If you become injured on the job in North Carolina, you can qualify for financial benefits by filing a workers’ compensation claim (also known as “workman’s compensation” or “workers’ comp”). If your claim is accepted, you will begin receiving benefits for your medical bills, plus a portion of the wages you were earning before your workplace accident. Additional benefits may also be available, depending on what type of injury you have sustained. However, you will not receive any benefits if you wait too long to file your claim. Therefore, it is crucial to act swiftly if you have been injured at work. In this article, the Charlotte workers’ comp lawyers at the Ramsay Law Firm explain some basic rules about a law called the “statute of limitations,” which creates important deadlines for injured claimants.
The statute of limitations plays a critical role in shaping virtually every type of lawsuit and claim. Put simply, the statute of limitations is a deadline. The length of the deadline, and who it affects, depends on the nature of the case. For example, in a criminal case, the statute of limitations might prevent a prosecutor from filing charges after a certain time. In a personal injury case, the statute of limitations plays a different role: setting a deadline for the victim to bring a claim.
The statute of limitations depends on two factors:
North Carolina workers’ compensation has two-time limits: reporting the injury to the employer and filing a claim with the Commission.
Generally, North Carolina’s statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims is two years. The two-year clock starts ticking on the date the victim is injured. Other personal injury claims in North Carolina, such as car accidents or slip and fall accidents that are not related to the victim’s job, have a three-year statute of limitations. There is a different deadline for occupational diseases.
While the statute of limitations allows up to two years for filing a claim with the Industrial Commission, it is unwise to delay, for several reasons:
To ensure that your claim is not barred, you must report the injury to your employer as soon as possible – within 30 days of your accident – and file your claim well before the statute of limitations expires. The claim must be filed using Form 18 (Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, Representative, or Dependent), which must be submitted to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Not only can the Charlotte workers’ compensation benefits lawyers of the Ramsay Law Firm help you get this process started – we can also file an appeal on your behalf if your claim is denied. If the employer knows of the injury, the employee is excused from giving them written notice.
If you fail to file your claim before the deadline set by the statute of limitations, there can be dire consequences. To directly quote one of North Carolina’s laws on this subject, G.S. § 97-58(c), which deals with occupational illnesses, “The right to compensation for occupational disease shall be barred unless a claim be filed with the [North Carolina] Industrial Commission within two years after death, disability, or disablement as the case may be.” If your claim is “barred,” it means that your claim will be prevented from proceeding any further through the legal system. If this occurs, you will permanently lose your chance at recovering compensation, which is why taking timely action is so critical.
The Charlotte denied workers’ comp claim attorneys of the Ramsay Law Firm have decades of experience helping injured workers file claims, challenge claim denials, and challenge the termination or reduction of their benefits. Now, let us apply our extensive experience to your claim. If you were injured at work, or if your husband or wife was in a workplace accident, our Charlotte injury attorneys can evaluate the situation and determine the strongest strategy for pursuing compensation. For a free consultation, contact the Ramsay Law Firm online, or call us today at (704) 376-1616.