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An injured employee should give their employer written notice of an injury as soon as possible, but no later than thirty days after the injury.  It is best to provide notice on a Form 18, which can be obtained at the following link:  www.ic.nc.gov/forms/form18.pdf.  A copy of the Form 18 should also be provided to the Industrial Commission, which will open a claim.  The employee should take care in completing the Form 18, particularly with regard to how the injury occurred.  Workers’ Compensation in N. C. encompasses only injuries by accident.  So the employee should be certain to fully and acurately describe the events leading to the injury and accident, or risk the claim being denied.  For example, let’s say a worker was moving a box from a stack, the stack started to fall and he hurt his shoulder trying to catch the stack of boxes to keep them from falling.  If that worker reports that he “hurt his arm trying to keep a stack of boxes from falling”, he is more likely to be accepted by the employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company.

An injured worker generally MUST file a claim with the Industrial Commission within two years of an accident.  In the case of an occupational disease, the employee must file the claim with two years of being informed by a doctor that he or she has a job related disease.  This two-year deadline is critical.  After it is filed, the employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier must formally accept or deny the employee’s workers’ compensation claim.  Insurance companies will frequently seek to avoid this responsibility for various reasons.  An injured employee can request a hearing before the Industrial Commission by filing a Form 33 any time they believe they have an N.C. Workers’ Comp benefit that is not being provided.  I would, however, highly recommend you seek the advice of a Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney to help guide you through the Workers’ Compensation process in order that you may obtain all of the monies that you are entitled to.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact a Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer at the Ramsay Law Firm at 704-376-1616 and come in for a free consultation.  We are conveniently located off af I77 at Exit 18, close to Northlake Mall.  Our clients owe us no legal fees unless we obtain benefits or compensation for their injury or loss.  We know the law, so you don’t have to.

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