In North Carolina, most workers’ compensation claims arise out of an injury by accident. However, some diseases or medical conditions that are caused by the employment may also be compensable.
Diseases or medical conditions that are caused by an accident or exposure at work are called “occupational diseases,” and under some circumstances can be compensable.
What Are the Two Types of Disease Claims in North Carolina?
The most common occupational diseases are specifically enumerated in the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, and include:
- Lead and mercury poisoning,
- Carbon monoxide poisoning,
- Asbestosis and silicosis, and
- Hearing loss.
Workers in North Carolina who develop these conditions due to exposures in the workplace are presumed to have contracted an occupational disease for which they may be owed compensation.
However, other diseases and conditions may also be compensable in North Carolina, even if they are not specifically enumerated in the Workers’ Compensation Act.
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act also contains a “catch-all” provision to include any disease which is contracted due to causes and conditions which are characteristic of and peculiar to a particular trade, occupation or employment.
These diseases covered under the “catch-all” provision may be:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome,
- Asthma, and
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
Importantly, these conditions, as well as ordinary diseases of life, are not compensable unless the claimant can prove that the employment placed them at a greater risk of developing the disease or condition than members of the general public.
Consult with a Charlotte Occupational Disease Lawyer Today
In most cases, expert medical evidence is required to prove a compensable occupational disease claim. Often it will be necessary for the attorneys of Mehta & McConnell to take depositions of your medical providers. Other experts, such as an ergonomic expert, may have to be retained and deposed.
The experienced attorneys at Mehta & McConnell, PLLC can help you meet the legal burden of proof for establishing a compensable occupational disease claim. Contact us for a free and confidential consultation about your workers’ compensation claim.