This blog post addresses occupational disease and North Carolina Workers’ Compensation. Occupational diseases can be caused by exposure to chemicals, lead poisoning, exposure to asbestos, and can even include physical injuries that come from repetitive work, like carpal tunnel syndrome. In some very narrow situations, certain mental illnesses can also be considered an occupational disease.
Occupational Disease and NC Workers’ Compensation
The most common types of occupational diseases are listed in NC General Statute 97-53. Listed examples include poisoning, hearing loss, bursitis, synovitis and tenosynovitis. Some unlisted diseases are also considered under NC Worker’s Compensation but there are additional steps to proving compensability.
When making a NC Workers’ Compensation claim based on your occupational disease, you must be able to prove the existence of an employment relationship between you and the employer where you were last exposed to the hazards of your disease. You also need specific and competent medical evidence to show that you were exposed for a long enough time to cause the disease you have. With respect to unlisted diseases, you have an additional burden of showing that you were at an increased risk of exposure at work to the disease which was more than the general public.
As with all claims in NC Workers’ Compensation, you have to give notice to your employer of your disease within a set time. In the case of all diseases but asbestosis, silicosis, and lead poisoning, that time is 30 days from when a competent doctor lets you know you have the disease and you have to file a claim within two years of when you first knew that you had this disease from work. The rules for asbestosis and silicosis can be found here.
Occupational diseases are another way an injured worker can be compensated in North Carolina. Because of the medical evidence needed to prove your case, it is important to talk to a NC Workers’ Compensation attorney as soon as you feel you’ve been exposed and might have a disease from your work place.
If you’ve been injured at work, you should call a NC workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your Occupational Disease and NC Workers’ Compensation.
The Bishop Law Firm represents injured workers and their families in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Fayetteville, Rocky Mount, Roanoke Rapids, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Wilson, North Carolina and surrounding areas. Call us today for a free case evaluation, (919) 615-3095.