Work Comp Claim FormWhat is Workers’ Compensation?

Plain and simple, workers’ compensation is a type of insurance. North Carolina law requires all employers with three or more full time employees to carry insurance on their workers; South Carolina law has the same requirement for employers with four or more full time workers.  Unfortunately, not all employers do this, and it is often difficult to enforce these rules.  This article in the Insurance Journal explains this issue more in depth and worth a read.

How it works

Workers’ compensation is comparable to car insurance. All car owners are required to carry liability insurance. When a driver is in an accident, they call their insurance company and report a claim. The company assigns the claim to an adjuster who decides how much will be paid on each claim. With workers’ compensation, the injured worker is the car. The employer should call their insurance company and report an injured worker and open a claim.  The adjuster assigned to the claim will decide which doctors to use and whether payment for time out of work should be paid.

Limits of Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Workers’ compensation has it limits. It does not cover injuries on the job, but instead “injuries by accident” that “arise out of and are in the course and scope of” the employment.  In other words, not just any injury can be covered. There are legal definitions for “injury by accident” depending upon the body part and the insurance company will determine whether or not your injury falls within the scope of coverage.

Workers’ compensation insurance companies are the same as all other insurance companies.  They want to save money.  A surefire way for an insurance company to save money is to simply refuse to pay for things. If an insurance company can “reasonably” deny a claim, they will do it.  Even when a claim is very straight forward and they have agreed to pay the medical bills and the wages for the injury; the goal of the adjuster is still to save money, so often will do it any way that they can within reason.

See if Your Employer Carries Coverage

To see if your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, visit the Insurance Coverage verification site for the North Carolina Industrial Commission Or in South Carolina, visit the Verify Coverage section of the Workers’ Compensation Commission website.

If you are injured on the job it is important for you to understand your rights and what benefits you may be entitled to.  An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can offer you the valuable legal advice that the insurance company doesn’t have to tell you. Call us today at 704-333-0885 for a free consultation if you have been injured at work. With offices in Charlotte, Gastonia Hickory and Rock Hill, SC we have experienced staff that can learn about your injury and help you along the way.

Written by: Whitney Walker, Workers’ Compensation assistant at Campbell & Associates, Attorneys at Law.