Recent North Carolina Court Decision Affirms Extended Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In November 2003, an employee of the Sears Roebuck store in Greensboro, North Carolina was injured while on the job. According to a recent opinion of the Court of Appeals of North Carolina, the employee suffered injuries to his wrist, shoulder, ankle, and back, when a dryer “fell apart in his hands.” In July 2008, a Deputy Commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission determined that the injured employee should receive compensation for expenses related to the injuries he had suffered, as well as any “future necessary medical compensation,” as long as that compensation was reasonably related to the initial claim.

The worker then began physical therapy, as required by his doctors. During that physical therapy, he suffered a torn meniscus in his knee. A doctor testified that the injury to the knee was caused by the physical therapy. As a result, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina, upholding a decision by the full Industrial Commission, determined that the worker’s knee injury was a “direct and natural consequence” of the initial injury that he had suffered on the job. Thus, the employee in this case will be compensated for the costs associated with his knee injury as well.

If you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina, it is important to realize that you may be entitled to compensation for injuries beyond those that were specified at the time of the injury, or when you first filed a claim. If your initial injuries led to other conditions that required you to seek medical treatment, you should consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your options.

If you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina, it is important to realize that you may be entitled to compensation for injuries beyond those that were specified at the time of the injury, or when you first filed a claim. If your initial injuries led to other conditions that required you to seek medical treatment, you should consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your options.

The attorneys at Lee & Smith have served clients in Workers’ Compensation cases in both North and South Carolina. Please contact us by phone or email for a free consultation regarding your workers’ compensation case.

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