Hugh D. Cox, Attorney in Greenville, NC, proudly representing the disabled for rightful veterans benefits, Social Security benefits and Workers Compensation.
        2411 B Charles Boulevard
       Greenville, North Carolina 27858
       Post Office Box 154
       Greenville, North Carolina 27835-0154
 Phone: (252) 757-3977
 Fax: (252) 757-3420
            North Carolina Bar Number 6567
           Department of Veterans Affairs Accreditation number  8925

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The information contained in this website is general legal information and not legal advice on any legal subject. It is no substitute for the services of a

competent professional attorney experienced in these matters. This information is subject to change at any time due to new legislation or new court cases.


A Short Guide to  North Carolina Workers Compensation:
        (Scroll down for Valuable Information)

My Workers Compensation Contract

Self-Reporting Forms to Help Prove Disability (Adobe Acrobat PDF Format)

The information contained in this brochure is general legal information and not legal advice on the subject of workers compensation. It is no substitute for the services of a competent professional attorney experienced in North Carolina workers compensation law. This information is subject to change at any time due to new legislation or new court cases.

The North Carolina Industrial Commission has an excellent web site with valuable information. Use the "link" below:

I personally represent my clients: I interview, prepare clients for testifying, write briefs and go to trial and hearings with clients. You need not worry that someone else will "handle" your case. I am your lawyer and will be with you at all times to represent you.

Question: When should I hire a Lawyer for my workers compensation case?

You will need an attorney in contested cases:

   where all or some of your benefits are denied,

   whenever you face a legal hearing before the Industrial Commission,

   when your have an occupational disease case,

   when the insurance company wants to "settle" your case with a "clincher" or final settlement which offers no further benefits to you,

   when you have had surgery,

   when you have permanent partial or permanent total disabilities,

   when your ability to earn a living is impaired or reduced, or

   because insurance companies have their own lawyers and you should too,

   because your injury may affect you for the rest of your life, and

   because you need legal questions answered.

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Question: What is Workers Compensation?

North Carolina State Law requires employers with 3 or more regular employees to have Workers Compensation insurance and to pay benefits to injured workers for job-related injuries or diseases. The law is administered by the North Carolina Industrial Commission.

Question: What Workers Compensation benefits are paid?

Workers Compensation insurance may pay for lost income while recovering, permanent injury, health care, total disability, a second medical opinion, copies of your medical records, additional benefits within a time period if you later have a change in condition, travel for medical care if more than 20 miles round-trip, prescription medicine and other benefits. State law sets exact formulas for these benefits. Weekly and other benefits vary. Injured workers cannot receive benefits for pain and suffering such as in an auto accident.

Question: What must I do to be eligible?

You must file your claim quickly or a statute of limitations may bar your benefits. See an attorney experienced in workers compensation law about these time limitations.

Question: Is there a waiting period before I begin receiving weekly benefits?

Yes, there is a seven day waiting period before direct benefits are paid to you. If you remain out of work for more than 21 days, the employer or insurance company must then pay you for the first seven days

Question: Are aggravations of an old injury covered?

Yes! If your physician says your injury is job -related or aggravated, you will be entitled to workers compensation benefits.

Question: What can I do if I am treated by the "company" doctor who says I can return to work before I am well enough?

Under recent State law, you can be treated by another physician (not necessarily one of your own choice) with approval of the Industrial Commission. It is important that you seek a change of physician as soon as possible. You may also be entitled to a second opinion by a doctor of your choice. Refusing to follow your physician’s orders can be grounds to stop your benefits or to fire you. It is important that you seek a change of physician or second medical opinion as soon as possible.

Question: Are job-related diseases covered by workers compensation?

Yes! If any disease is job-related (called an occupational disease), you may be eligible for benefits.

Question: If the insurance company wants to assign a "rehabilitation" consultant or nurse to my case, will I be helped?

Sometimes the real purpose of the "rehabilitation" consultant or nurse is convince your physicians that your injuries and complaints are not serious and to return you to work as soon as possible. Doctors rarely recommend a rehabilitation nurse.

Question: Can I be fired for filing a claim?

No, State law protects injured workers from job retaliation. You should be alert for signs that some employers may seek "pretext" reasons to fire you after a workers compensation injury.

Question: Will I be followed and videotaped by the insurance company?

Increasingly, insurance companies assign private detectives to follow and videotape injured workers to record your activities which might suggest that they are not as severely injured as they say they are. It is important that you not engage in activity your doctor has not approved, even when you are having a "good day". Be completely honest with everyone and you will have nothing to fear.

Question: Will I need witnesses or evidence to prove my workers compensation case?

Yes! Record names and addresses of all witnesses or co-workers who saw the injury, suffered the same condition, knew of the conditions leading to your injury or disease or saw you after the injury. If possible, get a co-worker you trust to photograph or gather other evidence (such as chemicals you inhaled) of the location of your injury within your place of employment to show job related conditions. Keep a diary to begin with the date of your injury. This diary should include such information as when benefits were paid, when you saw the doctor, what the doctor said to you about your injury, when you are able to return to work, whether your pay was reduced, and when the doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement. All of these dates are very important. Remember that your case may take years to resolve. Retain all of your medical bills and other bills related to any expenses of the injury or disease.

Question: The employer and insurance company have refused to tell me anything and they continue to deny any benefits. What can I do?

Retain an attorney. You must file a timely claim with the Industrial Commission and request a hearing in contested cases.

Question: What would a Lawyer cost?

Attorney fees, like medical. expenses, are set- by the Industrial Commission. Typically, lawyers charge a "contingency fee" in which if there is no recovery for you, there is no attorney fee. Attorney fees allowed by the Industrial Commission are usually about 25% of the benefits recovered for you, plus any expenses.

Question: Should I apply for unemployment compensation if I am fired or laid off but I am still on limited or restricted duties?

If you are fired or laid off, you should NOT apply for unemployment compensation benefits unless you tell the Employment Security Commission all about your medical injuries, disabilities and limitations.

Question: Can I also be protected by other laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), COBRA medical coverage (which allows you to continue your medical health insurance coverage after your leave a job), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

Yes! You should consult an experienced workers compensation attorney to discuss your rights under these laws.