Workers Comp Statute of Limitations in NC
There are time limitations for filing workers compensation claims in North Carolina. The statute of limitations on any cause of action is in place to ensure that plaintiffs diligently pursue valid claims, to promote justice, and to preserve witness testimony and evidence.
There are two statutes of limitations that are relevant to workers compensation in North Carolina. These include the statue of limitations to file your workers compensation claim and the statue of limitations for employer retaliation lawsuits. To file a workers compensation claim, you will need to complete the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Form 18. If your employer fails to send you this form upon being notified of your injury, then you can obtain the form from the commission.
You have two years from the date of your injury to file this form with the Industrial Commission. If you are suffering from an occupational disease, then the two year timeline begins when the illness interferes with your ability to work. If you fail to meet this statute of limitations, then you will forfeit your right to file for workers compensation. This is a very strict deadline, which cannot be bypassed.
The best way to ensure that you do not fail to meet the statute of limitations is to submit Form 18 to the Industrial Commission as soon as you can after your workplace injury occurs.
It is important to be detailed and specific when filling out Form 18. You should include all injuries and suspected injuries to ensure that you do not fail to meet the statute of limitations on a particular injury. If more than one injury has occurred, then you must include all injuries. If you fail to record a particular injury, then that injury may never be covered. You should also ensure that you notify your employer, in writing, about all injuries within 30 days. If you file Form 18, then this counts as notifying your employer, if completed within 30 days.
Statute of Limitations For Retaliation Claims
While it is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who file workers’ compensation claims, employer retaliation does occur. If this happens, then you have a statute of limitations of three years from the date of the retaliatory action to file a lawsuit against the employer.
You can also choose to file a complaint against your employer for retaliation with the North Carolina Employee Discrimination Bureau (EDB). You must do so within 180 days of the retaliatory action, and the EDB will investigate your claim. The EDB may find in your favor and attempt to negotiate and mediate a resolution, or they may find in favor of your employer and issue a right to sue letter so that you can pursue the matter independently. If negotiations with the employer are unsuccessful, then the EDB may file a lawsuit on your behalf.
It is always a good idea to seek out a free consultation with a Raleigh, NC workers compensation attorney to ensure that you have a strong case and that you do not overshoot your statute of limitations. The sooner you start to work on your claim, the better.