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Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin
1-866-900-7078
Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 1-866-900-7078

Three Things You Need to Do Immediately If You’re Hurt on the Job (+ Bonus Tip)

Workers' compensation law provides two important benefits if you get hurt on the job:

  • Medical treatments to help you recover from your injuries
  • Payments if you are not able to work because of your injury

These benefits help keep injured workers from financial ruin due to unpaid bills because of their injuries, but if you're not careful, you could end up losing out on any benefits at all.

If you've been hurt, the following are three important tips to help you try to protect your workers' compensation claim:

 

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Tip No. 1: Report your injury to your employer.

One frequent mistake I see workers make is they fail to report when they get injured on the job. Maybe they felt like the injury was not serious at the time the accident occurred or thought it would get better over time.

I have often had clients tell me, "well, everyone knew about it so I did not think I needed to make a written report." But not reporting your injury can be a fatal mistake in a claim. It is often used as a reason for insurance companies to deny a claim - even if there are multiple witnesses to the event.

So if you are hurt, you must make your employer aware of your injury as soon as possible. You should also provide a written report. Most employers will have a form for you to complete. Even if they do not have a form, you can send your employer an email, text or written note telling them you were hurt on the job (just be sure to save a copy). This documentation is very important to try to ensure you're building the strongest case possible for the benefits you need.

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Tip No. 2: Go to the doctor.

If you are injured on the job, seeking prompt medical care is the best way to obtain a full recovery. Even what seems like a minor sprain or strain could actually develop into a condition that will require surgical intervention. If you do not seek medical treatment right after you are injured, an insurance carrier may deny your claim for benefits.

I have had many clients who thought they could "tough out" an injury and continued to work, only to realize later they would not recover without getting medical treatment. Because they waited several days or weeks to go to the doctor, the insurance company denied their claim. Now this cannot always be avoided. Some employers do not always treat their employees fairly. And insurance companies have their own interests at heart. If you are hurt, ask your employer to go to the doctor. Seeking medical attention promptly will not only help you recover from the injuries, but it helps ensure that you're protecting your workers' comp claim.

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Tip No. 3: File your claim at the Industrial Commission.

A workers' compensation claim is not a lawsuit against your employer. The Industrial Commission is the government agency that has what is called "jurisdiction" over all workers' compensation claims covered by North Carolina law.

If you do not file a claim for benefits, you may lose any right you have to receive benefits in your case - even if your employer has paid for medical care and no one disputes that you were injured on the job.

I have had to tell injured workers that because their claim was not timely filed, we could not help them with their case. The Industrial Commission has a specific form with instructions that can be found at www.ic.nc.gov/forms/form18a.pdf. This form may seem complex but it is really meant as a simple form for injured workers.

Filing the claim allows your employer's insurance carrier to appropriately respond to the claim. It provides documentation for your injuries. It can also help medical providers who have not been appropriately paid to have a form to seek reimbursement for medical care they may have provided you. The Industrial Commission has a help line of information specialists that you can reach at 1-800-688-8349 or (919) 807-2501.

Bonus Tip:

Of course, the Industrial Commission does not provide legal advice, which you may need (especially if you've skipped any of the steps above).

At the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin you can get a free case evaluation on any workers' compensation issue you may have. Even if we cannot represent you or you decide you don't ultimately want representation, we're willing to review your situation and see if we can help you understand your rights and benefits under the law.

Just call us at 1-877-393-4980.

Mr. Harbin joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin in 2003 and became a shareholder with the Firm in 2008. Practicing in the Firm's Workers' Compensation Department, he is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation. Mr. Harbin received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law, and his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Harbin worked at the North Carolina Industrial Commission as a Special Deputy Commissioner.

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

5848-100 Faringdon Place
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

1001 Morehead Square Drive, Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078