Notice of Accident to the Employer
Notice of accident given by the employee
Having sustained a work accident in North Carolina, an employee, or his or her representative, is required to send immediately a written notice of the accident to the employer in order to be entitled to receive benefits under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. This notice needs to be given within 30 days after the occurrence of the accident, unless reasonable excuse is made and accepted by the Industrial Commission, and if the Commission is satisfied that the employer has not been prejudiced by the delay.
If the injured worker fails to notify the employer, he or she will not be barred from receiving benefits if it can be shown that the employer, his agent or representative had knowledge of the accident, or that the party who should have notified the employer was prevented from doing so by mental or physical incapacity, or due to fraud or deceit of a third party.
What should the notice contain?
The notice of accident sent to the employer should state:
- Name and address of the employee;
- Time, place, nature and cause of the accident;
- The resulting injuries;
- Signature of the employee or a person on his or her behalf.
Unless the employer can prove that he has been prejudiced, an omission, defect or inaccuracy in the notice cannot be held against the employee’s rights to compensation.
While in most cases it may seem obvious to employees that they should immediately notify their employer, there are instances when the injured worker might procrastinate, and ultimately delay such notice to the point that his or her claim to compensation is weakened from the start. Examples abound, such as:
- The worker has the impression that the injury will heal quickly and can be handled with painkillers;
- The employee is under pressure to meet objectives at work;
- The injured worker thinks he or she will be terminated if filing a claim;
- The worker sustained a sudden back injury, but there was no accidental event.
If you hesitate about filing a claim under the Workers’ Compensation Act, call Joe Miller Law in Elizabeth City locally 757-455-8889 or toll-free 888-694-1671 or send us an e-mail for a FREE, no commitment discussion of your case. Attorney Joseph Miller, Esq has been representing injured North Carolina workers for over 20 years.