Most Jacksonville area workers know they may qualify for workers’ compensation. There is so much misinformation circulating about workers’ compensation that many employees do not know the difference between fact and fiction.
It is important for you to have a clear understanding of the workers’ compensation system so you can avoid making mistakes that could result in the denial of your claim or a reduction in compensation. Take some time to review the following common workers’ compensation myths and truths.
1. I do not need to file a report
You should file an accident report with your job’s human resource department and follow company accident reporting procedures. You should not rely on your employer to do it, even if the company assures you it will. Your employer must report your accident-related injuries or illness to the North Carolina Industrial Commission and the company's workers’ compensation insurer.
2. My accident qualifies me for workers’ comp benefits
If your employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance by law and you are a qualified employee, you are eligible for benefits. This coverage does not apply to injuries and illnesses you incur from accidents that occur when you are not at work. However, if you suffer an injury or illness offsite while performing job-sanctioned duties, you can file a claim for benefits.
3. I do not need medical attention
It is important for you to get immediate medical treatment after a workplace accident. Regardless of how you feel initially, some injuries may not show up until a few hours or days later. A physician needs to document your injuries, ailments and treatments which are necessary to support your workers’ compensation claim.
The workers’ compensation system exists to provide financial compensation to workers who end up with injuries and ailments from accidents in the workplace. The compensation is to cover their lost wages and medical expenses. The benefits system covers many employees, but some classes of workers do not have coverage.
Approvals for workers’ compensation benefits are not automatic. Claim examiners must investigate and verify all information before they issue a ruling.