How long does it usually take? It's been almost a month and still no answer from wc.
It sounds like the employer may not have informed the insurance carrier. There isn't anything the wc carrier can do until they receive notice of a claim. The filing of the Form 18 to the NCIC will result in the NCIC sending notice to the wc carrier to either accept, deny, or pay your claim without prejudice within 30 days. If they do not respond, they are subject to sanctions (fines) by the NCIC. This money comes from the carrier and not the employer. If they are getting sanction notices they will definatley take action. If I were in that situation, I would call an ombudsman at the NCIC and find out who the carrier is for your paticular employer, and I would contact them directly. You may have to be persistant. I believe the OP indicated that she had been contacted by an adjuster so that should not be an issue. I would blow up their phone until you get some answers, or some direction regarding your medical treatment.
In the meantime, if no one is authorizing any medical treatment then you should seek it on your own. Go to either the ER or to your family doctor. In fact, if you do go to the ER, make sure you follow up with your family doctor anyways. The ER will not always address your work status. Make sure you report that the injuries occurred at work. Keep receipts of everything, including any co-pays, prescriptions, or medical equipment (slings, etc). If you have to travel greater than 20 miles round trip, keep a log of that as well. All of those things can be reimbursed to you by the carrier. You have to fill out a form 25P or form 25T, which you can download from the NCIC website http://www.ic.nc.gov...ms.html#claims. If for some reason your adjuster tells you that you sought this treatment on your own, and they are not responsible for reimbursing you, make it clear that you had no alternative, and that your employer did not direct you anywhere.
Once you have been to the doctor, make sure to turn in a work note to your employer. If you are given restrictions, then make sure that they can accommodate them. If you are taken out of work completely, make sure they have that note as well. If they cannot accommodate your restrictions, you will not be able to return to work. WC doesn't pay for the first 7 days of disability, unless your disability goes beyond 21 days (they go back and pick up the first week). This is called the waiting period.
Allow 30 days to pass since you filed the Form 18. If you haven't heard from anyone at that time, you will need to file a Form 33 and request a hearing. I doubt it will come to that, but if it does, then that particular filing will definatley get their attention.
I hope this helps. I know it is confusing because there are a lot of people involved (employer, injured worker, wc carrier, NCIC, and medical provider).