Most workers in North Carolina don’t encounter any physical danger in the course of their duties. However, it is still possible for an employee in any industry to be hurt while on the job. Though some industries, like construction, may carry a higher risk of injury, workers across industries could suffer a fall, develop a repetitive strain injury or even suffer a serious laceration. Workers’ compensation exists so that employees can make up for lost income due to an injury, however, many employees don’t know whether they can use the compensation. Here is a brief outline of what kinds of workers may be eligible and what types of injuries may be covered.
Every state has its own guidelines for what types of employees can collect workers’ compensation. For example, independent contractors aren’t covered in many states, but in North Carolina, workers under that designation could still be ruled to be employees, and thus able to collect workers’ compensation. However, the state says that domestic workers, certain agricultural workers and others are not eligible.
Almost any type of injury is covered by workers’ compensation, including both physical and mental. The deciding factor is whether the injury happened while a worker was engaged in the duties of employment. Some people mistakenly believe that the injury has to take place on company property, though that’s not always true. Workers using a company vehicle may be eligible as well as those who receive an injury at a company-sanctioned event. Even an injury that happens on a scheduled break could be covered if the worker was hurt on company property or while performing company duties.
The advice here is just a basic overview meant to give employees guidance about filing for workers’ compensation in North Carolina. Those who have further questions may want to talk to an attorney who works extensively with this area of the law. Workers’ compensation benefits could make a significant, positive difference in employees’ lives as they recover from an injury.