North Carolina has a system of workers’ compensation benefits that is established by state law. When a worker suffers an injury while on the job, his or her medical expenses are paid by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier regardless of fault. Where the injured worker is not able to return to work and is disabled due to the accident, he or she is entitled to collect partial lost wages in amounts established by the workers’ compensation laws.

Work-related accidents at construction work sites are a significant source of injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. For example, recently in another state a 54-year-old construction worker fell through the roof of a building where he was working. He went through a skylight and fell 30 feet. Responders transported him to a hospital with critical injuries.

In such accidents, numerous conflicts can arise over the payment of workers’ compensation benefits. The medical expenses will be paid, and lost wages will be processed and sent to the man while he is under treatment and certified by his doctor to be unable to go back to work. One common area of dispute, however, arises in such matters when the insurance company and/or the employer decide that the injured worker has been out of work long enough and should return to his or her job.

The unbridled practice in North Carolina and other states of aggressively pushing an employee back to work even when he is still under treatment and declared by a treating physician to be disabled is a major flaw in the workers’ compensation system. Some companies are more aggressive than others, but where this practice occurs unjustifiably or in bad faith, it is time for the injured employee to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. The attorney will stop improper harassment of the employee and see to it that his rights are enforced. In some cases, this may require workers’ compensation litigation to compel the employer and the carrier to comply with the law.   

Source: kmch.com, “Earlville Man Injured in Dyersville Workplace Accident“, Janelle Tucker, May 9, 2018