The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires that an injured employee or the injured employee’s attorney immediately on the occurrence of an accident, or as soon thereafter as practicable, submit a written notice of the accident to the employer. The employee shall not be entitled to any compensation prior to the submission of the notice. Compensation is only released when the employer, his agent or representative, has knowledge of the accident. Alternatively, the injured employee was prevented from doing so due to physical or mental incapacity, or the fraud or deceit of a third party. In most cases, no compensation shall be payable unless a written notice is given within 30 days after the occurrence of the accident. The North Carolina Industrial Commission, however, accepts reasonable excuses. This means that the employer has not been prejudiced thereby.
North Carolina Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorneys from Cardinal Law Partners have helped clients address these issues through their extensive years of practice.
Does an Injured Employee have to Provide Written Notice of the Accident to the Employer?
The North Carolina Court of Appeals has determined that written notices of accidents are not required within 30 days of the date of the accident when the employer already knows about the injury.
What Happens If There are No Written Notices and Employers are Kept in the Dark?
If an injured employee does not provide a written notice of the accident and the employer does not have actual knowledge of the accident for more than 30 days from the date of injury, then the injured employee must be able to provide a reasonable excuse for the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s approval. If the claimant fails to provide a notice of injury, employers must not be prejudiced by the failure to receive notice of the injury.
Reasonable excuses for an injured employee not providing timely notice of the injury to the employer may include, hospitalization for an extended time period, lack of mental capacity, or fraud and deceit by a party who caused the injured employee to believe that notice was not mandatory.
Even if there is a reasonable excuse for the injured employee not providing timely notice, the injured employee may still be prevented from receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. This happens if the employer was prejudiced by the injured employee’s failure to provide timely notice of the injury. However, proving the employer was prejudiced by the injured employee’s failure to provide timely notice of the injury is the employer’s responsibility.
If you or a family member has any questions about workplace injuries and Workers’ Compensation claims, contact Cardinal Law Partners today. Our staff is experienced in handling all areas of the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act and will help you navigate your way through your Workers’ Compensation case in North Carolina and the surrounding areas. Call 833-444-4257 to contact us today!