Workers’ Compensation In North Carolina
If you are a worker who suffered an injury or illness on the job, you probably have a lot of worries. How will you pay your bills? What will happen to your family? When you need answers, you can turn to the Law Office of Jacob Goad.
I am attorney Jacob Goad. As a workers’ compensation attorney, I feel honored to serve the people of North Carolina, including the Spanish-speaking community. As a fluent Spanish speaker myself, I can make sure that you know your rights and understand every step of the claims process.
What Workers Are Excluded From Workers’ Compensation?
Not everyone qualifies for workers’ comp benefits. State law excludes some workers from coverage including:
- Independent contractors
- Domestic employees
- Farmworkers on farms with fewer than 10 employees
- Federal government employees
- Railroad workers
- Workers who do not work regular hours (also called casual employees)
If you fall into one of these categories, you do not have the option to seek workers’ compensation. You should know, however, that many employers will try to convince you that you fall into these categories when you do not. You should speak with an attorney to determine whether you qualify for benefits.
Can Undocumented Workers Get Workers Compensation?
Many workers who do not have permanent legal residency in the U.S. worry about how to pay their medical bills when they have a serious injury on the job.
In North Carolina, the law protects you even if you are an undocumented immigrant. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-2(2) defines the meaning of employee as, every person engaged in an employment under any appointment or contract of hire, including aliens, and whether lawfully or unlawfully employed. Whether you are documented, unlawfully employed, or not, you are entitled to benefits under workers’ compensation in North Carolina.
What Should I Do After A Work Injury?
The moments after an injury can feel disorienting. If you can, try to follow these steps:
- Report your injury to your supervisor. Do it in writing, if you can. You must do this within 30 days of your injury or you lose the chance to file a workers’ comp claim.
- Seek medical attention. You have the right to see the doctor of your choice, even if your employer tries to get you to see the doctor they recommend.
- File your workers’ compensation claim. The statute of limitations in North Carolina is two years from the date of your injury.
From the very first step to the last, I will help you and make sure that we complete every detail correctly.
What Are Employers Responsible For After An Injury?
You are not the only one with certain steps to follow. Your employer has several obligations, too. These include:
- Helping you get emergency medical attention
- Addressing the safety concerns that contributed to your accident or illness
- Allowing you to see a doctor of your choice
- Reporting the incident to their workers’ compensation insurance provider
- Responding to your communications promptly
- Providing any relevant information you need for your claim
- Not retaliating against you for filing a claim or taking time off work
It is not enough for your employer to ignore the incident and hope that it does not happen again. They also cannot disregard your medical needs.
Speak With A Workers’ Comp Attorney Today For Free
You do not have to go through the overwhelming stages of a workplace injury or illness on your own. With me, you will have an advocate at your side who can protect your rights. Reach out to me at my Durham office to request a completely free, confidential initial consultation. Call 919-944-4669 or send me an email to begin. Yo hablo español.