North Carolina Appellate Court Upholds Dismissal of Workers’ Compensation Claim due to Lack of Jurisdiction

If you are injured in an accident, one of the first questions that you will need to address is where you should file your claim for compensation. If your injury took place during the course and scope of your employment, then it is governed by the North Carolina workers’ compensation system and must be filed with the workers’ compensation department. If it did not happen in a work-related situation, then you can likely pursue compensation in the regular civil court system. Some factual scenarios raise complex issues regarding whether an injury took place within the course and scope of the injured party’s work duties. Another issue with jurisdiction involves situations where an employee was injured in one state but resides in another state. The state of residency may dispute that it has jurisdiction over the injury. As seasoned Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers, Maurer Law is ready to help you ensure that your claim is filed in the right place.

In a recent appellate opinion, the North Carolina appellate court was asked to consider whether an injury claim fell within workers’ compensation jurisdiction. The plaintiff, a North Carolina resident, alleged that he was hurt while working as a construction worker in Virginia. The employer was based in Tennessee and hires employees to work on specific projects. The plaintiff had worked for the employer on multiple occasions including pipelines in Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.

He originally filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Virginia and he received benefit payments. The plaintiff later filed a voluntary dismissal of the claim and refiled it in North Carolina with the state’s workers’ compensation commission.  The North Carolina workers’ compensation commission denied the plaintiff’s claim on the basis that it did not have jurisdiction to oversee his claim. The employer then filed a motion to dismiss the claim pending any evidence that the claim belonged in North Carolina. The plaintiff responded by offering evidence of his North Carolina residence and that his wages were deposited into a North Carolina account. The court disagreed with plaintiff and dismissed his claim.

On appeal, the reviewing court upheld the lower court’s decision finding that the plaintiff could not prove that the injury fell within North Carolina’s jurisdiction. Plaintiff performed all his work in other states and earned all his income in other states. The appellate court also rejected the plaintiff’s argument that because the contracts for employment were made in North Carolina the workers’ compensation system had jurisdiction over his injury.

If you were involved in a construction accident or another accident on the job, it is critical that you explore your legal rights, including any potential right to compensation from the individual who caused your injuries. At Maurer Law, our seasoned team of lawyers will provide you with a free consultation to discuss your situation and whether we can assist you. This includes assessing the appropriate location to pursue your claim as well as dealing with any insurance company disputes. Don’t wait, time may be running out on your claim. Call us now at 1-888-258-1087 or contact us online to get started.

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