Workers Comp in North Carolina: Who Isn’t Covered?
Workers compensation was designed to aid employees who get hurt on the job. Instead of making workers pay their own medical bills, workers compensation pays these expenses. The program also provides the worker with replacement income until they are ready to go back to work. Most employees are covered by workers comp. However, there are certain categories of employees that are not covered by workers comp in North Carolina. If you’re worried that you fall into one of these groups, just reach out to an experienced workers compensation lawyer in Charlotte.
The reason North Carolina implemented workers compensation was to help employers take care of injured employees. The state understands that it wouldn’t be right for an employee to be left with these costs. It also would be unfair for an employee to go all that time without pay.
At the same time. It wouldn’t be fair to expect businesses to have to pay for this care out of pocket. Therefore, the lawmakers in North Carolina put the workers compensation program in place. The program is there to benefit most workers. However, there are certain types of jobs that are not covered by workers comp in North Carolina. Here, we’ll explain which groups are not covered. We’ll also discuss what options these workers have should they get hurt on the job.
If you still have concerns after reading this article, just give our office a call. Our staff can schedule your free, initial consultation. This way, you get a chance to ask any questions you have. It also gives your injury attorneys in Charlotte a chance to evaluate your case and see if they can help.
Not All Employees Are Entitled to Workers Comp in North Carolina
Fair or not, certain workers are not entitled to workers comp in North Carolina. These groups tend to include federal employees. However, there are other groups, such as domestic servants, that are not eligible for workers comp in North Carolina.
In North Carolina, and almost every other state, the following groups of workers are not entitled to workers comp in North Carolina:
- Federal employees
- Railroad employees
- Domestic servants (maids, nannies, housekeepers, etc.)
- Independent contractors
- Seasonal or casual employees
- Agricultural workers where there are less than 10 employees
If you or your loved one fall into one of these categories, you aren’t allowed to apply for workers comp in North Carolina. You’ll need to find another way to cover your medical bills. You’ll also need to find an alternate way to generate an income.
For the most part, there are other ways for these exempt employees to claim benefits. For instance, federal workers can apply for their benefits through the Federal Employees Compensation Act. Under this act, federal employees who get hurt at work are eligible for free medical care. They are also eligible for replacement wages.
Unfortunately, the benefits offered under the Federal Employees Compensation Act are short-term. In fact, they only last for 45 days. If you’re out of work for more than 45 days, your benefits will terminate. At that point, you can use any time you’ve accrued at work. Your workers compensation lawyer in Charlotte may have to then help you apply for disability.
There is one upside to federal benefits. Under federal law, you can choose your own doctor. As long as you communicate who your doctor is and stay with that doctor for the duration of your medical treatment, you won’t have a problem. Under regular workers comp in North Carolina, you must be treated by a state-approved physician.
What Options Do Railroad Employees Have if They Get Hurt on the Job?
People who work for any of the railroad in the U.S. are eligible for worker benefits under a program known as the “Railroad Workers Act.” This act allows railroad employees to sue their employer for damages if they get hurt in a workplace accident.
If you fall into this category, you’ll be better off hiring an experienced injury attorney in Charlotte. They can handle the legal side of things while you focus on getting better.
There are several other benefits of the Railroad Workers Act, “Federal Employees’ Liability Act.” These benefits include the following:
- Medical benefits – Your medical care will be covered by the federal fund
- Lost wages – You can sue for any wages you lose due to your
- Pain and suffering – The big difference between this act and regular workers compensation is that you’re allowed to demand pain and suffering. You can’t receive these damages under workers comp in North Carolina.
If you work for the railroads, your employer will likely challenge the claim. Therefore, we suggest you hire one of our injury attorneys in Charlotte to assist you. Otherwise, you’ll be at a serious disadvantage.
Can Your Workers Compensation Lawyer in Charlotte Help if You’re a Nanny or Other Domestic Servant?
Sadly, if you work as a nanny, housekeeper, or other domestic servant, you don’t have any recourse if you get hurt on the job. Instead, you’ll have to sue them in civil court for damages. Sometimes, your employer may feel bad and offer to cover your expenses. They may even pay you while you’re out of work waiting to recover. However, they aren’t required to do so.
The reason why these jobs aren’t covered under workers comp in North Carolina is that the kind of person who employs domestic servants doesn’t have many employees. They may only have the one. Since every state has a certain threshold an employer must meet before they’re required to carry workers comp insurance, your employer may not qualify.
In North Carolina, the employee threshold is three. If your company has more than 3 employees, they’re required to carry workers comp insurance. However, it doesn’t really matter if your job falls into this category. All your injury attorney in Charlotte can do is help you file suit.
Contact an Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyer in Charlotte Today
If you or your loved one have suffered a work-related injury, you should be entitled to workers compensation benefits. The only way to know is to call and speak with injury attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our lawyers know the law and they also know what types of employees are eligible for workers comp in North Carolina.
If you have a feeling you aren’t covered under the state workers comp program, you may have other options. As discussed here, there are special programs for different types of workers. For example, if you work for the federal government, you’ll have limited benefits under the Federal Employees Compensation Act.
The best thing you can do is call our office and schedule your free consultation today. This gives you a chance to meet with an experienced attorney and find out what alternatives you have if you’re not covered by workers comp in North Carolina. Since the consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose.