Anyone can be injured in a Charlotte workplace accident, regardless of their experience level, skill level, or what sort of industry or occupation is involved. The likelihood of injury increases if the employee suffers from a preexisting condition, such as a “bad” back, knee, hip, shoulder, wrist, or other body part that has been injured in the past. If an accident that takes place at work, or while an employee is performing their job duties, seriously aggravates a preexisting condition, the employee could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages, medical care costs, and other expenses and financial losses.
If you or one of your family members suffered a back injury, wrist injury, heart attack, or other serious illness or injury after a workplace accident worsened a preexisting medical condition, you could be entitled to compensation, and should review your legal options with an experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer for preexisting injury claims. Attorney Martha Ramsay, founder of the Ramsay Law Firm, is a Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist with over 20 years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina. If you wish to file a claim, need help appealing a denied claim, or feel that your benefits were improperly terminated or suspended, Martha Ramsay can guide you through every step of the process while managing your documentation, representing you at hearings, and protecting your legal rights.
Don’t deprive yourself of the benefits you are entitled to. Call the Ramsay Law Firm right away at (877) 576-5500 for a free legal consultation about your work-related preexisting injury claim.
Can You Get Workers’ Comp Benefits for a Preexisting Condition that is Aggravated?
Workers’ compensation benefits may be available to you if you suffered from an injury or illness that was seriously and significantly accelerated or aggravated by an accident at work. However, in order to receive benefits, you will need to take several steps, the first of which is promptly reporting the injury to your employer. You should report a workplace injury to your employer within 30 days of the date you are injured. The earlier you report the injury, the sooner you can start to receive your benefits.
Another key step toward obtaining benefits is to undergo a medical examination, which is necessary to diagnose your injury and determine its severity. Your employer has the right to select a list of physicians from whom you may receive care for your injuries. However, you may request an alternate doctor, including your own doctor, by filing certain forms with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which administers the workers’ compensation program in North Carolina. Depending on the situation, your employer may authorize up to 20 appointments with a chiropractor, which may be necessary in cases involving severe back injuries.
Benefits may be available regardless of whether you are partially disabled or totally disabled. For example, “permanent partial disability” is defined by the North Carolina Industrial Commission as the partial or complete “loss of use of a member of the body or inability to earn the same wages in any employment as earned at the time of injury.” Disability is determined by the Industrial Commission based on two factors:
1. Your physician’s diagnosis of the injury.
2. Evidence showing the injury’s impact on your ability to continue earning wages.
Benefits are capped at approximately 66.66% of your earnings prior to the injury, with a maximum weekly payment of $978 ($3,912 per month). This figure is current as of 2017, but will be adjusted for inflation in the future. Though benefits are generally paid on a weekly basis, it may be possible to request monthly payments in certain cases.
Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Employees with Preexisting Injuries
Losing your ability to work can be emotionally, physically, and financially exhausting. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits can compensate treatment and lost wages if you have become seriously ill, injured, or disabled due to a workplace accident that aggravated an existing injury. Some common examples of work accidents that can exacerbate old injuries include:
- Accidents at Work-Related Functions and Events
- Work-Related Auto Accidents and Company Car Crashes
- Workplace Chemical Exposure
- Workplace Falls from Heights
- Workplace Object Strike Accidents
- Workplace Slip and Fall Accidents
The Ramsay Law Firm can assist with a wide array of workers’ compensation claims for preexisting injuries, including claims involving back injuries, hip injuries, knee injuries, neck injuries, hand and wrist injuries, foot and ankle injuries, respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular disease, and many other medical conditions. Regardless of whether the company you work for is structured as a C corporation, S corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or other business entity, our aggressive workers’ compensation lawyers in Charlotte can work to maximize your benefits and uphold your rights as an injured worker under North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws.
We are available to help you explore all of the potential legal avenues for getting compensated if a workplace accident in North Carolina significantly worsened your existing injury or illness. To learn more about getting compensated for a work-related injury, and how our law firm for injured employees can be of assistance with your claim, contact the Ramsay Law Firm at (877) 576-5500.