The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act is a “form driven” legal process. This means that rather than filing complicated legal documents, injured workers and employer are expected to file specific forms required by the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Some of the most important forms are filed at the very beginning. The injured worker is responsible for filing the Form 18 and the employer is responsible for filing the Form 19.
The North Carolina Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Cardinal Law Partners have helped clients file hundreds of Industrial Commission forms during their extensive years of practice.
The Form 18 is the “Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, Representative, or Dependent.” The injured worker needs to specify the time of the injury, the date of the injury, and the City and County where the injury took place. More importantly, the injured worker needs to specify each of the body parts that were involved in the injury. Failing to identify all of the body parts on the Form 18 may affect an injured worker’s ability to get medical treatment later in the claim.
The other important part of the Form 18 is the description of how the injury occurred. Since North Carolina requires an injury by accident to be compensable, it is crucial that the description of the injury include the circumstance and facts that show an accident took place.
The Form 18 should be mailed to the North Carolina Industrial Commission as soon as practical with a copy being sent to the employer. The address where the Form 18 needs to be sent is on the bottom right hand corner of the form.
The employer is responsible for filing the North Carolina Industrial Commission Form 19. The title of the Form 19 is “Employer’s Report of Employee’s Injury or Occupational Disease to the Industrial Commission.” In addition to filing the Form 19, the employer is responsible for providing the injured employee with a blank copy of the Form 18. In our experience, employers of injured workers often fail to promptly file the Form 19 and provide a blank copy of the Form 18 to the injured worker.
Injured workers should ensure that their description of their injury is accurately reflected in the employer’s Form 19. The injured worker should also make sure the employer has the correct occupation, wages, and dates listed. Insurance companies will look for glaring inconsistencies between the injured worker’s Form 18 and the employer’s Form 19 to justify claim denials.
Experience workers’ compensation attorneys will help an injured worker file their Form 18 and review the employer’s Form 19 so that issues are less likely to arise later in the claim process.
After the Form 18 is filed, it is up to the workers’ compensation insurance company to decide whether the claim will be accepted or denied. The claims adjuster will typically investigate the claim and determine if the claim is compensable. Insurance companies will accept the claim on a Form 60 or deny the claim on a Form 61. Either way, it is advisable to contact an experienced attorney to determine whether all of the available benefits are being received.
If you or a family member have questions about any form that should be filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, including the Form 18, contact the team at Cardinal Law Partners today. Our staff is experienced in handling all areas of workers’ comp and will help you navigate your way through your workers’ compensation situation in North Carolina and the surrounding areas. Contact Us today!