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When initially analyzing your workers' compensation claim, the first step your attorney will take is to determine whether you are covered by the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act. This is the final post in a four-post series discussing who is covered by the Act. The first post described what constitutes an injury by accident or an occupational disease. You can view that post here: Am I Covered? Injuries by Accident and Occupational Diseases. The second post covered who is an employee for the purposes of workers' compensation, and that post is available here: Am I Covered? Who is considered an Employee?. The third post discussed which claims fall under North Carolina's jurisdiction, and that post is available here: Am I Covered? Jurisdiction Over North Carolina Workers' Compensation Claims
Are "arising out of" and "in the course of" employment the same thing?
No. Although similar, they are not synonymous. This means that both elements have to be proven in order to bring a case under the Workers' Compensation Act.
What does "arising out of" employment mean?
"Arising out of" means that the injury occurred because of a condition or risk created by the job. The question you will have to answer is whether your job was a contributing cause of the injury.
What does "in the course of employment" mean?
Generally speaking, "in the course of employment" means that the injury occurred during working hours (or sometime slightly before or after), on the employer's premises, and while you were engaged in activity which you were authorized to undertake and which was calculated to further, directly or indirectly, the employer's business. Note that this is a very complicated topic, and often injuries occur while employees are not on the employer's premises. This could include, for example, a business trip or other off-premise activity that is done for the benefit of the employer. Your attorney will analyze the totality of circumstances when attempting to prove that the injury occurred during the course of employment.
Who has to prove that my injury "arose out of and in the course of employment?"
You do. Cases interpreting the statute state that the employee bears the burden of proving both that they were injured and that that injury arose out of and in the course of employment. Morrison v. Burlington Industries.
Next steps . . .
If you found this information helpful, please follow our blog CarolinaCompensation™. If you are a North Carolina resident or worker and in need of legal assistance, please Contact Bowman Law PLLC for a free case uation, or call (336) 470-0177 to speak to Attorney Joe Bowman directly.