Workers’ compensation is designed for workers who suffer from job-related injuries to receive medical care and other benefits without having to prove their employer was negligent. In exchange, employers may not claim the injury was the fault of the worker. It sounds simple enough, but it can be a complicated issue and many questions often come up.workers comp

What Is a Work-related Injury?

If an object falls and hits you while you are doing your job at the workplace, that is clearly a work-related injury. But other situations arise that may not be so clear, and your employer or workers’ compensation insurer may contest the claim as not having been work-related. Some examples:

  • Traveling for business. You are not at your place of business, but are performing a work-related errand, such as on your way to a business meeting, and you are in a car accident. Since you were traveling for work, the injury should be covered. You may be required to prove that your employer stood to gain some benefit from your travel.
  • Injuries that develop over time. These injuries range from the repetitive motions responsible for carpal tunnel syndrome, mesothelioma from breathing asbestos filled air, to depression. Your medical records will be needed to show that these are work-related injuries. If you have problems proving this, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help.
  • Violence in the workplace. You will have to prove the violence was work-related. If a customer knocks you down, that is easy to prove it was work-related.

Will You Get Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

According to the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL), the law prohibits an employer from “firing, suspending, demoting or relocating” an employee when the employee has suffered a work-related injury.

How To Get Medical Treatment

If it is an emergency, you may go to an emergency room. Otherwise, you must receive medical treatment by a provider selected by your employer or insurer. You can write to the North Carolina Industrial Commission for permission to change providers. If you do not receive written permission from your employer, insurer or the Commission before the treatment is rendered, there is no guarantee the new provider will receive compensation and you will be responsible for paying the medical bills.

What Benefits Are Available?

Under workers’ compensation law, you are entitled to receive payment of your medical bills, a percentage of your lost wages, compensation for temporary or permanent disability and other costs related to your injury.

For more information and assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, contact one of our Charlotte, North Carolina, attorneys at Campbell & Associates for a case evaluation.