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Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Care for Health Conditions Developed Over Time?

So what if you’re not hurt at work by a package of shingles falling on you?

What if, instead, you develop carpel tunnel syndrome from hammering those shingles in day after day? Can you still file for workers’ compensation in NC?


If you’ve developed a condition over time from working, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation under the “occupational disease” category. However, the process may be a little trickier. If this sounds like you, you may want to consult with a NC workers’ compensation attorney.

Occupational Disease Claims in NC Workers’ Compensation

In North Carolina, there are two main ways you can qualify for workers’ compensation: an “injury by accident,” where your injuries are the result of a sudden accident (like shingles falling on you in the example above) or an occupational disease, which can basically be defined as a health issue that developed as a direct cause of your job.

Workers in modern urban wastewater treatment plantOccupational diseases can be actual illnesses that you’re exposed to at your job. Such as:

  • A construction worker who develops mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos insulation.
  • A hairdresser who develops a skin or respiratory disease from the harsh chemicals she’s exposed to every day.

Or they can be conditions that develop over time. Such as:

  • A plumber who develops bursitis from constant pressure on his knees.
  • A manufacturing employee who develops tenosynovitis from a repetitive action.

Either way, an occupational disease is one that develops over time, each day making you just a little bit sicker or straining your body just a little bit more until it finally breaks.

But since it’s not like a sudden accident where all of your coworkers see you fall off a ladder or get hit by a forklift, an occupational disease claim may be much harder to prove – even though occupational diseases can be every bit as debilitating (maybe even more so) and may keep you out of work for just as long.

NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

In our experience, workers’ compensation claims for occupational diseases can be especially hard to prove in North Carolina.

If you are sick or injured because of your job, please contact us for a free case evaluation at 1-866-900-7078. We’ll let you know if we think we can help and there’s no obligation to hire us afterwards.

Click here to learn more about our NC workers’ compensation lawyers.