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Workers’ Compensation: When to Report an Accident to the Industrial Commission

It is inevitable. If you are a small business owner, at some point one of your employees is going to get hurt on the job, and you will find yourself having to navigate our workers’ compensation system. One of the most common misconceptions employers have when it comes to workers’ compensation claims is that every workplace accident must be formally reported to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The obvious concern here is the loss in productivity associated with being required to initiate a formal claims process for every on the job injury, no matter how minor.

Fortunately, the law acknowledges that the vast majority of workplace injuries are minor, and that reporting each of these to an administrative agency would create an undue hardship on employers. To this end the law has carved out certain exceptions to the reporting requirement. An employer is only required to submit an accident report to the Industrial Commission if: (1) the corresponding injury causes the employee to miss more than one day of work; or (2) the medical expenses associated with treating the injury exceed a predetermined amount set by the Commission. As of January 1, 2017, the medical expenses limit is set at $2,000.00. Please keep in mind that this number is subject to change, and anyone who is considering this rule should go to the Industrial Commission’s website ( to verify the current figure.

This is but one of the many issues that must be considered throughout the life of a workers’ compensation claim. The attorneys at Sumrell Sugg have decades of experience dealing with the intricacies of North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws. Questions or concerns, feel free to give us a call today.

By Frederick H. Bailey, III

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