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Every year hundreds of people are injured or develop medical conditions in Winston-Salem due to workplace conditions. Most people associate workplace injuries with heavy industry work such as construction or manufacturing, however, workplace injuries, and illnesses are prevalent in every industry. Fortunately, a vast majority of workers in Winston-Salem can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits under the states Workers’ Compensation Act. Under the workers’ compensation system “all natural consequences that result from a work-related injury are compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act.” Therefore, a wide variety of conditions, injuries, and illnesses fall under the purview of the workers’ compensation system.

If you have suffered an injury in the workplace, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits offer workers a means of providing for themselves and their families while they are unable to work. If you would like to learn more about the common conditions of a Winston-Salem workers’ compensation claim, consult a trustworthy attorney. Working with a dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer could help make the difference in your case.

Workplace Injuries

In 2014, The Travelers Companies released a report detailing the most common workers’ compensation claims. According to this report, some of the most frequent conditions that lead to a workers’ compensation claim included injuries such as:

  • Strains and sprains
  • Cuts and punctures
  • Contusions
  • Inflammation
  • Fractures

Material handling, slips, trips and falls, being struck by an object, and machinery accidents were the most frequent causes of these conditions. To gain more insight into the common conditions of a Winston-Salem workers’ compensation claim, consult a reliable workers’ compensation attorney.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

A repetitive stress injury is an injury caused by engaging in “repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, and sustained or awkward positions.” The U.S Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cites repetitive injuries as the most common cause of occupational injuries.

In addition, OSHA cites repetitive stress injuries as the most costly occupational injury account for $20 billion dollars every year in workers’ compensation. Examples of repetitive stress injuries include carpal tunnel, tendinitis, rotator cuff injuries, and lower back injuries.

Occupational Diseases

Workers’ Compensation laws in Winston-Salem permit a worker to recover workers’ compensation benefits for occupational diseases. An occupational disease is defined by OSHA as “any abnormal condition or disorder, other than one resulting from an occupational injury, caused by exposure to factors associated with employment.”

Occupational diseases are more common in heavy industries, and particularly in industries where workers are exposed to chemicals. The Workers’ Compensation Act NC ST § 97-53 enumerates twenty-nine occupational disease which would qualify for workers’ compensation coverage including:

  • Lead poisoning
  • Phosphorous poisoning
  • Compressed-air illness
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Poisoning by sulphuric, hydrochloric, or hydrofluoric acid
  • Asbestos

It is important to note that NC ST § 97-53(13) provides workers with broad coverage for occupational disease, and includes any disease, which is caused by working conditions and is characteristic of a particular trade. Therefore, if a worker develops an occupational disease that is not specially listed in the Workers’ Compensation Act, they can still receive workers’ compensation benefits. For example, several years ago several people and workers filed lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims for bronchiolitis obliterans or “popcorn lung,” due to inhaling the chemical Diacetyl.

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can qualify as an occupational disease in Winston-Salem and indeed is a common condition causing workers to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Occupational hearing loss is defined as “a permanent sensorineural loss of hearing in both ears caused by prolonged exposure to harmful noise in employment.” NC ST § 97-53.

However, in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits for hearing loss, it is important to demonstrate that the work environment contributed or caused hearing loss and not because of a preexisting loss of hearing due to disease, trauma, or congenital deafness.

Representing Workers in Winston-Salem

A workplace injury or illness can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. Workers’ compensation benefits can help individuals and their families manage the stress of being unable to work due to a workplace injury. However, navigating the workers’ compensation system can be incredibly frustrating, and failing to abide by the strict and confusing rules and regulations may mean you do not receive the benefits you deserve. Call and schedule an appointment with a skilled attorney to discuss the common conditions of a Winston-Salem workers’ compensation claim. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer could help you strategize to secure workers’ compensation benefits.