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THE WORK COMP BLOG

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Pre-existing Conditions and Workers’ Compensation Claims

 

David Gantt is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Workers Compensation Law. He represents individuals in matters regarding workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits matters. Contact David Gantt at 828-252-2852 to schedule a consultation about your unique circumstance.

TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO

North Carolina law is very open to aggravation, or acceleration, or exacerbations of pre-existing conditions. What we mean here is that if you have a bad back or maybe it had surgery on your back but you can work. And you work for a period of time and then you have an injury that aggravates that back condition, then workers’ comp law in North Carolina requires the employer to pick up from there. So, in other words, they buy the whole injury. There some arguments that insurance companies make that it should be pro-rated, but the general idea of workers’ comp in North Carolina is that it’s a wage replacement law, and it’s all about getting back to the same wage you earn before. If you were able to work with your injury, and with your preexisting injury, and you aggravate that in some way and you’re unable to work at all, the general rule is that North Carolina will recognize it and you can be paid for the whole injury that you had.

 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED WORKERS' COMPENSATION QUESTIONS

What if I have problems after I settle my claim?

DOL Website/p Employment Discrimination Bureau Most insurance companies will try to clinch or close out the claim when they offer a settlement. This means you can never reopen your claim and cannot get any more medical treatment paid by the carrier. Other settlements can be reached that allow you to reopen the claim for at least a two (2) year period after settlement if your condition changes. Whether you should "clinch" or leave the case open for the two (2) year period is an important decision that should not be made without consulting a lawyer.

Q. Can my employer fire me while I am on workers’ compensation?

A. No. The Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA) specifically prevents employers from firing you because you filed a WC claim against them. REDA protects you from any firing, demotion, punishment, or other retaliatory action the employer may try to take against you. You may be able to sue for monetary damages for a REDA violation. REDA also covers co-workers who testify in WC hearings on behalf of an injured worker. For guidance in filing a REDA claim, you should contact the NC Department of Labor at (919) 807-2796 or 1-800-NCLABOR.

Q. Can I draw private disability checks while also receiving workers’ compensation checks for disability?

A. Yes. The terms of your private disability checks are contractual and control whether these payments are pro-rated or changed by the receipt of workers’ compensation checks. NC law requires full payment of workers’ compensation checks regardless of private disability and/or Social Security checks for the same disability.

What benefits can I receive under WC?

The employer is normally responsible for any medical expense your doctor feels will make you better. This normally includes prescriptions, medical supplies, TENS units, crutches, braces, physical therapy and any other expenses you would not have incurred but for your injury. These expenses are payable by the employer until the case is settled. While you have a general right to choose your own doctor for treatment, the insurance company retains certain rights to pre-authorize medical treatment. You should never go to a doctor without obtaining insurance pre-authorization. You should also never let an insurance company force their doctors on you without your approval. A rehabilitation nurse assigned by the insurance company does NOT have the right to be in your exam room with the doctor. Lost Wages In N.C., the employer is responsible for paying you only 66 2/3% of your gross average wages, up to a maximum that changes each year....

Q. Can I be disabled under WC guidelines if the only problems I have are psychological in nature?

A. Yes. WC law recognizes mental or physical ailments that prevent you from working at your pre injury job or other “suitable” employment making similar earnings. Disability that results from pure mental difficulties are compensable but generally have to be supported by treating mental health care professionals.

What injuries are covered?

WC law covers most accidental injuries as well as back injuries if they are caused by your work. While pre-existing injuries are generally not the responsibility of the employer, aggravation of these same injuries may be compensable under WC law. The critical determination is whether your new injury was caused by your medical condition or by an accident on the job. An injury by itself does not mean an accident occurred.

Our Video Library is not closed-captioned.  Instead of embedding our videos, we have created posts for them, where full transcripts of can be found.
Click on the links below to view the video and its transcript.

Workers’ Compensation Overview on Vimeo

Workers Compensation Overview

Workers’ Compensation Injuries and the Complex nature of the law on Vimeo

Workers’ Compensation Injuries and the Complex Nature of the Law

Waiting Periods for Workers’ Compensation Benefit Payments

Waiting Periods for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

NC Workers’ Compensation Elements of Settlement

NC Workers’ Compensation Elements of Settlement

Settlements of Workers’ Compensation Claims on Vimeo

Settlement of Workers’ Compensation Claims in North Carolina

Pre Existing Conditions and Work Comp in North Carolina

Pre-existing Conditions and Workers’ Compensation Claims

NC Workers’ Comp Covers Many Different Kinds of Injuries

NC Workers’ Comp Covers Many Different Kinds of Injuries

Reopening Workers’ Compensation Cases

Reopening Workers’ Compensation Cases

Can’t Return To Work After an Injury

Workers’ Compensation Benefits When You Cannot Return to Work

Specific Traumatic Injuries

Specific Traumatic Injuries Under Workers’ Compensation

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April 8, 2020

My first time meeting Mr.Gantt, he was very open and honest about what it takes to get my SSDI. He was optimistic about my case. He walked me through what he needed on my part. I was very happy with the results of my hearing. I am very pleased with Mr.Gantt and definitely recommend his…

Yelp Review 2019

December 19, 2019

David Gantt and his staff were excellent very informative, kept me updated on every move and with this dedication I was able to win my Social Security hearing. Highly Recommend.

November 2019 AVVO Review

November 27, 2019

Amazing! When my husband was injured, we didn’t know who to turn to. I started googling to find a attorney, I called Mr. Gantt, I couldn’t be more thankful! The nightmare was over as Mr. Gantt and his amazing team handled everything from that very moment! Not only was professional but extremely caring, taking time…

November 2019 AVVO Review

November 27, 2019

David Gantt and his staff handled my disability claim and they were excellent. I highly recommend him, he is the best in Western North Carolina. Mrs. Kelly Reaves 5.0 stars November 5, 2019

October 2019 Martindale Hubble Review

October 29, 2019

David is clear, precise, and delivers as promises.

2019 Google Review

August 7, 2019

The entire staff were welcoming, knowledgeable, helpful, and nice people! David was professional. He knew exactly what he was talking about and did what he said he was going to do. I have had a wonderful experience with this firm and will not hesitate to use them in the future.

2019 AVVO Review “Get ‘er done Gantt!”

July 10, 2019

I was very satisfied with David Gantt’s expertise and knowledge in all aspects handling my case. He dealt with all the paperwork and contacted all necessary providers to get my medical history – it was extremely hassle free! He communicated and counseled me on what to expect – being very forthcoming (he’s a straight shooter)!…

2019 Facebook review

June 5, 2019

I highly recommend Mr. Gantt. He is very kind and always professional. He prepared me for my disability hearing and calmed my nerves. Everything happened exactly as he said it would. I honestly do not think that I would have been approved for disability without his help. Also, his office staff were always ready to…

2019 Google Review

May 28, 2019

Mr. Gantt took good care of me. I will be forever grateful for him getting me the social security payments I need for a disability due to military service. He seems like a genuine compassionate good man. I highly recommend! ~C.M.

2019 Google Review

May 10, 2019

David and his entire staff are so nice and show compassion to everybody. He was there when I had any questions. David Gantt is the best attorney in his field, he goes above and beyond. I am extremely grateful to him and his staff. ~M.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

Very nice and friendly service. They always answered any of my questions. Had a great experience working with them on my disability case. I highly recommend there services! After trying for 6 years and 2 unfavorable decisions, David and his team did a great job representing my case and won. I appreciate there time and…

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

The whole office is very respectful. Answered all my questions. So Glad they were there cause I had no clue after fighting for 2 years. Thank you guys soo much. ~K.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

I am very grateful to David Gantt & his staff! They were wonderful and made the confusing process much easier to understand. I wish I had contacted them sooner. They were super to work with and such nice people! Thank you so much! ~K.S.

Avvo Review 2019

May 7, 2019

Mr. Gantt is a highly compassionate and professional lawyer. He worked hard for me to show my disabilities. Always pleasant and supportive, while being very much on top of his cases. I recommend David Gantt to anyone. Great Attorney! 5 Stars. ~ Dakota

Google Review 2019

April 10, 2019

Wonderful client services..very friendly and willing to go the extra mile to help clients. highly recommend him for anyone needing assistance for the Disability SSI. ~T.D.

2019 Google Review

April 9, 2019

I am so grateful to Mr. Gantt & his staff. They have been so professional and knowledgeable. They’ve answered all of my questions and made a very stressful situation, bearable. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Gantt. He is knowledgeable, professional & caring. ~J.H.

Avvo Review 2019

April 8, 2019

Linda Calloway Mundy David Gantt is an outstanding Lawyer. I highly recommend him. He was beside me all the way and I would like to thank him. ~Linda 5 Stars

2019 Google Review

March 9, 2019

David Gantt and his staff are very professional, upfront, honest and nice. They made me feel at ease discussing my case. They helped me with every step of the way towards my disability approval. I would recommend them to anyone. They kept me updated on everything. Just wish I had contacted them sooner. ~D.P.S.

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

When I applied for Social Security Disability I saw no reason that I would need a lawyer since my case seemed clear. It wasn’t until the second rejection that I realized that I had no idea how the system worked. A couple of local lawyers I had contacted suggested that I talked to David Gantt…

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

This office is fantastic. The staff is helpful and friendly. He is honest with you about the pros and cons of your case. He works hard to get a positive result. ~S.G.

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