Workers Compensation Lawyer North Carolina | NC Workers Compensation Attorney

After an injury on the job, our workers’ compensation lawyers will fight for the benefits you need.

We’ve helped injured workers across North Carolina for over 45 years and are ready to help you, too. Contact us to speak with a workers' compensation lawyer for free today.

Protecting The Rights of Injured Workers Since 1976

You Pay Nothing Unless We Win Your Case

A workplace accident can cause more than just physical harm. It can take a significant emotional and financial toll on workers and their families, leaving them uncertain of the future and wondering how they’ll be able to afford the care they need. While workers' compensation insurance is supposed to help and protect injured workers, we often see claim denials for reasons such as a lack of evidence to support the claim or missed deadlines. We know how crucial these benefits are to helping you support yourself and your family, which is why we’re committed to getting you the benefits you need.

Regardless of whether you’re beginning the process of applying for benefits or have already applied and been denied, our workers' compensation lawyers are here to help. We’ve been helping injured workers across North Carolina since 1976 and will use our experience and knowledge to fight for the benefits you need. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation by filling out an online form or calling us at 919-781-1107.

Contact Us Today

LP Contact Form

$240 Thousand

Workers' Compensation

$15 Million

Nursing Home Abuse

$9.5 Million

Truck Accident

Henson Fuerst Attorneys


Over 150 years of combined experience

We have been serving accident victims since 1976. If you need a workers' compensation lawyer in North Carolina, contact us today.

Our law firm is highly rated by our clients

You can expect to be treated like family and receive honest and compassionate legal representation. We have helped thousands of clients just like you.

4.6 out of 5 stars on Google

Our team is available 24 hours a day

Contact our NC workers' compensation lawyers day or night to get help with your case. Henson Fuerst will stand up for your rights.

How much money does a workers' compensation claim pay?

If you're eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you may receive up to 66.7 percent of your average weekly wage, capped at $1,254 per week as of 2023, adjusted annually for the cost of living. For current details, refer to the North Carolina Industrial Commission's website.

Under state law, a North Carolina worker is entitled to two-thirds of their average weekly salary each week. The calculation of average weekly pay varies based on the insurance company's methods. Per the law, the insurer must review earnings from the year before the injury date, deducting taxes. Average weekly pay is then computed by dividing this figure by 52 weeks. If a worker has worked less than 52 weeks, the earnings are divided by the number of weeks worked.

The benefits you're eligible for are determined by the severity of your injuries or the duration of your work absence. Workers’ compensation provides three primary types of benefits: Weekly compensation for missed work time, coverage for related medical expenses, and compensation for permanent injuries.

Who qualifies for a workers' compensation claim?

To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, four criteria must typically be met:

  1. You must be classified as an employee. You must be classified as an employee to qualify for workers' compensation benefits. It's important to note that independent contractors and volunteers usually do not qualify.
  2. You must sustain a work-related injury or illness. In most instances, it is deemed work-related if you are engaged in a task benefiting your employer. Therefore, if these criteria are met and you sustain an injury, it is classified as work-related.
  3. Your work-related injury must result from an accident or occupational disease. Not every on-the-job injury or illness entitles you to benefits. Generally, the injury or illness must result from an accident or exposure. However, there are numerous exceptions to this.
  4. You must adhere to North Carolina’s deadlines for reporting the injury and filing a workers’ compensation claim. You must provide written notice to your employer within 30 days or as soon as possible following your injury. The statement must include the accident date and a brief injury description, and you must retain a copy for your records. A Form 18 Notice of Accident must be filed with the NC Industrial Commission within two years of the accident date. The legal team at Henson Fuerst can assist with this process.
Man who needed a lawyer

"I had a work injury. The owner of the company did not have workers’ compensation insurance. I was afraid doctor bills wouldn’t get paid, so I retained this company. My employer also never offered a dime outside of doctor bills. Joey and Kim worked my case. They were so amazing and stuck with me every single step of the way. They put my mind at ease. If you are looking for an attorney and paralegal who know all of the ins and outs of these cases, and work to get for you what you deserve, Joey and Kim are exactly what you need!"

Steve C.

Workers' Compensation

woman measuring for carpentry job

Getting You The Workers’ Comp Benefits You Need is Our Top Priority

We Won’t Let The Workers’ Comp Insurance Company Take Advantage of You

After your employer’s insurance carrier becomes aware of your work-related injury or illness, they’ll quickly assign a claims adjuster to your file, often before you begin receiving any treatment. However, it's crucial to remain vigilant; these adjusters are representatives of the insurance company, not advocates for your best interests. Regrettably, you cannot rely on them to prioritize the well-being of you and your loved ones. More often than not, you'll feel reduced to a mere statistic within their system. Workers' compensation adjusters adhere to their own strategies for probing, defending, negotiating, and resolving claims. It might seem as though you stand alone, with the insurance company poised to exploit any inconsistency. At Henson Fuerst, we stand by our clients. We're here to support you, advocating fiercely to facilitate your journey back to health and financial stability.

We’ll Stand By Your Side, Every Step of The Way.

From the moment you contact our law firm to the conclusion of your case, you can rest assured that our team will be by your side and available to you whenever you need us. Whether it’s filing paperwork or going head-to-head with insurance companies, we have the experience, knowledge, resources, and compassion to safeguard your rights and fight for the benefits you need. We know the impact an occupational injury or illness has on a person’s life and will do whatever it takes to make sure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. When it feels like your voice isn't being heard, our attorneys will champion your cause. Contact our workers’ compensation lawyers today by calling 919-781-1107 or submitting a free case evaluation form online.

What Should I Do After Suffering a Work Injury?

Seek immediate medical attention

If your workplace has a designated healthcare provider, make sure to promptly seek medical attention from them. If this is unavailable, ensure you get appropriate medical care elsewhere. Give the provider as much detail as possible, including how and when the accident occurred, and your employer’s details. This will help in processing your treatment expenses as a workers’ compensation claim.

Report your injuries to your employer

Notify your manager or company owner about your injuries as soon as possible. If you can’t report the accident yourself, arrange for a family member or healthcare provider to inform your employer.

Provide Written Notice of Your Injuries to Your Employer

Within 30 days of the incident, send your employer a written notice of your injury. The notice should include a brief description of the accident and injury. If writing is not feasible, enlist a family member or healthcare provider to assist. Keep a copy of the notice for your records.

Adhere to Your Healthcare Provider's Instructions

Follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider to optimize your recovery and restore your pre-accident health. Make sure to attend all follow-up appointments as well, as this documentation is crucial to supporting your workers’ compensation claim.

What if your workers' compensation claim is denied?

Seek legal counsel. Workers’ compensation law is complex, and a lawyer can help you understand your rights and guide you throughout the whole process. Seek medical treatment using all available means, including health insurance. From a health perspective, prompt treatment minimizes injury duration. From a claims standpoint, documentation of early treatment is crucial. Many claims fail due to inadequate documentation.

We never charge a fee unless we obtain a recovery for you. If a recovery is not made, you pay us nothing.

Understanding Your Rights as an Injured Worker in North Carolina

As an injured worker in North Carolina, you have several rights protected by state law. Some of these rights include:

  • Right to File a Workers' Compensation Claim: If you sustain a work-related injury or illness, you have the right to file a workers' compensation claim to seek benefits for your medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Right to Medical Treatment: You have the right to receive reasonable and necessary medical treatment for your work-related injury or illness, including doctor's visits, hospital care, medications, surgeries, and rehabilitation services.
  • Right to Choose a Physician: In North Carolina, you have the right to choose your treating physician for your work-related injury or illness. However, your employer may require you to see an approved healthcare provider for an initial evaluation.
  • Right to Disability Benefits: If your injury or illness prevents you from working, you have the right to receive disability benefits to compensate for a portion of your lost wages. These benefits may include temporary total disability (TTD) benefits or temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.
  • Right to Vocational Rehabilitation: If you're unable to return to your previous job due to your injury or illness, you have the right to vocational rehabilitation services to help you retrain for a new job or obtain suitable employment.
  • Right to Appeal: If your workers' compensation claim is denied or disputed by your employer or the insurance company, you have the right to appeal the decision and request a hearing before the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
  • Right to Protection Against Retaliation: It's illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for filing a workers' compensation claim or exercising your rights under the law. This includes termination, demotion, or any other adverse employment action.
  • Right to Privacy: Your medical records and personal information related to your workers' compensation claim are protected by privacy laws, and your employer is prohibited from disclosing this information without your consent.
  • Right to Legal Representation: You have the right to seek legal representation from a qualified workers' compensation attorney to help you understand your rights, navigate the claims process, and protect your interests.

It's essential to understand your rights as an injured worker in North Carolina and take appropriate steps to assert and protect those rights. If you have questions or concerns about your rights under workers' compensation law, consider consulting with a knowledgeable attorney who can provide guidance and advocacy tailored to your specific situation. Our team is available 24/7 to discuss your case, free of charge. Call us at 919-781-1107 or submit a free case evaluation form online today.

Will I Lose My Health Insurance If I’m On Workers’ Compensation?

In North Carolina, while collecting workers' compensation benefits, your employer is typically required to continue providing health insurance coverage if they provided it before your injury. However, there are some situations where you may risk losing your health insurance benefits while receiving workers' compensation benefits:

  • Termination of employment. If your employment is terminated while you're receiving workers' compensation benefits, your employer may no longer be obligated to provide health insurance coverage. However, depending on the circumstances of your termination and the reasons for it, they may still be required to provide workers' compensation benefits.
  • Failure to pay premiums. If you're responsible for paying premiums for your health insurance coverage, you must ensure that these premiums are paid while you're receiving workers' compensation benefits. Failure to do so could result in the loss of coverage.
  • Exhaustion of benefits. Depending on the terms of your health insurance plan, there may be limitations on the duration of coverage while you're on leave due to a work-related injury. If your health insurance benefits have a maximum coverage period, you could lose coverage once this period expires, even if you're still receiving workers' compensation benefits.
  • Employer policy changes. Employers may change their health insurance policies or benefits offerings over time, which could potentially impact your coverage while you're on workers' compensation leave. It's essential to stay informed about any changes to your employer's policies regarding health insurance benefits.

It's crucial to review the terms of your health insurance plan, communicate with your employer's human resources department, and consult with a knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney to understand your rights and obligations regarding health insurance coverage while receiving workers' compensation benefits. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and help ensure you receive the benefits you're entitled to.

We have represented thousands of clients for over 45 years.

$240K Settlement

While stepping down from a truck, our client suffered a type of ankle fracture called a calcaneous avulsion fracture. His injuries required complicated surgery and aggressive physical therapy. The injury then triggered a complex regional pain syndrome. As a result of this serious medical condition, our client was unable to return to his job. The settlement for our client was fully collectible.

How Long Can You Stay on Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the duration for which an individual can receive workers' compensation benefits varies depending on the nature and severity of the injury, as well as other factors. Here are some key points regarding the duration of workers' compensation benefits in North Carolina:

  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits: If an injured worker is temporarily unable to work due to their injury, they may be eligible to receive TTD benefits. These benefits typically provide compensation for lost wages while the worker is recovering. In North Carolina, TTD benefits can be paid for up to 500 weeks from the date of the injury.
  • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits: If an injured worker is able to return to work but is earning less than they were before the injury due to work-related restrictions, they may be eligible for TPD benefits. These benefits provide partial compensation for the difference in earnings. Like TTD benefits, TPD benefits in North Carolina can also be paid for up to 500 weeks from the date of injury.
  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits: If an injured worker sustains a permanent impairment as a result of their work-related injury, they may be entitled to PPD benefits. The duration and amount of these benefits are determined based on the severity of the impairment and other factors outlined in the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act.
  • Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits: If an injured worker is permanently and totally disabled as a result of their work-related injury, they may be eligible for PTD benefits. These benefits provide ongoing compensation for individuals unable to engage in substantial gainful employment. PTD benefits can continue for the duration of the disability.

It's important to note that these are general guidelines, and the specific circumstances of each case can impact the duration and amount of workers' compensation benefits. Additionally, individuals receiving workers' compensation benefits in North Carolina are typically subject to periodic reviews to assess their eligibility for continued benefits.

Who is Exempt from Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, certain categories of workers are typically exempt from workers' compensation coverage. These exemptions may include:

  • Independent contractors. Individuals who work as independent contractors rather than employees are typically not covered by workers' compensation insurance.
  • Certain agricultural workers. Agricultural workers may be exempt from workers' compensation coverage under certain circumstances, such as if they work for a small farm with fewer than ten full-time employees.
  • Casual workers. Some states exempt casual workers, such as occasional or seasonal employees, from workers' compensation coverage.
  • Domestic workers. Workers who provide services in a private home, such as housekeepers, babysitters, or gardeners, may not be covered by workers' compensation.
  • Sole proprietors, partners, and corporate officers. In many states, sole proprietors, partners in partnerships, and corporate officers may choose to be excluded from workers' compensation coverage, although they can opt to be covered if desired.
  • Volunteers. Volunteers who donate their time and services without expectation of compensation are generally not covered by workers' compensation insurance.

It's important to note that these exemptions can vary depending on state laws and regulations. Additionally, some employers may misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid providing workers' compensation coverage, which can lead to legal issues and penalties. If you have questions about your eligibility for workers' compensation coverage or believe you have been misclassified, contact the workers’ compensation team at Henson Fuerst by calling 919-781-1107.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does workers' compensation cover long-term damages in North Carolina?

While you're medically advised not to work, you're entitled to Total Temporary Disability (TTD) benefits. These are weekly payments amounting to two-thirds of your gross weekly pay at the time of injury. Additionally, you're entitled to compensation for related medical expenses. Depending on your treatment outcome, your doctor may assign a disability rating, potentially entitling you to compensation for a permanent injury.

When should I seek legal counsel in North Carolina regarding a workers’ compensation claim?

The severity of your injury determines this. If your injury is minor and a full recovery is expected, legal representation may not be necessary. However, if your injury is severe and requires surgery that jeopardizes your ability to return to your prior employment, consulting an attorney is advisable.

Will workers’ comp cover lost wages in North Carolina?

Your sick leave covers the initial seven days of work absence due to injury. If your doctor has not cleared you to return to work after this period, Total Temporary Disability (TTD) payments should commence. If your absence exceeds 21 days, the insurance company may retroactively compensate you for the first seven days. However, in most cases, there's no provision for reclaiming vacation or sick leave.

Do I need to file my claim if my employer has already reported the accident?

Yes. Both you and your employer are required to file reports whenever an accident occurs. You must submit a Form 18.

Am I responsible for my own transportation to doctors’ appointments?

If you lack transportation, the insurance company typically arranges it. However, insurance-provided transportation may be unreliable. If you opt for personal transportation or a driver, you're entitled to mileage reimbursement.

What is the timeframe for filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in North Carolina?

Employees should file their claims within 30 days of the accident. Claims for injury by accident must be filed within two years after the injury date, unless the employer pays salary replacement compensation. If the employer covers medical expenses, claims must be filed within two years of the last payment.

Should I inform my employer daily during my injury-related absence?

Generally, no. Your doctor will issue written excuses for your absence in blocks of time, which your employer likely possesses. However, if company policy necessitates or encourages daily sick call-ins, limit the conversation. Many individuals inadvertently disclose too much about their injuries to their employer, leading to repercussions.

What steps should I take if the doctor releases me with work-limiting restrictions?

Consult an attorney. The insurance company may assign a vocational rehabilitation counselor or offer settlement options. There are regulations governing counselor interactions, and it's vital to protect your rights during these discussions.

What is a vocational rehabilitation counselor?

The North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services employs these counselors to aid individuals with disabilities or injuries in achieving greater independence. They assist by:

  • Assessing client capabilities and limitations
  • Collaborating on employment and independent living goals
  • Facilitating training and therapy
  • Supporting job training and placement
Should I seek alternative employment if my restrictions prevent my return to my previous job?

Yes. Search for new employment and maintain a log of your efforts. Documenting your job search aids in proving work incapacity, ensuring continued TTD benefits. Such documentation is vital for hearings or settlement discussions.

What constitutes a permanent restriction?

A permanent restriction is a physician's directive prohibiting the performance of pre-injury job duties. If your employer cannot accommodate these restrictions, you may receive TTD benefits while seeking alternative employment.

What is the role of a Workers' Comp Case Manager?

If you have a workers’ compensation claim, your employer's insurance provider may assign a nurse case manager. This individual reports your care status to the insurance company.

Am I required to permit my nurse case manager to attend medical appointments?

Yes. Nurse case managers have the right to attend appointments. However, they may not be present during examinations. If you opt for a private exam, they must respect your privacy. After the exam, they may speak with your doctor, but you should ideally be present.

How long before I start receiving workers’ comp benefits in NC?

There's typically a seven-day waiting period before compensation is released after filing for benefits. However, if your injury results in over 21 days of work incapacity, you may receive compensation during the first seven days. People who need to wait seven days are allowed to use their earned sick days or vacation leave during this period.

Who pays for workers’ compensation?

Employers are generally required to pay for their workers' compensation insurance as outlined in the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act. They usually purchase coverage through private insurance companies that pay out in the event an employee becomes injured. If they can't get coverage through private insurers, they may be eligible for coverage through NC’s assigned risk pool, which is administered through the North Carolina Rate Bureau. Some employers choose to self-insure by paying for their employees' claims out-of-pocket.

Can I lose my job while I'm out on workers' compensation?

You cannot be fired simply because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. However, you can be fired while you have an open workers’ compensation claim. In this case, your employer must provide a valid reason for terminating your employment that's unrelated to your claim.

Will my workers’ comp settlement be taxed?

Workers’ compensation benefits are typically not subject to tax. However, if the individual also receives disability benefits through Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), there may be an exception.

If an individual’s workers’ compensation benefits and disability payments are above a specific threshold, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may reduce these benefits so that the combined total remains below the threshold.

Only the amount that the SSA reduces an individual’s monthly benefits by is taxable. For instance, if the SSA lowers an individual’s monthly SSDI payment by $300 (to keep their total below the threshold), then $300 of their workers’ compensation benefits will be taxable.

What benefits other than medical care can I receive?

If your claim is compensable, you may be eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits, payment for scarring or damage to an organ, or permanent total disability benefits.

What Types of Injuries are Covered Under the NC Workers’ Compensation Act?

Workers’ compensation covers almost any physical injury sustained at work, as well as a variety of job-related illnesses. The most frequently reported injuries in workers' compensation claims are:

  • Back injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts, lacerations, and puncture wounds
  • Strains and sprains from overexertion
  • Crushed limbs
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Burns
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Respiratory problems
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Toxic exposure
  • Amputations
  • Concussions
  • Knee injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries

A pre-existing ailment or condition will not qualify unless the employment requirements substantially worsened it.

Joseph S. Hodgin, Workers' Compensation Lawyer at Henson Fuerst Attorneys.

Joseph "Joey" S. Hodgin, Workers' Compensation Attorney

With close to two decades of experience, Joseph has devoted his legal practice to advocating for North Carolina workers. He handles a wide range of cases, from commonplace injuries like rotator cuff tears and carpal tunnel syndrome to severe incidents such as head trauma and spinal injuries. Additionally, Joseph holds a special focus on representing our state’s first responders, including EMS workers, police officers, and firefighters.

Related Workers' Compensation Stories

Our workers’ compensation attorneys are committed to keeping our community informed on the latest developments and trends in the laws governing workers’ compensation. Explore our recent blogs here:

Location Icon

Raleigh Office

3110 Edwards Mill Rd # 100,
Raleigh, NC 27612
P (919) 781-1107
F (919) 781-8048

Rocky Mount Office

2317 Sunset Ave,
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
P (252) 443-2111
F (252) 443-9429
Scroll to Top