Workers' Compensation Settlement Timeline in North Carolina

infographic on worker's compensation claim

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, you are likely already feeling the pressure of everyday expenses and dreading the thought of missing paychecks. Add to that the fear that you may be suffering from a permanent disability that leaves you unable to work again. Don’t let this situation overwhelm you. Get help filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits now.

Our experienced Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers can help you get your initial claim together and answer any questions you may have about the process. We also have a successful track record of securing full and fair workers’ compensation settlements when our injured clients are unable to return to the work they did before. We handle appeals if your claim was denied or if your benefits are lower than what they should be.

Schedule a free consultation with our legal team today to discuss your claim, and learn how we can help you and your family during this stressful time.

How Long Does Workers’ Compensation Take

Although every case is different, workers’ comp attorneys work efficiently to get your compensation payments started as soon as possible. In cases involving an injury or illness that will likely end up being a permanent disability, reaching a workers’ comp settlement will depend in part on how long it takes you to reach maximum medical improvement. In short, a workers’ comp attorney needs to know how your disability is ultimately going to affect you in order to negotiate for a full and fair settlement.

In general, here is what you can expect from the workers’ compensation process:


  • You should report your injury to your employer. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need to quickly tell your boss or have a fellow employee tell them. Even if your injury does not seem serious, you should still report it immediately rather than wait to see if it gets better.
  • You should seek medical treatment. Your employer will direct you to a healthcare provider to seek treatment for your injuries. If your employer cannot identify a healthcare provider for you, seek appropriate care as soon as possible, either through your regular doctor or at a hospital. Be sure to tell the doctor you were hurt at work.

Five days

  • Your employer should file a form with the workers’ compensation insurance provider. This is called Form 19, and your employer should provide you with a copy of the form along with a form for you to fill out. Please note: Your claim for benefits does not start with your employer’s filing of Form 19.
  • You should also receive from your employer a form to fill out. This is called Form 18. It must be completed and sent to the North Carolina Industrial Commission in order to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer does not provide you with a Form 18, then you may obtain one from An attorney can help you fill out the form to ensure it is done properly.

Seven days

Twenty-one days

  • After 21 days out of work, you can receive payment for the first 7 days of work you missed.

Thirty days

  • An injured worker needs to report a workplace injury to an employer. It’s best to report the injury immediately if possible but in any event within 30 days.

Two years

  • This is the time limit for filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You do not have to wait 2 years to file your claim. But you cannot wait longer than 2 years or you lose your right to benefits.

Don’t Waste Time After a Work Injury

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured on the job, you need to speak with our knowledgeable N.C. workers’ compensation attorneys today. We do not charge anything to review your case, and you are under no obligation to hire us after an initial consultation. You also do not have to pay us anything to get started working on your claim. Instead, we only collect payment if and when we recover compensation for you.

Get started on your workers’ compensation claim today by calling or filling out our online form.

How long does a workers' compensation claim take - Infographics by Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A.
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