As any Charlotte worker knows, people often make mistakes while on the job. Errors at work are almost inevitable, even when the culture of the workplace is solid and the workers themselves honest and diligent.
Unfortunately, there are some mistakes, however innocent, that can have disastrous results. For instance, someone who misses a step when handling a piece of machinery or a tool may wind up with a serious or even debilitating injury.
Like those of other states, North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system is, for the most part, a no-fault system. This means an employee can claim, and receive, benefits even if he contributed to his own injury by mishandling a piece of equipment or even by violating a workplace rule or policy.
There are a few narrow exceptions to this rule that workers should keep in mind. For one, a worker who gets hurt while drunk or under the influence of drugs, except for drugs being taken as prescribed, will not be eligible for benefits. Likewise, a worker who intended to cause an injury to herself or someone else cannot receive benefits.
Perhaps of more importance to average workers in Charlotte, a 10% reduction of benefits may apply as a penalty if the worker got hurt because of his willful failure to use a safety device or to follow a law, rule or workplace policy. On the other hand, an employer may have to pay 10% in additional benefits if its willful violation of safety rules contributed to a worker’s injury.
For the most part though, injured North Carolina workers should not hesitate to claim the workers’ compensation benefits to which they are legally entitled. They may wish to have the assistance of an experienced attorney when doing so.