For an employee to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits after being injured on the job in North Carolina, they have to be injured in the “course and scope” of their job. Their employer also must be covered by the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.
When workers are injured at work and file a workers’ comp claim, both the employer and the insurance carrier will examine the claim carefully to ensure that none of the limitations are met. If so, there would be grounds to deny the claim.
Furthermore, the only injuries that workers can receive compensation for are those that are directly caused by a workplace accident. The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC), which handles workers’ compensation claims for the state, needs to be able to see that any injury in question occurred within the normal routine of the job.
One exception to this rule is back injuries. In North Carolina, if a back injury occurs from a specific traumatic event, regardless if there was an accident, the worker is eligible for compensation.
Occupational diseases are also eligible for compensation. Like injuries, these diseases also must meet certain criteria to be covered, such as:
- The employee must have been exposed to hazardous working conditions that contributed to their disease
- The worker must have been at a higher risk of contracting their disease than the general public
Some examples of occupational diseases that are eligible for compensation include carpal tunnel syndrome, various cancers and brown lung.
Moreover, North Carolinians are only eligible for workers’ compensation when the employee is acting in the “course and scope” of their employment.
What exactly does “course and scope” mean?
Let’s break down the parts.
Course refers to an employee performing the aspects of their employment. In other words, the person is doing what they were hired to do.
Scope has more to do with the intention between employer and employee. It means that an employee is performing the activities necessary for their position, even if it isn’t their actual job title.
Let’s use the example of a car accident.
Someone who is in a car crash while on their way to work in the morning probably isn’t eligible for workers’ compensation because driving isn’t in the course of their employment. However, if that same employee has to drive from one site to another for their job and is in an accident, then they could be eligible for workers’ comp.
Workers’ compensation is a vital tool to ensure that you can pay your bills if you’re hurt on the job and can’t work. Given the importance of making sure everything is done right in a workers’ comp claim—and they can be very complex—it’s beneficial to have someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of workers’ comp law.
That’s where experienced workers’ comp attorneys come in. Be sure to contact one in your area right away.
Rob Wilder, Wilder Pantazis Law Group
The Wilder Pantazis Law Group, in Charlotte, North Carolina, represents injured workers across the Tar Heel State.
Rob Wilder has litigated more than 200 jury trials and is skilled at presenting complex information in a digestible way. He has represented clients in catastrophic personal injury cases, along with employment, healthcare, antitrust, banking, pharmaceuticals, heavy industrials and building materials, and other corporate law.
He has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps.
The Wilder Pantazi Law Group is an Enjuris Partner. Contact this Charlotte workers comp law firm.