Obtaining workers’ compensation insurance payments requires meeting several deadlines, including a 30-day deadline to notify your employer of a work-related injury or illness and a two-year statute of limitations on filing a claim. Missing a filing deadline can jeopardize your claim and cost you needed benefits as you recover from a workplace injury. One advantage of promptly contacting an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney after a workplace accident is that the attorney can keep track of the filing deadlines for pursuing a claim and start gathering evidence to support your claim.
Reporting The Injury to Your Employer
You should inform a supervisor or manager or company owner that you have experienced a work-related injury as soon as possible. You should give notice within 30 days from the date of the accident or the date of diagnosis of an occupational illness unless reasonable excuse is made to the satisfaction of the Industrial Commission, and the employer is not prejudiced by the delay. N.C.G.S. 97-22. You should provide the date, time, and a brief description of the workplace accident.
The best way to give notice of an injury is with an Industrial Commission Form 18, which can be downloaded from the Industrial Commission’s website. If you are disabled, you should have a family member or friend notify your employer in writing on your behalf. A copy should go to the Industrial Commission and a copy to your employer. As always, keep copies of all correspondence related to an insurance claim. If you have not filed your claim within 30, don’t despair. Call the workers’ compensation specialists at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks. There are many exceptions to this rule.
What Is the Time Limit to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in NC?
North Carolina law says the right to workers’ compensation shall be forever barred unless a claim is filed with the Industrial Commission within two years of the accident. N.C.G.S. 97-24. Most injured workers file their workers’ compensation claims well before the two-year deadline, but some injured workers think that the claim has been filed by someone else, such as the employer, and are shocked when they find out that the claim has not been filed and the statute of limitations is past.
Some think that the employer filing a Form 19 is sufficient, but it is not. On the other hand, if the employer pays the employee compensation within two years of the accident, the case is not time-barred. Ashley v. Rent-A-Car Co., 1 N.C. App. 171, 173, 160 S.E.2d 521, 522 (1968).
Statute of Limitations for Occupational Diseases
In occupational disease cases, the two year statute of limitations begins to run from the later of the date the worker began to suffer disability and the date the worker was notified by competent medical authority of the nature and work related causes of his/her disease. Dowdy v. Fieldcrest Mills, Inc., 308 N.C. 701, 304 S.E.2d 215 (1983). N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-58(b) and (c). The triggering statement from the competent medical authority for the running of the two year filing limit must contain a concrete diagnosis of the occupational disease. May v. Shuford Mills, Inc., 64 N.C. App. 276, 307 S.E.2d 372 (1983).
Contact Our N.C. Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Workers’ compensation is a complex program. Especially if you are facing a difficult recovery, you’ll rest easier if you have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney taking care of the filing deadlines and other requirements of your workers’ comp claim. At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., Chip Younce, and David E. Vtipil are North Carolina StateBar Board Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation Law.
Mr.Vtipil has also been named among the nation’s Top 100 Injured Workers’ Attorneys and has been included among The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Workers’ Compensation Law. It costs you nothing to discuss your case with an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks. Call us now at 919-661-9000 or contact us online for a free claim review and advice about your legal options.