As an employee of any corporation or organization, it’s important to understand your rights in terms of a workplace injury. Injuries incurred at one’s place of work usually fall under workers’ compensation laws, where employees are eligible for financial compensation as a result of their injuries. All states require companies to provide employees with a reasonably safe and healthy work environment and require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance, sometimes known as workman’s comp. Workers’ compensation may protect employees from financial ruin as a result of an injury incurred at one’s place of work, but it has its limitations. There are many instances that require a workers’ compensation attorney to intervene.
Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws but there is a general pool of requirements that are mandatory for all businesses. These include for North Carolina:
- The employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance if they have three or more employees.
- The employee filing a workers’ compensation insurance lawsuit or case must be a verified employee of the company (not an independent contractor). This usually includes full and part-time employees and temporary employees. Independent contractors and volunteers rarely if ever qualify.
- The employee filing the workers’ compensation case for his/her workplace injury must have been injured during the performance of his/her job-related duty.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries occur on an annual basis within the United States. Workplace injuries may include but are not limited to falls, repetitive motion injuries, manual handling of materials, slips, and falls, and accidents related to motor vehicle operation.
Workplace injuries tend to vary based on industry and the type of work performed. Falls tend to be occupational hazards for construction workers and may result in broken bones, spinal injuries, brain injuries, and sometimes fatalities. Repetitive motion injuries may come from performing the same movement in a repetitive way for an extended period of time. Such injuries could be bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tendonitis. Repetitive motion injuries can occur in almost any industry. Jobs that require significant physical labor, heavy lifting, or operating machinery may incur other workplace injuries in the form of back injuries, head injuries, or musculoskeletal injuries.
If you or a loved one have suffered a workplace injury, the best course of action is to immediately notify your supervisor after you have been injured at work. While reporting requirements vary by state, North Carolina workplace injury attorneys recommend notifying one’s supervisor as close to the incident of a workplace injury as possible to ensure the best proper course of legal action. Failure to report a workplace injury or illness contracted as a result of a workplace environment within North Carolina or South Carolina’s mandated time frame may negatively affect one’s ability to receive just compensation in a workers’ compensation claim.
Understanding your legal rights in the event of a workplace injury is imperative for your long term health and safety. In order to ensure that you are properly protected in case of a workplace injury in North Carolina or South Carolina, call the team at Cardinal Law Partners. With four convenient locations in Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, and Belmont, North Carolina, we are committed to representing clients for Workers’ Compensation, Personal Injury, and Social Security Disability in both North Carolina and South Carolina. All of our attorneys are certified by the North Carolina Board of Workers’ Compensation. We can help you with any workplace injury claim and provide the financial and legal support you deserve.