Many times, people who get injured or sick at work are not sure whether or not they can get workers' compensation benefits. Understanding the requirements for coverage can help you evaluate your options.
The two broad categories of covered conditions include injury due to an accident or occupational disease. Either of those must occur while performing work duties in order to qualify for workers' compensation.
Accidents at work
When dealing with an injury that results from an accident, it is important to be able to pinpoint a specific incident that caused the injury. In North Carolina, this means something happened outside of the normal work routine. Common examples include falling, malfunctioning equipment or dropping a heavy object on oneself. Accidental injuries may be easier to show when they result in trauma, such as broken bones or burns. Other conditions, such as hernias or joint problems, may be harder to connect to an accident at work and need solid medical records that examine the causes.
An occupational disease is generally a health condition that developed either because of the employment or the employment played a large part in its development. The employment must also increase the risk of getting this disease, meaning that its employees are more likely to get it than the general public. Some examples include occupations that require repetitive motions or exposure to toxic chemicals.
Importance of getting help
Whether you suffer from an injury or a disease, it is important to complete the required paperwork with your employer and to get prompt medical attention. In some rare cases, you may also be able to sue a third party; for example, if a customer assaults you at work or if a driver hits you while you are making deliveries.
Workers' compensation cases tend to be very detail-heavy and depend on complying with extensive formal requirements. An experienced attorney can help you understand your options and take the right steps towards getting the benefits you need.