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What Are the Two Factors That Determine Workers’ Compensation Claims?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
  |     |  

Being involved in an accident in the workplace can be traumatizing and quite stressful. You may be confused about what to do or how to handle applying for workers’ compensation. It is important to protect yourself in the event of a workplace injury and to figure out if you qualify for workers’ comp. You may ask yourself, “What are the two factors that determine workers’ compensation claims?” A Hickory workers’ compensation attorney can help you.

What are the two factors that determine worker's compensation claims?

The Two Factors That Determine Workers’ Compensation Claims

When you suffer a workplace injury, you will likely want to pursue a workers’ compensation claim to take care of yourself while you miss work during your recovery. It’s a perfectly understandable response to being injured at work. The first step is to determine if you are covered, and there are two main factors that determine whether you can file a claim:

  • Whether you are an active employee with your company
  • Whether your injury occurred as a result of your employment with the company

Those are just two factors that will directly impact your ability to collect workers’ comp should you suffer a workplace injury. Obviously, you will have to be an employee of your company, and your injury must’ve taken place on company time as a result of your job. Not all workers’ comp situations end in a settlement, which is why it may be beneficial to hire an attorney.

In North Carolina, workers’ comp is awarded on a no-fault basis, meaning that it does not matter how the accident happened or who was responsible. You are entitled to workers’ comp, even if the accident was partially or entirely your fault.

Different Types of Workers’ Comp Benefits

There are largely four distinct types of workers’ comp benefit packages you can qualify for in North Carolina. Which package you can receive will largely depend upon the state of your injuries, the nature of your accident, and what your employer is legally required to provide for you:

  • Medical Benefits: In North Carolina, your employer can direct your medical treatment by choosing your doctor for you, though you have the power to choose a different doctor, should you wish to do so. Be sure to document all your medical bills that occurred as a result of your accident. Your workers’ comp package could cover your entire medical expenses.
  • Lost Wages: Your workers’ comp benefits will likely include lost wages, or indemnity benefits, should you require a substantial healing period as a result of your injury. If you are unable to return to work for an extended period of time or are permanently forced to quit, you may be eligible to receive compensation for lost income. The amount of time you can accrue this compensation depends on how severe your injuries are.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits: According to the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, an employer may decide to pay for a one-time “assessment of the employee’s vocational potential” during the workers’ comp claim. This can assess the injured employee’s future potential as a worker and determine if they have any transferable skills that can be used in other departments.
  • Death Benefits: In the unfortunate and traumatic event that a workplace accident results in the worker’s death, then their surviving spouse and/or children are eligible to collect death benefits on their loved one’s behalf. The family may retain an attorney and seek additional compensation for pain and suffering, particularly if their relative’s death was the result of someone else’s negligence.


Q: What Is the Most Important Factor in Determining the Cost of Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

A: There are a number of very important factors that help determine the cost of workers’ compensation insurance. Depending on the company, what they do, how dangerous the job is, and how well-trained the employees are, every employer has their own specific factors that affect how much they pay for workers’ comp insurance. Some of those factors include a company’s annual payroll, its pre-existing claims history, and its specific industry.

Q: Can I Be Fired While on Workers’ Compensation Leave in North Carolina?

A: No, you cannot legally be fired while on workers’ compensation leave in North Carolina. If your employer tries to terminate your position after you suffer a workplace injury and apply for workers’ comp, they are in direct violation of North Carolina state law, which protects employees from unlawful retaliation by their employers. If your employer attempts to fire you because you applied for workers’ comp, speak to an employment lawyer. They can advise you on your next course of action.

Q: What Are the Two Most Common Forms of Workers’ Compensation?

A: The two most common forms of workers’ compensation are medical benefits and lost wages. North Carolina state law allows employers to cover all their injured employees’ medical bills that have to do with their workplace injury. That includes surgery costs, medication costs, physical therapy, hospital stays, and long-term care. In addition, employees often apply to receive lost wages. This allows them to be properly compensated for any work time that they may have missed as a result of their injury.

Q: Which Situation Qualifies an Employee for Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

A: Every situation that qualifies an employee for workers’ compensation coverage must be work-related. That’s the main stipulation to receive workers’ comp. Your injury must have happened at work or as a result of your job for your employer to be responsible for providing you with workers’ compensation. Some examples could include slipping on a wet warehouse floor and injuring your leg or developing a wrist condition due to repetitive stress.

Reach Out to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

It can feel daunting to apply for workers’ compensation, especially after you have suffered a workplace injury. Don’t worry. You don’t have to deal with this alone. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can guide you through the process and help you take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Reach out to Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler today to schedule a consultation.