Q. Is a worker who sustains an on-the-job injury entitled to compensation if the injury causes disfigurement?
Yes. N.C. Gen. Stat. §97-31 allows for compensation for disfigurement if there is no other compensation payable under the statute for that injury. If the disfigurement is to the face or head then the law allows up to a max amount of $20,000.00 for the disfigurement. If the disfigurement is to any other body part then compensation may be payable up to $10,000.00.
Q. What is a “third party” case?
If you are injured on the job and suffer a compensable injury wherein it was due to the fault of another party other than the employer then you may have a cause of against that “third party.” If that is the case then the workers’ compensation carrier may also have a lien in this matter. The amount of their lien is limited to medical treatment and disability benefits that they have provided for you by way of your workers’ compensation claim. In order to resolve the third party action you will need to address this lien with the workers’ compensation carrier. It may be possible to have the lien waived by the carrier or extinguished by a Superior Court Judge.
Q. Can an injured worker be harassed or fired for filing a claim for workers’ comp benefits with the North Carolina Industrial Commission?
No. It is against the law for an employer to terminate an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. This is covered by both state and federal laws.