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If you have been hurt on the job in North Carolina, the state has workers’ compensation protection for most employees. Your Durham workers’ compensation lawyer can, therefore, use their experience to make sure that you receive the compensation you need, to pay your medical bills and make up for lost wages due to the time you were unable to perform your regular work duties. To discuss what steps you should take before filing a claim, consult with an injury attorney in Durham today.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Unfortunately, despite the mandate aimed at protecting both employees and employers, many employers will still try to get out of paying workers compensation insurance. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Durham can begin working with you from the moment you are hurt, and if you find that your employer failed to obtain necessary coverage, your workers’ compensation attorney will seek to hold your employer accountable.

In addition, you may need a legal advocate as you notify your employer of the injury, file a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, pursue any necessary hearings or appeals, and ensure that your employer does not retaliate against you in any way for filing a claim.

North Carolina Employer Responsibilities

Nearly all North Carolina employers are required to either self-insure or have purchased workers compensation insurance, especially if they have three or more employees.

In some situations, employers will seek to avoid providing coverage by classifying their employees as independent contractors, but your workers’ compensation lawyer in Durham can look into whether your employer’s classifications are proper. It is not permissible to classify employees as contractors just to avoid workers compensation obligation.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

The workers’ compensation program in Durham is meant to be a mutually beneficial system aimed at protecting both employers and employees since it reduces the need for injured employees to file lawsuits against their employers, and virtually guarantees that most work injuries will receive some compensation.

Conditions covered by workers compensation in North Carolina include all injuries stemming from work-related accidents that occurred during the course of employment duties. Occupational diseases that are the result of the workplace environment are also covered under the state workers’ compensation laws.

First Steps to take After Being Injured at Work

The first step you should take immediately after being injured is to obtain any necessary emergency medical treatment. If you are able, it is also important to notify your employer of your accident or injury immediately. If you had to receive emergency services, then notify your employer as soon as you are able.

The next important step is to file a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which your experienced Durham Workers’ Compensation attorney can help you complete. If your claim is denied, you may proceed to mediation or a hearing before the Commission.

Workers’ Compensation Time Limits

Under North Carolina law you must adhere to the time limits specified in the statute in order to preserve your right to the workers’ compensation fund. You must notify your employer both orally and in writing within 30 days, and you must file your claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission within two years of your accident or of learning about your occupational disease diagnosis.