The system of workers' compensation benefits in North Carolina represents a significant improvement over an alternative in which employees who are injured on the job would have to take their employers to court to seek compensation for their expenses related to medical treatment and other costs. So it should come as no surprise that the vast majority of employers in this state are required to participate in workers' compensation.
Nonetheless, aside from fairly narrow exclusion categories, there may be other situations in which your employer may attempt to either deny or limit your right to receive benefits. If this should happen to you, or if you have any questions about your eligibility for workers' compensation or how to apply for benefits, a law firm that practices in workers compensation law is an excellent resource to have those questions or concerns answered. This post is intended only as an overview of the topic and is not offered or meant to be relied upon as legal advice which should only be given by an attorney.
As with most general rules, though, there are exceptions to the overarching requirement for employer participation in workers' compensation. Some of these exceptions include:
- If you are employed by select railroad companies
- If you are a domestic servant that a household employs
- If you work as a laborer on a farm that employs fewer than 10 such laborers on a full-time basis
- If your job does not pertain to the business of your employer (that is, you are classified as a "casual employee")
- If you work for the federal government.
These are not all of the exceptions to the workers' compensation requirement, but, as you can see from the examples above, the exceptions themselves are specific and limited in scope.
Chances are, if you are hurt on the job through no fault of your own then you will qualify for workers' compensation benefits, or your surviving family members will qualify if you should die as a result of your injuries.