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Knowing When To Bring a Workers Comp Claim

Knowing When To Bring a Workers Comp Claim

In the United States, on-the-job injuries are more prevalent than people may think.  Each day, numerous people are injured while performing job related duties.  Sometimes, workers are injured accidentally and other times, injuries result from employer negligence.

There are several causes of workplace injuries.  However, two of most common causes are exposure to slippery surfaces and floors followed by burns from exposure to things like boiling water, toxic chemicals and electrical wiring.

You may be thinking that the accidents and injuries mentioned above only apply to people who perform manual labor day-to-day.  Yet, more and more people who work in office environments and sit at a desk all day are reporting injuries ranging from carpal tonal syndrome, to musculoskeletal disorders, to vision impairment.  These injuries are not only serious, but may also impair your ability to work and perform necessary job duties.

Course and Scope of Employment

Can you be covered by Workers’ Compensation if you are driving to or leaving from work?  Usually you cannot.  The “going and coming” rule states that when an employee is leaving for work or coming home from work and they are hurt, they cannot recover workers’ compensation.  However, like most issues involving “the law” there are exceptions to this rule.  One clear exception is the “traveling salesman” exception.

For example if the employee is a traveling salesman and he gets hurt while staying at a hotel while on the road for sales calls, his case will most likely be covered.  Also, if an employee has to travel “incident to their employment” such as a traveling nurse visiting a client in their home.  There are other exceptions, anyone is free to give me a call and discuss.

When Should a Workplace Injury Be Reported?

A worker should report any workplace injury that might be or become a workers’ compensation compensable injury-in other words, any injury that might impede your ability to work or have a significant impact upon your health should be reported immediately. Failure to report such an injury could result in the denial of workman’s compensation for the injury, or if you take too long to report the incident, suspicion of fraud could arise.

When reporting a workplace injury, be sure to report any witnesses to the injury, the date, time and circumstances of the event. After reporting an injury to your boss, it may be worthwhile to follow up with the North Carolina state workers compensation board to ensure that your employer has correctly filed all of the appropriate paperwork to properly establish a claim. It is particularly important to report your injury if chemicals, toxins, or asbestos were involved.

If you have suffered a workplace injury and been refused workman’s compensation by your employer, or if your injury was the result of negligence on the part of your employer, contact Whitley Law Firm to speak with a Raleigh personal injury attorney today.

Will I Sue my Employer if I File a Workers Comp claim?

No.  It is a common myth concerning workers’ compensation.  When you have a claim, oftentimes you are dealing with a workers’ compensation insurance company, not your employer directly.  Unless your employer is self-insured, they have paid for insurance and the insurance adjuster calls the shots.  The adjuster decides which doctor you will see and can often times decide whether or not your treatment is reasonable.  The adjuster will send you your checks and be responsible for payment of your millage and prescription costs.  If there is a dispute with your claim, you can file for a hearing with the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

If you have a claim, you may not need an attorney, often times, if you are going to make a full recovery and get back to your old job, and there are no disputes, you will be okay without an attorney.  However, if it appears that your injury is going to keep you from returning to your old job, or it has been difficult dealing the insurance company, you may need an attorney on your side.