Everything You Need to Know About Workers Compensation in North Carolina

 April 27, 2023

By  Elle Gellrich

Most states require some form of workers comp insurance for employees, and workers comp in NC is no different. While there are some differences in the laws that govern workers comp from state to state, each system is put in place to protect businesses and employees.

Workers comp in NC is a type of accident insurance that covers the necessary medical care for employees who become ill or get injured while at work. Workers comp in NC was adopted by statute in 1929 and has been on the books ever since.

An Overview of Workers Comp in North Carolina

As a rule, every business with more than 3 employees must provide workers comp in NC. The system is governed by the Industrial Commission in North Carolina, which ensures that all necessary businesses have the worker’s compensation insurance they must carry.

Workers comp NC is known as a no-fault system. This means that benefits are paid to cover an injured worker’s medical care regardless of their role in the accident. The only exception to this rule is intentional self-harm and accidents resulting from drug or alcohol use.

What does it cover?

Workers comp in NC covers all necessary medical expenses related to an employee’s on-the-job injury. It pays for medical visits, medications, and the rehabilitation necessary to get injured workers well again. If the injured employee is out of work for more than 7 days due to their recovery and they are under the care of a medical physician, workers comp in NC will pay a portion of the employee’s lost wages.

Workers comp in NC also pays for partial, temporary, and even permanent disability when necessary if the disability directly results from workplace injury. In the unfortunate and tragic event of an on-the-job fatality, workers comp in NC will also pay surviving dependents compensation and funeral expenses for the victim. Depending on many individual factors, there are limits on the number of death benefits workers comp in NC will pay.

How does it work?

Employees who suffer an on-the-job illness or injury are encouraged to report the incident immediately to their supervisor. Employees must notify their supervisor in writing of the incident which caused the injury or illness. They will receive the proper paperwork and medical attention necessary to recover from their illness or injury.

Sometimes, symptoms are not immediately apparent. For this reason, workers comp in NC has established a 2-year statute of limitations. Injured workers must report their incident within two years to receive any benefits from workers comp in NC.

Are there exceptions?

There are almost always exceptions to the rules. Every company with more than 3 workers must provide workers comp in NC. Domestic workers employed directly by a household and nonseasonal farm workers with less than ten employees generally do not receive workers comp in NC. Some railroad workers and federal employees are also exempt from benefits. If you are unsure whether you must provide workers comp in NC, it’s best to ask a licensed insurance provider familiar with your state’s laws.

Some businesses may self-insure if they have enough capital and commit to covering any potential on-the-job accidents that employees may suffer. To be eligible to self-insure, businesses must have access to a large amount of capital and receive permission from the Industrial Commission, but this typically is not cost-effective.

Workers comp premiums in NC can usually be written off as a business expense when the company does its taxes. This makes it a little easier for businesses to consider providing workers comp in NC even when it may not be required by law.

Penalties for Not Providing Coverage

Not providing workers comp in NC can be disastrous for any company. The financial ramifications suffered by a business whose employee is injured or fatally wounded can ruin a small business, and the penalties do not stop there. Workers comp in NC is very serious, as in most states.

There are stiff fines and penalties for businesses that are found to be non-compliant with workers comp laws in NC. These penalties can amount to $100 per day and criminal charges. Those found violating worker comp laws in NC can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony and even serve prison time in addition to their financial penalties.

Workers Comp Settlements in NC

As with other states, workers comp in NC may offer a sick or injured employee a settlement. The settlement must be enough to cover all current and future medical care related to the employee’s incident and lost wages if the employee cannot return to full duty. Not all workers comp cases in NC result in a settlement offer, but some do.

When this happens, the employee may agree to a lump sum or installment payments for some time. The settlement must be mutually beneficial for the employee, the employer, and the insurance company. When a sick or injured employee accepts a settlement offer from workers comp in NC, they agree not to pursue further litigation or claims related to their on-the-job illness or injury.

How much do workers comp cost in NC?

Several factors dictate a company’s workers comp premiums in NC. Each private company may use its factors to offer an acceptable premium. A company’s industry and type of work are heavily considered, in addition to a few other factors. The company’s size, location, and number of employees are all considered when determining the premium for workers comp in NC.

Workers Comp in NC

Workers comp in NC is a necessary part of doing business. It was put in place to protect both businesses and employees. Workers comp in NC ensures that employees who suffer an on-the-job illness or injury receive the prompt medical attention they need and lost wages. It also protects businesses from frivolous lawsuits while encouraging them to provide a safe work environment for everyone. Workers comp in NC is a serious matter ensuring workplace safety. Call a reliable insurance company today if you are ready to get a free quote for workers comp in NC.

Elle Gellrich


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