. If an employee becomes ill on the job, workers' compensation may cover medical expenses.
- Funeral costs: If an employee dies due to a work-related incident, this coverage can help with funeral expenses.
- Repetitive injury: Not all workplace injuries occur in a single event. Repetitive strain throughout the workday might lead to repetitive injuries.
- Accident or injury: If an employee is injured on the job, workers' compensation coverage can help cover medical expenses.
- Disability benefits: Some workplace injuries are so serious that the victim may never return to work. In certain instances, individuals may be able to return to work in a different capacity. Workers' compensation can assist injured employees in paying for medical expenses and replace some lost wages.
How Workers’ Compensation Works In North Carolina
When an employee becomes ill or injured on the job, they must:
- Notify their employer of the accident within 30 days
- File a claim for workers' compensation to the state Industrial Commission
To submit a claim, an employee must fill out Form 18. This form must be submitted within two years after the date of the injury or illness. When submitting a claim, the employee must demonstrate:
- That their work caused their illness or injury
- A relationship of employment with the employer
- The injury or illness resulted in NCWCA-covered damages
The North Carolina Industrial Commission handles medical bills associated with claims.
The Commission is also in charge of the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Medical Fee Schedule. The North Carolina workers' comp fee schedule specifies how much providers are permitted to charge for their services.
Keep in mind that if your employee's doctor advises treatment that your insurance provider is unwilling to cover, your employee may need to hire workers' compensation attorneys.
Common Types Of Workplace Injuries In North Carolina
Our firm handles a wide range of different types of workplace injury lawsuits. Included among the most common workplace injuries in North Carolina are:
- Overexertion: When working with big objects, employees who push their bodies too far or fail to apply suitable practices can place themselves under a great deal of physical strain, resulting in muscle tears, sprains, and other injuries. The incidence of overexertion injuries is high among workers who frequently lift or transport heavy goods.
- Falls: Falls at work can result in severe injuries, such as spinal cord damage and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Workers sliding or tripping on loose things or slippery flooring cause some falls. Scaffolding, worn or broken rails, stairs, escalators, and walkways can also cause accidents.
- Struck by object/s: While workers falling from great heights can cause severe injuries, the same is usually true when falling items strike workers. Many of these injuries are caused by negligent coworkers who drop or misplace objects or tools. Injuries from falling objects can also result from the collapse of a shelf or other structure holding large objects.
- Mental injuries: Physical injury is not the only hazard employees confront on the job. People in demanding occupations (police, firefighters, physicians, nurses, and paramedics, for instance) may endure significant stress, which can be detrimental over time. Occasionally, workers can develop mental health illnesses after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic occurrence on the job, such as an explosion, a car accident, a workplace violence incident, etc.
- Bodily reaction: Depending on the nature of your occupation, you may be often exposed to toxic or possibly hazardous substances. These dangerous substances can induce chemical burns upon skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion. In rare instances, the mere proximity of certain compounds can provoke allergic responses or other ailments in certain employees, particularly if they are not wearing the required protective equipment.
- Motor-vehicle accidents: Many jobs require employees to drive, which raises their likelihood of getting involved in a work-related accident. Severe car or truck collisions can result in bone fractures, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, burns, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious conditions.
- Being caught in or compressed: Extremely serious injuries, such as crushed, dismembered, or severed limbs, can be sustained by workers caught in or compressed by massive industrial machinery.
- Repetitive motion: In many cases, workplace injuries are the consequence of gradual wear and tear rather than a single incident. These injuries are typically the result of a worker performing the same motion repeatedly throughout the day.
- Striking an object: If a coworker pushes a worker into an object or if the worker is not paying attention and collides with the object, the worker could get severe injury.
- Violence: A fight at work can easily result in catastrophic injuries, particularly if one or more participants employ a weapon during the encounter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding workers’ compensation in North Carolina:
Who is eligible for workers' compensation in North Carolina?
The North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act mandates that all businesses with three or more employees, including corporations, sole proprietorships, LLCs, and partnerships, acquire workers' compensation insurance or qualify as self-insured employers in order to pay workers' compensation benefits to their employees.
Who is exempt from workers’ compensation in NC?
Employers with three or more workers are required to have workers' compensation insurance, with the exception of agricultural employment with fewer than 10 workers, some sawmill and logging companies, and domestic labor.
How long does it take to get a workers’ comp settlement check in NC?
N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-18(e) requires settlement payments to be paid within 10 days of receiving the Industrial Commission's Order.
Other Insurance Types
Today, you can also discover more about workers' compensation by requesting a quotation.