Workers’ Compensation FAQ

  1. What should I do if I am hurt on the job? Immediately following an injury, you should report the injury to your supervisor and ask to fill out an accident report. If the employer believes that workers' compensation issues have arisen, they will file a report of injury with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Even if the employer does not file a report of injury with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, you should file a Form 18 with the North Carolina Industrial Commission to preserve your claim. You may not immediately know the extent of the injury when it occurs, so it is wise to preserve your rights. If you do not file the appropriate forms with the Industrial Commission, your rights will not be preserved.
  2. Are all job-related injuries compensable? No. There must be an accident which caused the injury. However, most situations fall into some type of accident category. Causes of injuries which are generally not compensable include intoxication, drug use, and fighting.
  3. What is an occupational disease? An occupational disease may be any health condition to which an individual is placed at a greater risk than the public at large due to the conditions on the job. The North Carolina Workers' Compensation act provides a number of specifically enumerated occupational diseases, but other non-listed medical conditions may also qualify. It is necessary to show that the occupational disease was caused by the conditions on the job, which is often shown through the testimony of a physician.
  4. Am I entitled to compensation for pain and suffering? Technically no. The remedies in a worker's compensation claim include payment of a portion of lost wages, payment of medical treatment, and payment for the portion of loss of use of one or more body parts. Each body part is assigned a "value" which depends upon the employee's average weekly wage, the percentage of loss of use of the body part, and the "number of weeks" which the body part is assigned. However, injuries often involve more that one body part, which can increase the value of the claim.
  5. Who determines the course of medical treatment? If the employer admits that you have a compensable claim, then it (through the insurance carrier) has the right to direct your medical treatment and select the doctors.. However, if the medical treatment is not sufficient, or a second opinion is required, there are steps that can be taken to get additional medical treatment. If the employer denies the compensability of the claim, the employee can usually direct his own medical treatment.