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North Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyer

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In North Carolina, workers’ compensation coverage is a type of insurance that is legally required for most employers with more than three employees.  The North Carolina workers’ compensation system provides medical and disability benefits to workers who are injured on the job or who develop an occupational disease as a result of their employment.

In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you had to be employed at the time you are injured, and the injury must be a result of the employment. Unlike other areas of personal injury such as most auto accidents, an injured worker does not have to prove that the employer was at fault, and his or her contributory negligence will not preclude their entitlement to benefits.

Special rules and laws govern different kinds of workplace injuries and illnesses so it is important to consult with a legal professional if you believe you have a claim.  For example, there are special laws that may apply to claims by workers who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, or lung cancer.  A victim of the occupational disease of asbestosis may not become diagnosed with the disease until years after he or she may have stopped working.  Similarly, there have been cases where a victim was first diagnosed with mesothelioma even decades after he or she retired. 

Although an injured worker may be entitled to workers’ compensation disability benefits and medical care by law, obtaining what you deserve is not always easy. Unfortunately, insurance companies or employers may often try to minimize or avoid their liability.  In these situations, it is important to fight every step of the way to receive the benefits that you are entitled to.   The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission exists to hear claims by victims of work-related injuries and illnesses.

If you have suffered a work-related injury or developed a medical condition due to your job, then you could benefit from the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Wallace & Graham, P.A. We will help analyze your unique situation to determine your best course of action. Our workers’ compensation attorneys will fight to get you the maximum compensation and medical care that you are entitled to under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act

Many substances used or present at job sites may be harmful to your health.  Substances such as asbestos or asbestos-containing products cause diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.  Other substances such as benzene and solvents containing benzene have been associated with the development of certain types of leukemia and lymphoma. 

Workers in the aluminum manufacturing industry, paving, and roofing are at risk of exposure to coal tar, which has been associated with the development of lung, skin (non-melanoma), bladder, and kidney cancers.  

In addition, there are many other documented examples of specific types of workplace exposures to chemicals and substances that can cause debilitating cancers and other diseases.

If you have been diagnosed with a serious disease or cancer and believe it may have been caused by exposure to harmful chemicals, solvents, or substances on the job, you may want to seek legal assistance to determine and protect your legal rights.  In many cases, the law may allow you to pursue legal remedies including monetary damages to compensate you and your family for the devastating effects of an occupational disease.

Under North Carolina law, in many cases, you must file a claim against your employer within two years of the injury or you will be barred from bringing your claim. There are other time limits that can apply to limit or cut off your legal remedies.  For all of these reasons, it is critical that you seek qualified legal assistance if you believe that you may have a claim for disease or injury.

At Wallace & Graham, our workers’ compensation attorneys have many years of experience with occupational disease claims and will strive to get you the benefits you deserve.  Our law firm is recognized for its expertise and experience in bringing workers’ compensation claims and we have helped clients obtain justice and the benefits they deserve across our State.

If you suffer from a serious disease or cancer as a result of an occupational exposure, you may be entitled to:

  • Payment of medical expenses
  • Lump sum payment
  • Attendant care
  • Other legally allowed damages

Finding the appropriate forms and knowing how to proceed with a workers’ compensation claim can be a daunting experience.  Our lawyers are here to help.  We can assist you in obtaining the benefits you deserve. 

A recent National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) report found that workers in poultry plants are much more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.  

To perform the study, NIOSH health experts visited a poultry plant in South Carolina and measured how many of the workers had carpal tunnel syndrome.  The study found that 42% of the workers had carpal tunnel syndrome and that 41% worked jobs that exceeded OSHA limits on repetitive stress activities.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by repetitive stress on the wrist.  Many jobs in poultry processing factories involve repeatedly making the same motion with your hand, which stresses your wrist and hand.  Because these jobs increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, workers in these industries may be able to receive money under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation law. 

Also, because many of the machines are not well-designed for human use, the machine manufacturers may be liable in some instances.  It is important to pursue all available avenues of compensation.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain, numbness, or weakness in the fingers, wrist, or palm.  If you are experiencing these symptoms and worked in a poultry plant or another animal processing plant, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable carpal tunnel syndrome expert who can help determine whether you have carpal tunnel syndrome and what was the cause.

Most work-related injuries in North Carolina are governed by the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation law.  The law is complicated and has many specific provisions, but in broad terms the law allows you to recover money if you are injured at work and your job placed you at increased risk of suffering the injury you suffered, even if your employer didn’t violate any safety rules.  

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome and worked in a poultry factory or other animal processing factory in North Carolina, you may have a legal claim and be able to receive money for your injury and treatment.  Many workers in animal processing facilities perform repetitive activities that contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.  If you worked in a poultry plant and you believe you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, you can contact the carpal tunnel syndrome attorneys at Wallace & Graham at 800.849.5291 for a free evaluation.

Many workers in factories and industrial settings have suffered hearing loss as a result of exposure to loud noises over time at work.  The court system has awarded monetary damages to many workers who have hearing loss claims.

Employers are required to screen employees exposed to excessive noise in the workplace and to maintain copies of those records. Many states provide compensation for hearing loss as a result of workplace noise. Compensation often includes the cost of hearing aids.

Wallace & Graham, along with co-counsel, represents workers in North Carolina, New York and Tennessee who have suffered hearing loss as a result of their exposure to loud noise in the work-place. In North Carolina alone, we have successfully resolved over 1,000 hearing loss claims filed by workers against their employers.

Medical investigations and studies have shown that industrial exposure to welding fumes may be associated with the early onset of Parkinsons disease or Parkinsons-like symptoms of a diseased called Manganism.

Welding rods, electrodes and wires contain substances including manganese, copper, lead and cadmium which can release toxic fumes during welding.

Medical research suggests that long-term exposure to welding fumes may cause Parkinsons-like symptoms including the following:

  • Tremors
  • Rigidity
  • Lack of arm swing
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Apathy, insomnia, feelings of weakness and lethargy
  • Speech disturbances
  • Disorientation, loss of memory, impairment of judgment
  • Anxiety, hallucinations, illusions, delusions
  • Abnormal gait, loss of the ability to control muscular movement, loss of balance
  • Speech disturbances
  • Disorientation, loss of memory, impairment of judgment
  • Anxiety, hallucinations, illusions, delusions
  • Abnormal gait, loss of the ability to control muscular movement, loss of balance

Individuals who were exposed in the workplace or elsewhere to welding rod fumes and who have such symptoms may have legal claims against the manufacturers of welding rods, electrodes, and wires.

Wallace & Graham is currently investigating potential claims for damages caused by exposure to welding rod fumes. This exposure may occur during the following work activities:

  • Steel-alloy welding
  • Steel melting activities gas metal arc or metal inert gas (MIG) welding
  • Gas metal arc or metal inert gas (MIG) welding
  • Gas tungsten arc or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding
  • Flux cored arc welding
  • Shielded metal arc welding
  • Brazing, thermal cutting, metal pouring or gauging

Potential Claims

Individuals with potential claims include people who have performed welding-related activities or worked for extended periods of time in areas where such activities were conducted, and who were exposed to fumes.

The law firm of Wallace & Graham proudly features some of the more accomplished work injury attorneys that North Carolina is home to. Over the years, they have helped thousands of individuals obtain sizeable settlements or jury awards in chemical exposure, toxic exposure, slip-and-fall, and auto accident cases. In addition, the attorneys of Wallace & Graham are regarded as some of the foremost North Carolina lawyers for defective medical device claims.

If you or your loved one has been exposed to welding fumes on the job, call 800.849.5291 or email us for a free consultation with one of our skilled work injury lawyers.


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