Does NC Workers' Compensation Cover Becoming Sick With A Virus or Disease From Work?
When it comes to Workers Compensation in North Carolina, it’s important to understand that ordinary diseases of life are generally not covered. This means that if you get sick while at work, such as coming down with the flu or contracting tuberculosis, you may not be eligible for North Carolina Workers Compensation Benefits.
Why is this the case? Since these diseases can be found in the general population and can be contracted just as easily at a grocery store or any other public place, they are not considered to be work-related illnesses.
However, there are certain circumstances where diseases can be considered compensable under North Carolina Workers Compensation. In order for a disease to be compensable, you must be able to show that your employment puts you at a greater risk of contracting that particular disease. Additionally, you must also demonstrate that you contracted the disease through a risk incident to your employment.
One example of a compensable disease is when individuals who work as nurses or in a similar healthcare profession contract a transmittable disease, such as hepatitis, through an accidental prick or stick with a contaminated needle. In these cases, the disease would be considered compensable because it was the performance of their job duties that exposed them to the risk of contracting the disease.
Proximity to Risk
Another situation where a disease may be deemed compensable is when an employee can show that their job requires them to be in close proximity to a known risk factor. For instance, if you work in an industry where you are regularly exposed to hazardous chemicals or substances that are known to cause specific diseases, and you subsequently develop one of those diseases, it may be considered compensable.
Proving a Compensable Disease
If you believe you have contracted a compensable disease due to your employment in North Carolina, it is crucial to gather the necessary evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements, and any documentation that demonstrates the link between your job and the disease you have contracted. It is highly recommended to consult with an experienced North Carolina Workers Compensation attorney who can guide you through the process and help you build a strong case because these types of claims can be very complex.