If you’re hurt on the job in some states, it’s automatically a workers’ compensation case. In North Carolina, it’s not. It must either be an “accident” as defined by the statute or an occupational disease.
At Parker & Frey PLLC, our workers’ compensation lawyers have decades of experience helping thousands of individuals obtain the money and medical care they need. With offices in Dunn and Fayetteville, we serve clients throughout the state.
What Defines A Workplace Accident?
To meet the statutory definition of an accident, something must have occurred that you didn’t expect, something out of your normal routine. North Carolina case law is constantly interpreting this.
For instance, if you simply bent down and suffered a knee injury, it’s not considered an accident. However, if you were asked to help lift a heavy box, even though it wasn’t part of your job duties, a resulting knee injury may be considered an accident.
Other Injury-Producing Incidents
In 1983, the statute changed. Now, workers’ compensation comes into play for specific, traumatic incidents. The incident may not rise to the level of a real accident, but it still causes damage.
For instance, you may bend down to pick up a paperclip at work, hear a “pop” in your back and suddenly feel severe pain. You go to the doctor and discover you have a herniated disk. Even though picking up a paperclip doesn’t meet the designation of an accident, it may result in an injury that deserves compensation.
Cumulative Trauma Claims
The statutory definition of a workplace accident causes significant complications when it comes to cumulative trauma injuries. Such claims are almost always denied. However, our law firm is experienced in workers’ compensation litigation and appealing denied claims.