Injuries Covered By Workers’ Compensation Laws In North Carolina
Injuries on the job can include amputations, back injuries, neck injuries, brain injuries, bone fractures, burn injuries, chemical burn injuries, shoulder injuries, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), foot and ankle injuries, hand injuries, hand-arm vibration injuries, crush injuries, facial injuries, internal organ injuries, knee injuries, nerve damage, occupational disease, paralysis, repetitive stress injury, or an aggravation of a preexisting injury. If you have suffered from one of these injuries, it is in your best interest to secure the legal assistance of an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. By getting good advice at the beginning of your claim, you can take the necessary steps toward protecting your rights and securing your future.
Injuries Covered By Workers’ Compensation Laws in North Carolina
In general, to make a claim under workers’ compensation, you have to show that you have suffered an “injury by accident.” Section 97-2.6 of the Workers' Compensation Act sets out the definition for an “injury.”
“Injury and personal injury shall mean only injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment, and shall not include a disease in any form, except where it results naturally and unavoidably from the accident.”
Of course many accidents are obvious in nature. For example, where an employee is injured by a falling object, is injured by machinery, falls from a ladder or scaffolding or is involved in an automobile accident on the job, it is clear that an accident occured. However, some“accidents”and whether they are covered by the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act are not as clear. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney who may be able to assist you if you believe you have an injury or medical condition suffered at work.
Back Injuries - An Exception to the Rule
“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.”
Therefore, the legal standard for proving that you hurt your back at work is more worker-friendly than the legal standard for proving other injuries. Back injuries are “compensable” (or covered) if you hurt your back in an “injury by accident” situation, or if it happens in a “specific traumatic incident of the work assigned” situation.
Occupational Disease - An Injury Suffered Over Time
In addition to an injury caused by an accident, some medical conditions suffered over time, called “occupational diseases,” may be covered under The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. The term “occupational disease” or “industrial disease” refers to a long list of diseases workers have known to have suffered due to the environment at work or circumstances of their occupation. Section 97-53 of the Workers' Compensation Act sets out a long list of medical conditions that can be considered an occupational disease and covered under workers’ compensation. Some examples, include: