An employee suffering from an injury sustained during an accident while performing his or her job may apply for workers’ compensation. Under North Carolina’s laws, however, an individual may receive benefits only when his or her injuries resulted from what the Tar Heel State considers an “injury by accident.” An accident can be anything that interrupts the normal work routine of the injured employee, and is not limited to slipping, tripping, or falling. Fault or negligence is not relevant, and an employee who is at fault for the accidental injury would still be covered.
Most acute injuries in North Carolina require an “injury by accident” to be covered. Injuries to the back or neck, and hernias, can be covered if they were caused by a lesser event called “a specific traumatic incident of the work assigned.” In other words, if your job requires you to pick up heavy boxes, and you hurt your lower back picking up a heavy box, your back injury would be covered. But if you hurt your knee or shoulder lifting that same heavy box, it would not be covered, unless something unusual happened when you picked up the box that hurt you, thereby constituting the “accident.” Confusing for sure—that is why you need to call us for a free consultation before you give that insurance company investigator a recorded statement.