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Who Is Exempt From Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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Workers’ compensation exists to provide legal protection to employers while also providing financial security to injured workers. When an employer has workers’ compensation insurance, they will not face civil liability for an injured worker’s damages after a work-related injury. This allows the employer to continue operations with confidence. For employees, this insurance provides valuable benefits if they are injured at work, and usually does so in a much shorter time than it would take to file a personal injury claim.

Who is exempt from workers compensation in North Carolina?

Most People Are Covered, But Some Are Not

If you work in any industry in the state, it is crucial to understand how workers’ compensation could apply if you sustain any injury at work or develop a medical condition from your work. If you find yourself in such a situation, you can typically file a claim through your employer’s insurance policy, recovering compensation for your medical expenses and ongoing disability benefits to help make up for your lost wages during your recovery.

Some Employers Try to Mislabel Workers

Most employees in the state are covered by their employers’ insurance policies, but there are some employees who are exempt from workers’ compensation coverage. Employers are required to categorize their employees accurately, but this does not stop some of them from attempting to misclassify employees to avoid paying higher insurance premiums.

Determining Your Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you suffer any type of work-related injury, you should know what to expect from the workers’ compensation claim filing process. However, before you can file a claim you must ensure you meet the eligibility requirements. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer in Charlotte is the ideal resource to consult if you are unsure how to approach the claim filing process or if you have any questions concerning your eligibility for benefits.

Most employees in all industries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance in the state. However, eligibility does not apply to everyone working in the state. Employers must classify all their employees accurately according to the definitions enforced by state law. A few types of workers who are exempt include:

  • Domestic workers.
  • Employees of businesses with fewer than three employees.
  • Employees of agricultural businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
  • Independent contractors and freelancers.
  • Subcontractors.
  • Employees of certain sawmill and logging operations.

When you begin a new job, your employer is required to inform you of your eligibility status for workers’ compensation benefits should you suffer an injury while working. If you believe an employer has intentionally misclassified you to prevent you from filing for workers’ compensation, it is important to discuss your concerns with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.

An experienced attorney is an ideal asset to have on your side when you must file a workers’ compensation claim, or you have encountered a situation in which your employer appears to have failed to uphold their legal responsibilities under state law. Your attorney can review the terms of your employer’s policy and examine your employment agreement with your employer, identifying any discrepancies that could require legal action. When you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim, having an attorney’s assistance with the process will make every aspect of your claim easier.


Q: Is Workers’ Compensation Mandatory?

A: State law requires every private employer with three or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance. However, certain types of employees are exempt from coverage. Every worker in the state should verify their employer’s coverage and their own eligibility status so they know their rights if they suffer an injury at work.

Q: Do You Need Workers’ Compensation Coverage for 1099 Employees?

A: Workers who receive 1099 forms are typically independent contractors, subcontractors, and freelancers. State law does not require an employer to ensure coverage for these workers. However, it is vital for employers to categorize all their employees accurately. Some employers attempt to avoid paying for workers’ compensation insurance for certain employees by listing them as 1099 employees when they actually meet the definition of full-time employees.

Q: Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer to File for Workers’ Compensation?

A: It is technically possible for you to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits on your own, but having an experienced attorney helping you with the claim will significantly reduce your chances of encountering any unfair treatment from an insurance company. Additionally, your attorney can streamline your claim filing process, shortening the time it takes for you to receive your benefits. You will also be prepared to explore additional avenues of recovery, such as a third-party civil suit against whoever caused your injury.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Complete a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

A: If you have experienced legal counsel advising you and no disputes are raised against your claim, it is possible to receive a determination of benefits from the insurance carrier within a few weeks of filing the claim. However, if your employer and/or their insurance company raise any disputes against the claim, it will extend the time required for you to receive your benefits. Most claimants receive their benefits determinations within two to three weeks.

Q: What Are Attorneys’ Fees for a Workers’ Compensation Case?

A: The majority of attorneys representing clients in workers’ compensation cases work on a contingency fee basis. This means there are no upfront attorneys’ fees for a client, and they will only pay their attorney a fee after they win their case. The contingency fee is a percentage of the total amount the client recovers, and they owe the attorney nothing if they are unsuccessful in securing compensation on their behalf.

The team at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler has helped many clients navigate the workers’ compensation claim filing process, and we know the challenges you could face as you seek the benefits you legally deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney you can trust to help you recover from your recent injury at work.