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Is There a Waiting Period for Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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You don’t go to work expecting to get hurt. You do, though, expect that if you get hurt in the normal course of doing your job, the costs associated with that will be covered by your employer. Fortunately, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance that is meant to cover just such a circumstance. A workers’ comp attorney in Charlotte can help you understand what should be covered in your situation.

Things like medical costs and wage reimbursement should be covered by these policies. However, one thing to be aware of is North Carolina’s waiting period before wage reimbursement begins.

Is there a waiting period for workers' compensation in North Carolina?

Is There a Waiting Period for Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?

North Carolina does have a waiting period at the beginning of any workers’ compensation claims. This waiting period lasts for seven days, starting with the first day that you can’t work due to the injury. Any medical costs during this period will be covered, but there is no wage compensation for this period of time.

Wage compensation will begin on the eighth day after you are injured. If your injury keeps you out of work for more than 21 days, then that initial seven-day period will be reimbursed. During this seven-day window, an employee may use their vacation, sick leave, or any other potential leave that they may have available to them.

What Workers’ Compensation Covers

Workers’ compensation is essential for those who suffer a workplace injury. Insurance that covers workers’ comp is required for employers who have at least three employees. The specifics of what workers’ compensation will cover in your situation will depend upon the nature of the injury you suffer. Some of the things that could be covered include:

  • Medical Costs – Workers’ comp should cover all of the medical costs associated with the injury. These could include bills for things like doctors’ visits, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
  • Wage Compensation – Wages are covered by workers’ compensation, but not to their full amount. In most cases, wages are covered by up to two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage. These benefits, though, are tax-free.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation – If your injury is going to require you to make a career change, then things to assist that, such as training and job placement services, are covered through workers’ compensation.


Q: What if Workers’ Compensation Is Denied?

A: If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, it’s critical that you contact a workers’ compensation attorney. There are many circumstances in which a claim that shouldn’t be denied is rejected by the insurance companies. There is a process for appealing these decisions.

The process, though, can be complex, and not following it properly can lead to delays or even having your appeal denied. It’s important that you follow the proper procedure. By working with an attorney, you can be certain that your appeal is being handled appropriately, and they can represent you in any hearings or court procedures.

Q: What if My Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance Even Though They Are Required To?

A: Not carrying the proper workers’ compensation insurance could be a significant problem for your employer. There are fines that can be leveled against them by the North Carolina Industrial Commission. In some cases, failure to carry workers’ comp insurance could be treated as a crime. If you’re hurt in a workplace injury, and your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp insurance, this doesn’t mean you have no recourse. Your employer is still required to cover the expenses.

Instead of a workers’ compensation claim against them, you may be able to file a personal injury claim instead. This could even be filed against the individual with the ability and authority to have brought the employer into compliance with the law. A Charlotte personal injury lawyer can help you understand your options.

Q: How Does the Injury Rating System in North Carolina Work?

A: North Carolina’s injury rating system determines how much wage compensation is paid for various permanent injuries. Permanent, full disability of a body part has been assigned a number of weeks between ten for a non-big toe and 300 weeks for a back. The weeks of wage compensation are paid in the occurrence of a total injury of those body parts.

In the event of partial permanent disability of a body part, a rating corresponding with the percentage of function lost is assigned. The percentage of the full number of weeks will then be awarded. Therefore, a 50% injury rating for a non-big toe will result in five weeks of wage compensation being paid out.

Q: What Does an On-the-Job Injury Lawyer Do?

A: Working with an on-the-job injury lawyer can be essential to getting the full compensation that you deserve. They will help investigate your situation and help you understand how much compensation you should expect to receive. If you are denied unfairly or lowballed with the compensation you’re given, they can represent you through the legal process of seeking what you deserve.

You Deserve Compensation When You Suffer in a Workplace Injury, and We Can Help You Get It

You don’t expect to be injured when at work, but sometimes, mistakes and negligence can lead to a workplace injury. These injuries range from minor to significant. In many cases, there are medical costs associated with them, missed work leading to lost wages, and sometimes even a career change.

Fortunately, the law requires that the employers responsible for those injuries compensate the employee for the costs they incur. Most employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance that covers these kinds of injuries.

Getting insurance companies to follow through as they are supposed to is not always easy. There are times when they deny claims that shouldn’t be denied. Other times, they fail to award as large a compensation package as they should. The law does allow for means where you may try to hold them accountable, but it can be a complex and challenging process.

When you work with a competent workers’ compensation lawyer, though, you give yourself the greatest chance of getting the restitution that you deserve. At Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler, we represent our clients through the workers’ compensation process and seek to get what they deserve. Contact us today if you have a workers’ compensation situation.