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What steps should North Carolinians take when injured at work?

While no one in North Carolina expects to be injured at work, it can happen to just about anyone. The following is for general purposes only and not legal advice. In general, it is important to know what steps you should take if you are hurt on the job.

The first two steps you should take are to get medical attention and report the incident to your employer. Some employers have on-site health care workers. If not, it is possible that their employer has a preferred health care facility for workers to visit in the event of a workplace injury. If neither of these conditions exist, you should still seek medical help for their injuries on your own.

When you do get medical help, let the doctor who is treating you know that the injury was sustained in the workplace and provide the doctor with your employer's name. This way the doctor can bill the medical appointment as a claim for workers' compensation.

Next, tell either your employer's manager or the company owner that you suffered an injury in an on-the-job accident. If you are too injured or ill to do so in person, have a relative, friend or your doctor do so for you. This step should be done as soon as it is feasibly possible to do so.

Within 30 days of the accident, you should provide your employer with written notice regarding the incident. It should contain information regarding how the injury occurred, what injuries you suffered and the date of the incident. Again, if you are too injured or ill to write a letter yourself, a relative friend or your doctor can do so on your behalf. Do not forget to retain a copy of the written notice yourself, for your own personal records.

Finally, follow your doctors orders with regards to any post-treatment care of your injuries, including taking any medications and going to any follow-up appointments. The workers' compensation system can be complex, with many forms that need to be filled out and filing deadlines that need to be met. Working with a professional is one way to make sure that you appropriately pursue the benefits you need to recover.

Source:, "If You Have Been Injured At Work: First Steps," accessed on Oct. 27, 2014

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