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Raleigh, NC 27615
Phone: (919) 846-7766
Toll Free: (866) 643-0014
The following definitions are shortened and simplified
versions of the actual terms that appear in Section 97-2,
Definitions for the North Carolina Workers Compensation Act. We
have attempted to simplify these definitions to make them more
accessible to non-lawyers. However, whenever a legal definition
is shortened, it is less completely accurate. Therefore, if you
have a worker’s compensation injury, we urge to contact
competent counsel to help you protect your rights under the
worker’s Compensation Act.
- Adoption. - The term "adoption" or "adopted" means legal
adoption prior to the time of the injury.
- Average Weekly Wages. - "Average weekly wages" shall mean
the earnings of the injured employee in the employment in which
he was working at the time of the injury during the period of 52
weeks immediately preceding the date of the injury…But where for
exceptional reasons the foregoing would be unfair, either to the
employer or employee, such other method of computing average
weekly wages may be resorted to as will most nearly approximate
the amount which the injured employee would be earning were it
not for the injury.
- Carrier. - The term "carrier" or "insurer" means any person
or fund authorized under
G.S. §97-93 to insure under this Article, and includes
- Child, Grandchild, Brother, Sister. - The term "child" shall
include a posthumous child, a child legally adopted prior to the
injury of the employee, and a stepchild or acknowledged
illegitimate child dependent upon the deceased, but does not
include married children unless wholly dependent upon him.
"Grandchild" means a child as above defined of a child as above
defined. "Brother" and "sister" include stepbrothers and
stepsisters, half brothers and half sisters, and brothers and
sisters by adoption. "Child," "grandchild," "brother," and
"sister" include only persons who at the time of the death of
the deceased employee are under 18 years of age.
- Commission. - The term "Commission" means the North Carolina
Industrial Commission, to be created under the provisions of
- Compensation. - The term "compensation" means the money
allowance payable to an employee or to his dependents as
provided for in this Article, and includes funeral benefits
- Death. - The term "death" as a basis for a right to
compensation means only death resulting from an injury.
- Disability. - The term "disability" means incapacity because
of injury to earn the wages which the employee was receiving at
the time of injury in the same or any other employment.
- Employee. -- The term "employee" means every person engaged
in an employment under any appointment or contract of hire or
apprenticeship, express or implied, oral or written, including
aliens, and also minors, whether lawfully or unlawfully
employed, but excluding persons whose employment is both casual
and not in the course of the trade. When the employee is dead,
include also his legal representative, dependents, and other
persons to whom compensation may be payable. Every executive
officer elected or appointed and empowered in accordance with
the charter and bylaws of a corporation shall be considered as
an employee of such corporation under this Article.
- Employer. - The term "employer" means the State and all
political subdivisions thereof, all public and quasi-public
corporations therein, every person carrying on any employment,
and the legal representative of a deceased person or the
receiver or trustee of any person.
- Employment. - The term "employment" includes employment by
the State and all private employments in which three or more
employees are regularly employed in the same business or
establishment, except agriculture and domestic services, unless
10 or more full-time nonseasonal agricultural workers are
regularly employed by the employer.
- Health care provider. - The term "health care provider"
means physician, hospital, pharmacy, chiropractor, nurse,
dentist, podiatrist, physical therapist, rehabilitation
specialist, psychologist, and any other person providing medical
care pursuant to this Article.
- Hernia. - In all claims for compensation for hernia or
rupture, resulting from injury by accident arising out of and in
the course of the employee's employment, it must be definitely
proven to the satisfaction of the Industrial Commission:
- That there was an injury resulting in hernia or rupture.
- That the hernia or rupture appeared suddenly.
- That the hernia or rupture immediately followed an
accident. Provided, however, a hernia shall be compensable
under this Article if it arises out of and in the course of
the employment and is the direct result of a specific
traumatic incident of the work assigned.
- That the hernia or rupture did not exist prior to the
accident for which compensation is claimed.
- Injury. - "Injury and personal injury" shall mean only
injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the
employment. With respect to back injuries, however, where injury
to the back arises out of and in the course of the employment
and is the direct result of a specific traumatic incident of the
work assigned, "injury by accident" shall be construed to
include any disabling physical injury to the back arising out of
and causally related to such incident.
- Managed care organization. -- The term "managed care
organization" means a preferred provider organization or a
health maintenance organization regulated under Chapter 58 of
the General Statutes. "Managed care organization" also means a
preferred provider benefit plan of an insurance company,
hospital, or medical service corporation in which utilization
review or quality management programs are used to manage the
provision of health care services and benefits under this
- Medical Compensation. - The term "medical compensation"
means medical, surgical, hospital, nursing, and rehabilitative
services, and medicines, sick travel, and other treatment,
including medical and surgical supplies, as may reasonably be
required to effect a cure or give relief and will tend to lessen
the period of disability.
- Parent. - The term "parent" includes stepparents and parents
by adoption, parents-in-law, and any person who for more than
three years prior to the death of the deceased employee stood in
the place of a parent to him, if dependent on the injured
- Person. - The term "person" means individual, partnership,
association or corporation.
- Widow. - The term "widow" includes only the decedent's wife
living with or dependent for support upon him at the time of his
death; or living apart for justifiable cause or by reason of his
desertion at such time.
- Widower. - The term "widower" includes only the decedent's
husband living with or dependent for support upon her at the
time of her death or living apart for justifiable cause or by
reason of her desertion at such time.
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