Does Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina Cover Illness and Injury?
Workers’ compensation is a safety net for employees who are injured in the course of employment. However, not every injury will be compensable under North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws. There are various elements that must be met before you can recover workers’ compensation for an illness or injury. If you are unsure that the illness or injury you sustained is compensable, you should speak with an experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer. Having your job security and financial situation threatened because of an injury is a stressful experience, but the lawyers at the Ramsay Law Firm (?) are here for you. The Ramsay Law Firm (?) is here to explain whether workers’ compensation in North Carolina covers illness and injury.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under Workers’ Comp in NC
To qualify for workers’ comp in North Carolina, your illness or injury must be work-related. A work-related injury is one that occurs within the scope of the worker’s employment. This means that injuries that occur when an employee is not working cannot qualify workers’ comp. For example, if your injury occurred commuting to work or off company premises, it will likely not qualify for workers’ compensation.
To be compensable, your injury must occur because of a work-related accident. The injury must occur due to an event that was not part of the employee’s normal work routine. If the employee accidentally caused their own injury, they are not disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation. However, if an employee intentionally caused their own injuries, their claim for workers’ compensation will likely be denied by the employer. Additionally, if an employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and caused an accident, they will not be able to recover workers’ comp benefits if they were injured. An example of a work-related injury is a construction site accident caused by malfunctioning machinery.
Workers’ comp is also available for occupational diseases in NC. Occupational diseases are illnesses that arise because an employee is exposed to hazardous working conditions. An employee must show two qualifying elements to prove that they have an occupational disease:
- The employee was more prone to contract the illness than other members of the public
- Working in hazardous conditions increased the employee’s risk of contracting the illness
Common examples of illnesses that qualify as occupational diseases include carpal tunnel syndrome, asbestosis, lead poisoning, and certain forms of cancer. Additionally, some back injuries may be compensable even if they did not occur because of an accident.
An employee who applies for workers’ comp should know that if they qualify for workers’ comp benefits, they cannot sue their employer for their injury. However, if an employee’s injury was caused by a third party who is not their employer, they may file a lawsuit against that third party and still apply for workers’ comp.
If you wish to know more about injuries and illnesses that are compensable, you should speak with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer.
Who is Covered by Workman’s Comp in NC?
Under North Carolina’s Worker’s Compensation Act an employer that regularly employs three or more employees (part-time or full-time) must possess workers’ compensation insurance. This rule applies to companies that are corporations, sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, and partnerships. Exceptions to this rule include:
- Employees who work for certain railroads
- Casual employees who are not involved in the employer’s regular course of business
- Employees who are employed by a household (domestic servants)
- Farmworkers if there are fewer than 10 full-time, non-seasonal workers employed by the employer
- Individuals employed by the federal government in North Carolina
- Sellers of certain agricultural goods
Additionally, if an employer labels their employees as independent contractors, they may still be liable under NC’s workman’s comp laws. To determine whether independent contractors were in fact employees, the North Carolina Industrial Commission will analyze several factors. One of the most important factors is whether the employer exercised a substantial amount of control over the independent contractors.
If your employer does not carry workman’s comp insurance when they should, they can be charged with several penalties or crimes. If you believe your employer is withholding workman’s comp coverage, you should speak with a lawyer.
Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Will Fight for You
f you or a family member is worried about an injury or illness that may not qualify for workers’ compensation, you should contact an experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney. At Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. (?) we are dedicated to ensuring you receive the legal representation that you deserve. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to build your case for workers’ compensation. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (704) 377-3737 or reach us online.