Today’s post comes from Kristina Thompson at the Jernigan Law Firm.

Getting your workers’ compensation case moving and your medical treatment started ASAP!

When an employee has a clear accident and injury, the employer (if self-insured) or their workers’ compensation insurance company should immediately send the injured worker to a doctor to treat their injury and direct future medical treatment.

However, what happens if the employee does not receive clear direction of what to do? Or, what if the employer delays in directing medical care? What can the employee do to effectively jumpstart their treatment?

Here are a few steps to getting your workers’ compensation claim moving faster:

  1. File your claim via a Form 18: Notice of Accident or Injury. This gives your employer, the Industrial Commission, and the insurance company notice of your claim and helps direct your claim to the appropriate claims adjuster or workers’ compensation liaison. It is the employee’s responsibility to file the claim.
  1. Confirm your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Employers are required to post a Form 17 in a prominent location under North Carolina General Statute §97-93. The Form 17 will tell you the name of your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company plus the workers’ compensation policy number and the policy’s effective dates.
  1. If you cannot find the Form 17, ask your supervisor (or your supervisor’s supervisor) or your human resources department. Keep asking until you get answers.
  1. If you can’t get the information from your employer, call the North Carolina Industrial Commission at 1(800)688-8349.
  1. If your human resources department, manager, or supervisor seems confused about the workers’ compensation process, reach out to the claims adjuster or the workers’ compensation carrier directly.

If all of the above steps don’t work, alert your employer and the insurance company that you will need to seek your own doctor to treat you. Usually all of these steps should be enough; however, if not, you may need to consider filing a motion for medical care.