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North Carolina Woman Steals $64,000 in Workers’ Compensation Benefits

August 27, 2018 General Civil and Business Litigation

In July 2018, Kimberly Ann Sutton, from the New Bern area, defrauded the state out of $64,000 in workers’ compensation benefits by continuing to work after claiming she was injured. An investigation by the North Carolina Industrial Commission revealed false information on two of her workers’ compensation forms. According to the director of the Commission’s fraud investigations division, Bryan Strickland, “[workers’ compensation fraud] is not a victimless crime. Unfortunately, without the help of citizens and employers, this type of fraud is hard to uncover, but thanks to everyone involved, we were able to track it down.” Soon after the investigation closed, authorities arrested Sutton and charged her with workers’ compensation fraud.

What are the Laws for Workers’ Compensations Benefits?

In North Carolina, all employers are required by law to provide a Workers’ Compensation benefits package to employees and independent contractors. However, as Workers’ Compensation laws are more defined, many employees may find it extremely difficult to receive compensation for their work-related injuries. North Carolina Workers’ Compensation laws allow residents to seek compensation for their injuries or occupational diseases under certain circumstances, even if the individual as has changed jobs or is no longer working.

A North Carolina resident can receive compensation for injuries if:

  • The injury or disease happened during the course of a job;
  • The injury or disease is typically related to the type of job he or she has;
  • The injury or disease occurred following an on-the-job injury or exposure; or
  • The worker could not have been exposed to the hazard or risk outside of the job.

What Injuries Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Workers’ compensations laws in North Carolina cover an employee’s expenses if he or she is accidentally injured on the job, or while performing his or her regular job duties. Employers with three or more employees are required by law to provide workers’ compensation benefits to employees who sustain a workplace injury or occupational disease. Typically, workers’ compensation will cover your medical bills, transportation expenses, income replacement for missed workdays, and death and funeral benefits. Even though workplace incidents vary widely, the following are several injuries that are common across all industries and can happen to anyone:

  • Equipment accidents;
  • Overexertion;
  • Repetitive Motion;
  • Slip and Fall;
  • Struck against an Object; and
  • Struck by Object.

What if My Workers’ Compensation Benefits are Denied?

If you live in North Carolina or South Carolina and were denied workers’ compensation benefits by your employer, but you are still suffering from work-related injuries, your next step is to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. As workers’ compensation laws vary according to state, consulting with a lawyer will be the first step to claiming the benefits you potentially deserve. At Wallace Childers, PLLC, we are experienced in seeking compensation for North Carolina and South Carolina workers and care about the outcome of our cases. Contact us for a free evaluation of your case.