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The first step in the process of filing a worker’s compensation claim in Raleigh is for the individual to make a notice to their employer and supervisor in writing about the injury and will often be told to seek initial medical treatment. In North Carolina, the employee must provide a written notice of the injury to their employer. This can be done via email, a specific form, or handwritten, but that must be completed within 30 days of the incident.

It is important to know that all employees should file a claim without any fear of being fired. North Carolina has certain laws that protect people who get hurt at work so they cannot be fired for reporting a worker’s compensation claim. A Raleigh worker’s compensation attorney can help you file the appropriate forms and inform your employer within the appropriate time frame.

Where to File

The most important form to keep in mind is Form 18. This is a notice of a worker’s compensation claim. It is filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission and preserves the claim and also satisfies the need to have the employer notified within 30 days in writing of the injury.

Most of the time filing the worker’s compensation claim is done in person. However, different employers have different protocols for reporting injuries, most likely these procedures can be found in an employee handbook. Some employers require certain internal forms to be filled out and larger corporations generally have some type of online reporting. A person should refer to his or her employee handbook or employer’s protocols for the proper way to notify the company of a worker’s compensation claim.

When Seeking Care

The employer can direct where the worker should go to seek treatment. If there is no time because it is an emergency, the employee should immediately report to the emergency room. There are not necessarily any documents a person needs to bring with them when seeking medical attention, especially in an emergency situation. However, if there are follow-up visits involved, the employee will probably need to have authorizations from the adjusters handling the claim.

When to Notify Your Employer

Oftentimes a person may have an injury at work, but not think it is very serious or inform their employer for fear of either being fired or dealing with the hassle of filing a worker’s compensation claim. Then a couple weeks or even a month later they find they have a significant back injury. By not notifying the employer within the 30-day window could cause the person to lose the opportunity to file a claim and receive reimbursement for the medical costs.

However, there are exceptions to the rule of the 30 days written notice, and it will be important to consult with a worker’s compensation attorney in Raleigh to find out if the exception will apply to a person’s particular case.