Does My Injury Qualify for Workers’ Compensation In North Carolina?



If you have suffered an injury while working in North Carolina, you might be wondering if your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides medical benefits and wage replacement to employees who experience work-related injuries or illnesses. Understanding the criteria for eligibility is crucial to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to. You want to make sure you have all the details before making assumptions. The more information you have, the better. In this article, we will explore the factors that determine whether your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation in North Carolina.

Employee Status

To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina, the first requirement is that you must be an employee rather than an independent contractor or a volunteer. That means you need to be hired by an employer in the state with solid proof and documentation. Without that, you technically aren’t qualified for workers’ compensation. If you’re unsure about your employment status, it’s advisable to consult with a legal professional specializing in workers’ compensation in the state. They will review your case and give you all the details.

Work-Related Injury or Illness

Another critical factor is that your injury or illness must be directly related to your work. It should have occurred while performing your job duties or as a direct consequence of your work. For instance, if you slipped in your workplace, your injury may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you sustain an injury while engaging in a personal activity during work hours, such as playing sports during a lunch break, it may not be eligible. It needs to be while you are on the clock for it to count.

Prompt Reporting

Promptly reporting your injury to your employer is also essential. In North Carolina, you must report your work-related injury or illness to your employer within 30 days. Failure to meet this reporting deadline may result in the denial of your workers’ compensation claim. To protect your rights, it is crucial to report your injury as soon as possible. Reach out to both a medical professional and your employer right after your accident.

Filing a Claim

Additionally, you need to file a workers’ compensation claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. This involves completing the required paperwork and submitting supporting documentation, such as medical records and witness statements. Filing a claim can be complex, and any mistakes or omissions might cause delays or denials. Seeking the assistance of a worker’s compensation lawyer at Riddle & Brantley in North Carolina can ensure that your claim is filed accurately and efficiently. Make sure you research everything you need while you are filing your claim so as not to miss anything important.

“No-Fault” System

It’s important to note that North Carolina operates under a “no-fault” system for workers’ compensation. This means that you are owed benefits no matter who was to blame for the accident or injury. However, if your injury resulted from your intentional misconduct or if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident, you may be disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. You must make sure that you weren’t the one that caused your own accident. If that is the case, then your employer is not obligated to pay for your injuries.


Determining whether your injury qualifies for workers’ compensation in North Carolina involves considering several factors. You must be an employee, and your injury must be directly related to your work. Reporting the injury to your employer within the specified timeframe and filing a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission are also necessary steps. To navigate the workers’ compensation process effectively and maximize your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve, consulting with a legal professional specializing in workers’ compensation in North Carolina is highly recommended. They can provide valuable guidance, protect your rights, and advocate for your best interests throughout the entire process.