If you suffer an injury in a workplace accident in North Carolina, your employer must report it. When your employer fails to fulfill this responsibility, it can undermine your ability to obtain vital compensation available under North Carolina law. But many people wonder, “Can I sue my employer for not reporting my injury?” The answer is not straightforward, so getting advice from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is wise.
For a comprehensive evaluation of your case, contact the Durham workers’ compensation attorneys at Kreger Brodish LLP for a free consultation. We will help you understand your legal options and fight to protect your interests.
Employer Duties After a Workplace Accident
Most North Carolina employers that regularly employ three or more workers must carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover employees in case of a job-related injury or illness. Employers must report workplace injuries to their insurers immediately when an accident happens.
For accidents involving more than one missed workday or over $4,000 in medical expenses, employers must also notify the N.C. Industrial Commission by filling out a Form 19, “Employer’s Report of Employee’s Injury to the Industrial Commission” within five days. The employer or their carrier should also give the Form 19 to the employee along with Form 18, “Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee.”
Meeting reporting requirements is crucial for your workers’ compensation claim because it is a formal record of the incident. If an employer fails to report the injury or refuses to do it, you’re not out of options. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately for advice on your next steps.
What Are the Penalties for Failing to Report an Employee’s Workplace Injury?
When an employer neglects their duty to report your injury, the Industrial Commission may impose fines and penalties on them. In some cases, the employer may also face criminal charges.
However, North Carolina workers’ compensation laws generally prohibit employees from suing their employers. Workers’ compensation benefits are no-fault, meaning the employee does not have to prove anyone was negligent to receive compensation. The trade-off is that workers forfeit their right to sue their employers in most cases.
A possible exception to the rule would be if the employer or a co-worker harmed you intentionally. In those cases, you might be able to file a personal injury claim against the employer. Consulting with an experienced lawyer is the best way to learn your legal options.
What Should I Do After Suffering a Workplace Injury?
If you suffer a job injury, taking several steps can help protect your workers’ comp claim.
- Notify your employer about the injury as soon as possible.
- Seek immediate medical attention, even if the injury seems minor.
- Document everything related to the accident and your injury. This documentation should include pictures, medical bills, and any correspondence with your employer.
- Talk to a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer in North Carolina.
Contact Kreger Brodish LLP Today
Failing to report a job injury is a serious violation of an employer’s duties under North Carolina workers’ compensation law. Don’t let them stand in the way of getting the medical treatment and financial benefits you are entitled to. Instead, get an attorney from Kreger Brodish LLP on your side.
We are passionate about helping North Carolina workers recover the compensation they deserve and protecting their rights. Call us now or contact us online for a free consultation.