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WKG Workers Compensation

Types of Injuries Covered Under NC Workers’ Compensation

In North Carolina, the law requires employers who regularly employ three or more employees in the same business to carry something called “workers’ compensation insurance.” This type of insurance policy was designed to pay employees who are injured while on the job due to some type of accident. The workers’ compensation system was created to be a “No Fault System,” meaning that benefits should be paid to an injured employee regardless of whether they were at fault or whether the employer was at fault. The system was designed to make it easier for injured workers to get the benefits they need without having to sue the employers and prove that the employer was negligent or at fault. Provided below are common workplace injuries that our office sees:

Back Injuries

The law generally requires that some accident occur at work in order for an injured worker to receive benefits. This means that something unusual or unexpected occurred causing the injury. However, the law has carved out an exception for back injuries. A back injury may be compensable in two ways, 1) the injury occurred because of an accident at work, or 2) if the back injury can be pinpointed to a specific event and point in time – as opposed to a gradual onset of pain over a period of time.

This means that if you have a job that requires you to bend over occasionally, and on one occasion you bend over and strain your back – then you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Instead of having to prove that you injured your back due to some unexpected accident, all you have to show is a specific traumatic event where your back was injured. If you bend over or pick something up while working, you could be eligible for benefits. It could be injuries such as:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Injuries to a disc or vertebrae
  • Muscle sprains
  • Muscle strains
  • Nerve injuries

Slips, Trips and Falls

NC may also allow benefits to be paid to an injured worker who slipped, tripped or fell while working. We often see these types of injuries in construction work. Injured workers often fall off ladders, or trip over equipment and get injured. Sometimes an injured worker can be eligible for benefits even if their fall cannot be explained.   It is very common for an injured worker to sustain additional injury when trying to brace themselves for a fall or when trying to grab on to something to prevent a fall. Those additional injuries too may be compensable. We see many slip, trip and fall injuries such as:

  • Brain injuries
  • Trauma to the head
  • Broken wrists from trying to brace themselves for the fall
  • Torn rotator cuffs
  • Broken arms from trying to brace themselves for the fall
  • Spinal injuries
  • Broken legs
  • Neck injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Broken hips

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Many jobs require employees to do work that involves repetitive motion, such as; typing on computers or working on an assembly line. Employees who have to make the same motions at work, over and over again, can experience injury to their muscles as a result of the repetitive motion. Workers who are injured by these repetitive motions may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The most common injuries we see are:

  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Fights and Assaults

If an employee is assaulted over a dispute concerning work, then the injured employee may be entitled to benefits. However, the fight must have some relationship to the work, and not simply be a result of hatred or personal animosity.

Occupational Diseases

Workers’ compensation benefits may be available to workers who developed some disease caused by (or significantly contributed to by) causes and conditions that are peculiar to that type of employment. It must be shown that the employee was at a greater risk of developing the disease in the workplace than members of the general public, and not that the work merely aggravated a preexisting disease. We commonly see occupational disease cases where the type of employment is industrial in nature. Common occupational diseases and causes include:

  • Diseases resulting from exposure to chemicals
  • Bilateral hearing loss caused by extremely loud workplace environments
  • Asbestos related cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Lead poisoning
  • Brass, Zinc, Mercury, or Magnesium poisoning
  • Radioactive poisoning
  • Other types of poisoning
  • Compressed-air illness
  • Blisters due to using tools or appliances at work
  • Inflammation of joints caused by work place trauma

Heart Attacks

Most people don’t realize that heart attacks that occur at work may also be compensable if it was the result of some unusual or extraordinary exertion created by the work.

Heat Stroke

If an injured worker’s type of employment exposed them to a greater risk of hazardous weather than members of the general public, then they may be eligible for benefits for injuries resulting from such weather conditions. For example: An employee who works on roofs for a living, who is subjected to the hot sun while working on black shingle all day and every day is likely considered to be exposed to a greater risk of heat stroke than members of the general public. If they have a heat stroke while working in the heat, and fall off the roof, they will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Contact us today if you have been seriously injured on the job. 704-296-0055


The Law Offices of William K. Goldfarb

301 South Charlotte Avenue
Monroe, NC 28112

Local: 704-296-0055
Toll-Free: 1-866-298-0768

William K. Goldfarb North Carolina Advocates for Justice President's Club
William K. Goldfarb American Association for Justice
William K. Goldfarb, Melvin M Belli Society
William K Goldfarb AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
Who's Who Top Attorney North America
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