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Exploring the link between your job and arthritis? Learn how work-induced or aggravated conditions like osteoarthritis qualify for workers’ compensation, with insights on legal paths and support for securing your rightful benefits.

Key Takeaways

  • Workers suffering from arthritis potentially worsened by job duties might qualify for workers’ compensation in North Carolina, offering medical and wage-replacement benefits.
  • Proving a work-related cause is crucial, without needing to fault the employer.
  • Osteoarthritis, commonly work-aggravated, can lead to significant claims.
  • Legal guidance is advisable to navigate claim denials and secure entitled benefits.

Claiming Workers’ Compensation for Arthritis: What You Need to Know

If you have worked at a job that has caused or aggravated your arthritis, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

At Mehta & McConnell, PLLC, we understand that arthritis is a painful condition that can prevent you from living the lifestyle you want, and we are here to help.

This page will give you some insight into what workers’ compensation is and provide some information about arthritis so that you can be fully informed when working with your attorney to file a workers’ compensation claim.

If you have any questions regarding workers’ compensation claims and arthritis, contact us online or by phone at 980-294-7074 for a free consultation regarding your potential claim. 

What Is Workers’ Compensation? 

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that is paid for by your employer. Most employers in North Carolina are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

Through workers’ comp, workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job may be entitled to partial wage-replacement benefits and medical care.

Your employer’s insurance will be responsible for paying these expenses. 

To qualify for workers’ compensation, you don’t need to prove that the injury was anyone’s fault. You just need to show that your injury was related to your work.

For example, if you have developed osteoarthritis as a result of your job duties, a doctor could explain how those duties caused or exacerbated your condition.

Your employer may contest your claim by arguing that your condition was actually caused by your activities outside work.

Or they may find other reasons to deny your claim, such as arguing that you were actually an independent contractor rather than an employee.

An attorney can help you prove your claim and fight any attempt by the insurance company to deny it.

What Is Arthritis? 

Arthritis is a general term that encompasses the many different types of arthritis.

Arthritis itself means inflammation of the joints, and it refers to any disorder that affects the joints.

Common types of arthritis include: 

  • Ankylosing spondylitis, which is a condition that affects the spine; 
  • Gout, which is caused by crystals that form in the joints and usually affects the feet; 
  • Psoriatic arthritis, which affects the skin, joints, and where tissue attaches to the bone;
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which happens when the body’s immune system does not work properly; and 
  • Osteoarthritis, which can result from an injury or through aging and most often affects the fingers, knees, and hips. 

Out of the above types of arthritis, the most commonly suffered form is osteoarthritis.

Often, when people refer to arthritis in the workers’ compensation context, they are talking about osteoarthritis, as the condition can be a result of a repetitive motion from work activities. 

Causes of Arthritis 

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is caused by the wear and tear of a joint’s cartilage.

This wear-and-tear can result from either an injury or from repetitive and consistent movement that involves the use of a joint.

If there is enough damage to the cartilage in the joints, it can cause friction between the bones that the joint connects.

This friction is what causes the pain and restricted movement that is often associated with osteoarthritis. 

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The symptoms of osteoarthritis vary from person to person. They can either be gradual in their onset or can occur suddenly.

Some of the common symptoms of arthritis include: 

  • Pain, heat, or swelling in the joints;
  • Trouble with mobility;
  • Fever;
  • Rashes or redness around the joints;
  • Stiffness; and
  • Grating, or a grinding feeling in the joints, especially when you are moving.

These symptoms may be signs of other illnesses, so you should consult with a medical professional about any symptoms you may have. 

Common Types of Work That Aggravate or Cause Arthritis 

Certain jobs have increased risks of either aggravating pre-existing arthritis or causing arthritis. These jobs usually include the need to use repetitive motions or the need to consistently endure high impacts.

Some of these jobs include: 

  • Truck driving, 
  • Assembly line work,
  • Desk jobs, 
  • Construction positions,
  • Manual labor jobs, and
  • Heavy machine operations. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of arthritis and have a job that may be causing or aggravating your symptoms, you should reach out to a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. 

Can You Sue Your Employer for Causing You Osteoarthritis?

You cannot sue your employer for causing osteoarthritis.

Instead, osteoarthritis compensation claims allow you to recover medical expenses and disability benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

The benefit of a workers’ compensation claim is that you do not need to prove your employer was at fault for your injury. You just need to prove that your injury was work-related.

Arthritis can be a debilitating condition and it is likely that you are entitled to certain workers’ compensation benefits if the condition was worsened or caused by your job.

To have a strong claim that could result in an osteoarthritis workers’ comp settlement, you will have to follow the proper procedures and show your employer’s insurance that you were injured as a direct result of your job.

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you follow these procedures and build the strongest claim possible. 

What Happens If My Osteoarthritis Compensation Claim Is Denied?

In a workers’ compensation claim, you do not have to prove that anyone is at fault (unlike a personal injury claim).

Your workers’ compensation claim will likely be paid so long as your employer’s insurance carrier agrees that your injury was a direct result of your employment. 

However, the workers’ compensation carrier may deny your claim if they do not believe that your injury was a result of your employment.

Luckily, there are procedures in place that allow you to fight the insurance carrier’s denial of your claim.

If your claim was denied, a workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in fighting for the compensation that you are entitled to.  

How Can Mehta & McConnell Help You?

At Mehta & McConnell, we have experienced workers’ compensation attorneys available to assist you. We have decades of experience fighting for our client’s rights.

In addition, our firm has experience in workers’ compensation claims, and we can assist you in claims ranging from post-traumatic arthritis and workers’ compensation to your spondylosis workers’ comp settlement.

Further, if you are an undocumented immigrant struggling with a workers’ compensation matter, we may be able to help. 

At Mehta & McConnell, we understand that arthritis that has been aggravated or caused by your job can be both mentally and physically frustrating.

We have helped numerous clients get the workers’ compensation benefits that they are entitled to.

Please reach out to us online or contact us by phone at 980-294-7074 for a free consultation.

Author Photo

Viral Mehta

Viral Mehta is the managing attorney of Mehta & McConnell Injury Lawyers, a Charlotte, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation law firm. He enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, sports, and reading.

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