Workers’ compensation is not just for people who got injured in a workplace accident -- it is also available to people who have gotten sick or injured because of long-term exposure to conditions on their job.
Under North Carolina law, if you have been diagnosed with a condition listed in N.C. Gen. Stat. 97-53 and can prove that your job caused or “substantially contributed” to the condition, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Conditions in § 97-53 include:
Poisoning by carbon bisulphide, menthanol, naphtha or volatile halogenated hydrocarbons
Poisoning by benzol, or by nitro and amido derivatives of benzol (dinitrolbenzol, anilin, and others)
Epitheliomatous cancer or ulceration of the skin or of the corneal surface of the eye due to tar, pitch, bitumen, mineral oil, or paraffin, or any compound, product, or residue of any of these substances
Radium poisoning or disability or death due to radioactive properties of substances or to roentgen rays, X rays or exposure to any other source of radiation; provided, however, that the disease under this subdivision shall be deemed to have occurred on the date that disability or death shall occur by reason of such disease
Blisters due to use of tools or appliances in the employment
Bursitis due to intermittent pressure in the employment
Bone felon due to constant or intermittent pressure in employment
Synovitis, caused by trauma in employment
Tenosynovitis, caused by trauma in employment.
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Poisoning by sulphuric, hydrochloric or hydrofluoric acid
Loss of hearing
You may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits even If you have been diagnosed with a condition that is not specifically mentioned in § 97-53. In those cases, you have to prove both that your work caused or substantially contributed to such a condition and that your job placed you at “an increased risk as compared to the general public for developing” this condition.
“Occupational disease” claims are often extremely complicated to prove and require careful attention to detail to ensure that they are not denied because of the statute of limitations. Our attorneys can work with you to help get your occupational disease or condition covered by workers’ compensation so that you get the medical care you need and the salary you count on.