North Carolina Lawyers Representing Workers’ Compensation Claimants
Many conditions caused by repetitive motions are attributed to the daily demands of the workplace. In most cases, employees suffering from repetitive stress injuries caused by their job will be covered under the state workers’ compensation system, which provides payment for medical treatment and a portion of lost wages. The North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC provide legal representation to individuals who are suffering from job-related repetitive stress injuries in many areas of the state. We can assist you in preparing your workers’ compensation claim and address any concerns you may have regarding the process.
Benefits for Repetitive Stress Injuries
A repetitive stress injury refers to damage and pain in muscles, nerves, and tendons caused by continuous, repetitive movement, sustained or awkward positions, or the overuse of these body parts. Common types of repetitive stress injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis. Occupational causes of carpal tunnel syndrome include tasks that involve the use of the hand, wrist, and arm, such as heavy manual jobs, vibrating machinery, and highly repetitive tasks that involve low force. Instead of a sudden, single accident, repetitive stress injuries develop over a prolonged period of time.
There are two primary types of workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina: accidents and occupational diseases. Repetitive stress injuries and respiratory conditions are two common types of occupational diseases, which tend to develop over time. In order to be compensated for an occupational disease, the disease must be characteristic of the employees engaged in that particular trade or occupation, it cannot be a disease to which other individuals in the general population are equally exposed, and there must be a causal connection between the disease and the claimant’s employment. A claimant must also show that his or her job significantly contributed to or was a significant factor in the development of the disease, and that the job exposed the claimant to an increased risk of contracting the disease.
During all stages of the workers’ compensation benefit claims process, you have the right to obtain legal representation by an attorney. You will be notified by your employer or your employer’s insurer of whether your claim for workers’ compensation benefits due to an occupational disease has been accepted or denied. If your claim is denied, the may or may not contain a detailed explanation for the denial. Common reasons that claims are denied include insufficient evidence to establish the injury was caused by the job, the job did not place the employee at a greater risk for the occupational disease than the public at large, and untimely reporting of the injury. You will have the opportunity to appeal the denial.
After an appeal is filed the parties are required to attend a mediation session. The mediator is a trained lawyer who cannot make decisions concerning the case, but will attempt to bring the parties together with a compromise settlement and thereby avoid a trial. If no agreement is reached, the case proceeds towards a hearing before a Deputy Commissioner of The North Carolina Industrial Commission. There are various levels of appeals cases and cases can also be settled at any point.
Consult a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in North Carolina
Proving that a repetitive stress injury was caused by your job can be a difficult and complicated process, but an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in filing a persuasive claim. At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, our North Carolina lawyers have substantial experience representing the interests of individuals who are pursuing benefits claims throughout the state. We have represented claimants in communities such as Smithfield, Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, and Wilson, among others. To discuss your claim with one of our knowledgeable work injurylawyers, contact us at 919-989-3000 to set up a free consultation.