Lifting Injury Lawyer in North Carolina
Lifting heavy loads is one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. Overexertion and cumulative trauma caused by lifting objects on the job often can cause back and shoulder injuries that lead to loss of work time, lost wages, and serious injuries.
If an employee suffers a lifting injury while performing their job duties, the injured worker should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires most businesses with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect workers who are injured on the job or develop occupational illnesses.
Workers’ compensation pays all medical expenses related to a work-related injury and provides weekly checks to replace a portion of lost wages while the injured employee cannot work. Unfortunately, some employers and insurance companies dispute valid lifting injury claims, requiring the injured worker to pursue a workers’ compensation case.
If you have suffered a lifting injury at work and your employer’s insurance company is trying to deny you appropriate workers’ compensation benefits, the workers’ compensation lawyers of Hardison & Cochran are ready to assist you. We can help you seek the full workers’ compensation benefits provided by the North Carolina law.
Contact Hardison & Cochran today for a free consultation with a lifting injury attorney about your workers’ compensation claim.
Reach us online or call (800) 434-8399 for a free consultation.
Our law firm has a track record of results in workers’ comp cases, including lifting injury claims. Our experienced attorneys handle workers’ compensation cases for workers who suffer work-related injuries in Raleigh, N.C., and throughout Eastern and Central North Carolina.
What Is a Lifting Injury?
A lifting injury can occur to anyone who lifts a heavy load at their workplace. The pain felt in an injury caused by lifting is from the strain of stretching muscles too far, causing tears in muscle tissue and possibly in tendons, fibrous connective tissue that attaches muscles to bone, or ligaments, tissue that connects bones and joints.
Lifting injuries may be caused by a single lifting attempt or by the wear and tear and cumulative trauma of lifting objects over a long period of time.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 75% of workplace-related back injuries occur during a lifting task. Back injuries account for 20% of all workplace injuries.
In a lifting injury, the muscles in the lower back are strained and weakened, making them less able to hold the bones of the spinal column in place. The spine becomes less stable, causing lower back pain. Because nerves stretch out from the spinal cord throughout the entire body, this low back strain can cause referred pain in areas other than your back, such as in the back of the thigh, the buttocks, and the legs.
A shoulder injury can occur when heavy lifting stretches or tears muscle or tendons in the shoulder (shoulder strain) or tears one or more ligaments that stabilize the shoulder joint.
The pain from lifting injuries to the back or shoulders can limit mobility. Pain in the back can be totally disabling. A worker with a shoulder injury may be unable to reach, lift, push, or pull objects.
Common Types of Lifting Injuries
A lifting injury may be diagnosed as a:
- Hernia – A hernia caused by lifting typically occurs because the strain from lifting forces a portion of the intestine through the walls of the abdominal cavity into the groin. Such inguinal hernias account for 75% of all hernias.
- Herniated disk – The disks between the bones of the spine allow you to bend and move with ease. When pressure on the spine causes a disk to rupture, bulge, or slip out of place, it causes neck, back, and leg pain and loss of mobility.
- Rotator cuff tear – A rotator cuff tear is an injury to the rotator cuff, a group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder. A partial or complete rotator cuff tear makes it difficult to raise and move your arm.
- Shoulder impingement syndrome – Shoulder impingement syndrome is the result of the rotator cuff rubbing between your humerus (ball of the ball-and-socket shoulder joint) and the top outer edge of your shoulder blade. The rubbing is caused by swelling and narrowing of the space between the bones and causes additional swelling, which adds to the pain.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Depending on the circumstances of your lifting accident and injuries, the workers’ compensation benefits available to you may include:
- Medical Benefits – Workers’ Compensation covers all costs of reasonable expenses for medical treatment of your work-related lifting injury until you reach maximum medical improvement and the doctor releases you.
- Replacement of Lost Wages – Disability benefits based on two-thirds of your average weekly wage prior to your injury. These benefits provide income assistance when you cannot work due to a work-related injury.
- Rehabilitation costs – Workers’ compensation covers physical therapy and vocational therapy to relearn certain skills.
- Lost productivity – If you must take a lower-paying job because of your injury, workers’ comp should pay the difference between your new job and the amount you earned prior to your injury (subject to a maximum).
Why Hire a Hardison & Cochran Lifting Injury Lawyer?
The North Carolina Industrial Commission oversees the workers’ compensation system. When injured workers’ claims are disputed, the claims process can be complex and confusing. The Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers and staff at Hardison & Cochran will make sure your claim accurately reflects the severity of your workplace injury and is properly supported by medical documentation. Our Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers help injured workers navigate the workers’ comp system and demand all the benefits provided by North Carolina workers’ compensation law.
Any of several common mistakes in a North Carolina workers’ compensation case can complicate obtaining workers’ compensation or cause a workers’ comp claim for medical expenses and additional benefits to be denied. That’s why it’s crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced Raleigh workers’ compensation attorney if you have sustained work-related injuries.
Our legal team includes three attorneys who are Board-Certified Specialists in North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law. Managing partner Benjamin Todd Cochran is recognized by Best Lawyers in America® for his skill in the practice area of workers’ compensation – claimants. He has earned recognition by the North Carolina State Bar as a Board-Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation.
Joel Jackson Hardison, a partner with the firm, applies the insights he gained from defending insurance companies earlier in his career to helping injured workers who turn to Hardison & Cochran for help. He also has certification as a Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law.
In 2015, Mr. Hardison recovered $3.5 million for a worker who was paralyzed from the waist down when a tree fell on him while on the job in Mebane, N.C. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier had denied liability. However, Mr. Hardison was successful in helping the man who had a permanent disability obtain maximum compensation. North Carolina Lawyers Weekly included the case as a notable workplace accident case of 2015.
Additionally, partner attorney James Adam Bridwell is board-certified in North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law, and attorneys Joey DeMartin and Michelle Dewkett-Kochhar also handle workers’ comp cases.
Contact Our North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
The Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys at Hardison & Cochran include three North Carolina Board-Certified Specialists in Workers’ Compensation Law. Our workers’ compensation attorneys will investigate your workplace accident, establish your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits, and press your claim for fair workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact us today to get straight answers about your workers’ compensation claim in a free consultation. Phone us toll-free at (800) 434-8399 or fill out our online contact form. You’ll get a response within 24 hours.