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North Carolina Workers Compensation Laws [2024 Updated] – Know Your Rights

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North Carolina’s economy has been growing steadily in the past couple of years, with wage growth greater than inflation. Attractive work opportunities are bringing talent to the state and encouraging local workers to continue their careers in North Carolina. However, accidents can happen, threatening the physical and financial well-being of workers. By being aware of North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Laws, NC workers can understand how to protect themselves before an injury occurs.

Workers’ compensation laws in the state protect workers who have been injured or have fallen ill due to workplace conditions. They help to cover financial expenses associated with medical bills and other costs of injuries, in addition to lost wages and benefits for time out of work. By being aware of the up-to-date laws, workers can be sure to take full advantage of the benefits they are entitled to in case they face an injury on the job.

Understanding The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act

The Workers’ Compensation Act was enacted by North Carolina legislation to require certain businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The purpose is to ensure financial security for employees in the event that they get hurt or sick due to workplace conditions.

Workers’ compensation payments are not based on liability, meaning that a worker can receive compensation even if they were at fault for the accident that caused the injuries. Whether or not an employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance depends on the number of employees in the business and the nature of the work being done.

Employers who fail to carry adequate workers’ compensation insurance can face large fines and other severe penalties, such as time in jail or prison. If you have been injured on the job and your employer does not have adequate workers’ compensation insurance to cover your injuries and other associated expenses, or if they are deterring or delaying your process to apply for workers’ compensation, it is critical to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer as they could be breaking the law.

North Carolina Coverage Under Workers’ Compensation Act

Workers’ compensation payments cover certain expenses associated with being sick or injured because of workplace conditions. If you are seeking workers’ compensation, it’s important to understand the type of damages that can be covered and cannot be covered by workers’ compensation payments. Such coverages include:

  • Lost Wages. Workers’ compensation payments can cover lost benefits and wages that are not received because the injured worker is out of employment. A certain percentage of the wages earned before the claim can be paid to the worker.
  • Medical Expenses. North Carolina workers can get their medical expenses covered by workers’ compensation. Medical expense coverage includes medical diagnostics costs, surgery, hospital bills, over-the-counter and prescription medications, medical and assistive devices, physical therapy, clinic visits, and transport to medical appointments.
  • Wrongful Death. If a worker loses their life due to a workplace injury, workers’ compensation can cover the related expenses, such as funeral and burial costs.

Expenses that workers’ compensation do not cover include non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Workers who receive payouts from workers’ compensation are typically not able to sue their employer for such non-economic damages. However, there are certain exceptional cases in which the worker may be able to do so, such as if the employer showed particularly reckless or egregious behavior. A dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer can analyze your case and, more specifically, inform you of the benefits you are entitled to.


Q: Is North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Awarded if the Worker Was at Fault?

A: Yes, workers’ compensation is awarded to workers who have been injured or fallen ill due to workplace conditions, regardless of whether they were at fault for the accident that caused their injuries or not. There are certain instances in which an injured worker may not be entitled to workers’ compensation, such as if they were under the influence or alcohol or drugs during the time of the accident, or if they caused the accident on purpose with the intent to harm themselves or others.

Q: How Much Does a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Cost?

A: The cost of a workers’ compensation attorney in North Carolina is dependent on a variety of factors, including the location of the firm, the complexity of the case, the extent and severity of the illness or injuries, and the experience of the attorney. Workers’ comp lawyers will typically charge a contingency fee, which is a percentage of the final workers’ comp settlement that the lawyer will take home. If no workers’ comp is awarded, the attorney will not receive compensation for their services.

Q: Does My North Carolina Employer Have to Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?

A: Under North Carolina law, businesses that have three or more employees must have workers’ compensation insurance, except for businesses that have agricultural employment and are made up of 10 workers or less. Other exemptions include certain logging and sawmill operations in addition to domestic employees. A dedicated workers’ comp lawyer can help you understand whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation after sustaining an illness or injury due to your workplace conditions.

Q: What if My North Carolina Employer Does Not Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?

A: If your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance but fails to do so, then they could face a wide variety of penalties. Depending on the scale of their business and the nature of their work, they could face serious financial penalties and even misdemeanor charges. If the situation is particularly severe, the employer could face felony charges and even time in jail or prison. If you have been injured and your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance, it is critical to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

Ensure Your Protection With an Experienced North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you have been injured due to a workplace accident or condition, it’s important to exercise your rights and get access to the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to. Such benefits can help protect you financially, helping you focus on healing and recovery. A dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer from Bridgman Gantt Law Offices can analyze the details of your case, determine a fair and just settlement based on the details, and work to pursue this optimal amount on your behalf. Contact an attorney from our North Carolina law firm to get started today.

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