Filing a North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claim
How to Report a Claim
The law says that you have 30 days from the date of your accident to report any injury to your company. However, the sooner you can notify your company, the better. The best way to give notice is in writing to your immediate supervisor or to the human resources department. Be sure to keep a copy of your written notice because it will help you prove your case. Your written notice should include the day of the accident, the time of the accident, a small description of the accident, and a list of what parts of your body you hurt. It does not have to be a formal letter. Writing a short note will satisfy the notice requirement.
If your injury prevents you from giving written notice, ask a friend or a co-worker to tell your employer what happened and that you will give written notice as soon as you are able to do so. Also, it is a good idea to tell your co-workers what happened in case your supervisor denies receiving notice of your claim.
What is a Form 18?
A Form 18 is the form that must be filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission within 2 years from the date of your injury. If you do not file this form within two years, you may be disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. You can contact a friend, an attorney, or the North Carolina Industrial Commission for help filling out this form.
The number for the NCIC is (800) 688-8349. You will need to send two copies of this form to the Industrial Commission, one copy to your employer, and keep one copy for yourself. Click here for a Form 18.
What if Your Claim is Denied
The insurance company must make a decision if it is going to accept or deny your claim within 30 days of receiving your Form 18. (In some cases, it will file a conditional acceptance if it needs more time to investigate the claim.) If the insurance company accepts your claim, follow the advice above. If it denies your claim, you may still have rights under the law. It may be wise to hire an attorney to determine if there are grounds for filing an appeal of the denial. If the case has merit, your attorney will file a request for hearing with the Industrial Commission. This is a formal lawsuit against your company and its workers’ compensation carrier. Your attorney will gather evidence and respond to questions from the insurance company’s lawyer.