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What steps should I take following a work-related injury?

If you have experienced a work-related injury in North Carolina, your life can undergo dramatic changes very quickly. Many work accident victims find themselves suffering anxiety over numerous issues including the severity of the injury, loss of wages and the possibility of permanent disability.

Workers' compensation benefits can be a great comfort to injured workers, but it is important to follow the proper steps after the injury occurs. Doing so will ensure your claim has a greater chance of approval, making it easier for you to concentrate on your recovery.

Below you will find the appropriate steps to take following a work related injury in North Carolina:

-- Seek medical treatment: Immediately reporting the injury to your employer is preferable, but if you need medical care right away, let that be your top priority. If you do not have an onsite health care provider, see your doctor or go to the emergency room.-- Inform the doctor: While seeking medical attention, be sure to inform your provider that your injuries are work related. Include the name of your workplace, employer or the business owner.-- Report the injury: As early after the injury as possible, report the incident to your supervisor or manager. If you are hospitalized or otherwise unable to make the report personally, authorize a family member or friend to report in your stead.-- Make a written report: Within 30 days after the injury, provide your employer with a simple written statement describing the accident. The statement should include the date of the accident.-- Follow your medical provider's instructions: This step is important because it will allow you to return to work as early as possible. One of the goals of workers' compensation is providing workers with good health care, enabling them to get back to work quickly.

Remember that receiving these benefits is your right as a North Carolina employee. You can always turn to a North Carolina attorney if you have trouble getting your workers' compensation claim approved.

Source: North Carolina Industrial Commission, "If You Have Been Injured At Work," accessed July 30, 2015

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