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.

 

P: 828-252-2852

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FREQUENTLY ASKED WORKERS' COMPENSATION QUESTIONS

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.

Q. Can I draw Workers’ Compensation benefits if my work injury only aggravated a pre existing condition I had?

A. Yes. North Carolina Workers’ Compensation law does NOT mandate that your disabling condition be caused by your accident. You may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits if your work injury aggravates, accelerates, or significantly contributes a pre existing condition that makes you unable to return to your job. The law that applies to pre existing condition changes regularly. You should consult a qualified lawyer to discuss the current law on this complicated subject.

Q. What if my work injury causes or exacerbates my depression or other mental illness?

A. Work injury related depression and other mental impairments may be compensable under NC Law. Our appellate courts are regularly expanding the consideration of mental and physical ailments that result from your employment and/or inability to work after a physical injury. If you believe your work injury caused or deepened any mental difficulty you might have possessed before or after the actual injury, you should fully discuss your thoughts with your mental counsellor. The Industrial commission is increasingly aware of and open to the concept that mental ailments can be as significant as physical ones.

Q. When is my first WC disability check due?

A. WC law requires the insurance company to pay you 66% of your pre injury gross wage for each week you are unable to work. The first check is due on the 14th day after the injury. No compensation is due for the first seven (7) days of lost time unless you are out of work over twenty-one (21) days. If you miss more than twenty-one (21) days of work, a check for the first week of missed work becomes due.

Q. How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim?

A. NC law requires you to file a written notice of accident with the NC Industrial Commission within thirty (30) days of your injury. You should file the claim regardless of the extent of injury since many small hurts can become major injuries over time. Since the Courts are forgiving of late filings up to two (2) years from the date of accident, you should not hesitant to file your claim even if more than thirty (30) days have passed. While reporting claims can cause some grief from employers, more heartache happens when insurance companies refuse to pay medical bills and other damages because of late filings.

Do Undocumented Workers Qualify for Workers Compensation?

Immigration reform and enforcement of immigration laws have become a political hot topic, especially in light of Arizona’s enactment of several laws aimed at getting more undocumented residents to leave the state. In North Carolina, that debate hasn’t impacted the state’s workers' compensation laws. Under §97-2 of the state’s Workers' Compensation Act, the definition of “employee” states in part, (E)very person engaged in an employment under any appointment or contract of hire or apprenticeship, express or implied, oral or written, including aliens, and also minors, whether lawfully or unlawfully employed, but excluding persons whose employment is both casual and not in the course of the trade, business, profession, or occupation of his employer… The key language is that the law covers “aliens…whether lawfully or unlawfully employed…” Big picture, national immigration issues took a back seat (if they were thought of at all) when the legislature wrote this section and when...

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

~ What Our Clients Say ~

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.

Martindale Review 2019

January 21, 2019

5.0/5.0 in Social Security. David was very professional, pleasant and focused on me and my situation while I was in his office. He did not allow interruptions. His office staff was helpful and readily available when I had questions.

Martindale Review 2018

October 8, 2018

Recommended 5.0/5.0 in Social Security. I highly recommended David Gantt. He is a kind and generous person. He puts you at ease from the minute that you meat him. Very efficient and does what he says he’ll do. His staff is awesome too. Trust me… You can’t go wrong with David Gantt.

~ What Our Clients Say ~