To ensure that you are protected under the North Carolina workers' compensation laws, you should:
1) REPORT THE INJURY AT ONCE. Report your injury to your employer at once, even if the injury does not seem serious. The law requires that you give immediate written notice and that compensation may be denied if such notice is not given within 30 days of the incident. The notice should give your name and address, the time and place of the injury, and the cause and type of injury. You should sign the notice and keep a copy.
2) OBTAIN MEDICAL CARE. Your employer is responsible for seeing that you recieve proper medical care for your injury. If your employer doesn't tell you which doctor to use, you may see a doctor of your choice subject to approval of the Industrial Commission. Tell the doctor exactly how the work caused your injury.
3) OBTAIN THE NAMES OF ANY WITNESSES.
4) BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SIGN. Do not sign any papers in blank or that you do not fully understand.
5) FILE A CLAIM. Normally you must file a written claim (Form 18) with the Industrial Commission within 2 years of the date of your injury. Your employer's reporting of your injury will not protect you.
6) IF YOU NEED HELP - CALL YOUR UNION! Local 660 can contact the Industrial Commission Ombudsmen Program for you, or seek the advice of an experienced workers' compensation attorney.
A special thank you to the NCAFL-CIO for this information, and aid throughout the years in protecting Charlotte Firefighters.