Six steps injured NC employees should take after a workplace accident
There are certain steps injured workers in North Carolina need to take to ensure their eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
After getting injured at work in North Carolina, employees are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include access to all necessary medical care and treatment and in many cases, total or partial disability benefits. However, to receive workers’ compensation benefits, injured workers must take certain steps following the accident.
1. Seek treatment
Workers with a medical provider onsite should seek treatment at their workplace according to employer instructions. However, those without an onsite health provider should seek medical care at a healthcare office designated by their employer. Employees should keep in mind that if the injury is serious and requires immediate attention, they can see go to the hospital emergency room or their family doctor.
2. Provide information to the healthcare provider
During their appointment, injured workers should let their healthcare provider know the injury occurred while they were at work. They should also provide the medical provider with the name of their employer, so the treatment can be billed as a workers’ compensation claim.
3. Notify the employer
Employees should let their employer or manager know about the work-related accident as soon as possible. This should be done in-person if possible, but if not, a friend, family member or healthcare provider can provide the employer with notice.
4. Provide written notice
Within 30 days following the accident, the North Carolina Industrial Commission states that injured workers need to provide written notice to their employer. All this notice needs to include is a brief description of the injury and the date the accident occurred. Workers should also keep a copy of this letter for their personal records. Workers who cannot write this letter themselves can have a friend or family member write it and send it to their employer.
5. Follow medical instructions
One of the purposes of the workers’ compensation system is for injured workers to receive the care they need to return to their prior work duties as quickly as possible following their injury. For this reason, those injured on the job should follow the medical instructions given to them by their healthcare provider.
6. Reach out to an attorney
While injured workers in North Carolina may follow these steps exactly following a workplace accident, they may struggle to obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve to make a full recovery. For this reason, employees should seek the assistance of an attorney after they are injured at work.