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North Carolina Company Obligated to Pay Workers’ Comp Claim

Oct 18, 2014 - Articles by

A North Carolina worker injured on the job can usually get medical care paid for through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation evolved in the twentieth century, so that by 1949 every state in the nation required employers to provide an insurance program to cover its injured workers.

How Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Paid

Each employer offers a workers’ compensation plan. If a worker covered by the plan is hurt at work, the worker reports the injury to a supervisor and the employer processes the worker’s claim. Medical expenses are paid, and typically there is also reimbursement for loss of wages. The exact benefits that an employer must offer vary state by state.

Worker Employed, Though Hire Not Authorized

A recent North Carolina Court of Appeals decision involving a workers’ compensation claim should make employers take notice. The worker who was hurt had begun working for a masonry company on a job spreading concrete. He got the job through an acquaintance employed by the company who told him he could help out on the project and would receive a paycheck from the company. The company employee who engaged the worker gave him a ride to work, where the worker saw the employee supervising others on the job. The injury occurred when the employee who hired him told the worker to clean out a machine, and the worker’s hand became caught and was severely damaged. Even after surgery, the hand was not usable. When the worker asked the company for benefits, the company would not pay, because they said the worker did not actually work for them. The employee who had “hired” him, they claimed, was not authorized to make the hire. Focusing on the worker’s belief that he was hired, the employee’s prior practice of occasionally hiring other individuals to temporarily assist at job sites, and the consideration that in fact he was doing work for the company when he was hurt at the work site, the court ruled he was an employee and entitled to benefits.

Full Compensation for Injuries

In this worker’s case, he fortunately was able to obtain the benefits he was entitled to through the courts after the employer denied his claim. The court even decided he should be compensated for temporary total disability, because his doctor found he was incapable of working. A North Carolina worker who is hurt at work can turn to a personal injury attorney for assistance in receiving all the benefits that the employer is obliged to pay.