The Law Office of Laura S. Jenkins, PC
Personalized attention to maximize the value of your workers' compensation or injury claim.
  178 Mine Lake Court 
Raleigh, NC 27615 
Phone: (919) 846-7766 
Toll Free: (866) 643-0014
Workers' Compensation Glossary
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.
  1. Adoption. - The term "adoption" or "adopted" means legal adoption prior to the time of the injury.
  2. 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.
  3. Carrier. - The term "carrier" or "insurer" means any person or fund authorized under G.S. 97-93 to insure under this Article, and includes self-insurers.
  4. 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.
  5. Commission. - The term "Commission" means the North Carolina Industrial Commission, to be created under the provisions of this Article.
  6. 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 provided herein.
  7. Death. - The term "death" as a basis for a right to compensation means only death resulting from an injury.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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:
    1. That there was an injury resulting in hernia or rupture.
    2. That the hernia or rupture appeared suddenly.
    3. 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.
    4. That the hernia or rupture did not exist prior to the accident for which compensation is claimed.
  14. 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.
  15. 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 Chapter.
  16. 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.
  17. 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 employee.
  18. Person. - The term "person" means individual, partnership, association or corporation.
  19. 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.
  20. 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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