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Charlotte North Carolina Legal Blog

Are you losing your hearing because of your job?

If you have noticed that you cannot hear as well as you used to, your job could be the cause. The Hearing Health Foundation reports that the Centers for Disease Control attributes 24% of U.S. hearing loss to workplace exposure to excessive noise levels. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics adds that more than 20,000 on-the-job hearing loss incidents occur each year, many of which result in the worker suffering permanent hearing loss.

Further statistics come from the U.S. Department of Labor. It reports that upwards of 22 million American workers are subjected to hazardous workplace noise levels every year. You face an especially high risk if you work in one of the following industries:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining

Can you receive workers' compensation for respiratory diseases?

As a construction worker, you may handle dangerous or toxic materials while on the job. Through no fault of your own, you may inhale or ingest their residue. Exposure to these hazardous substances can cause a variety of respiratory diseases. These conditions put your livelihood - and life - at risk. If you've developed a respiratory disease from your work, you may qualify for workers' compensation benefits.

What should you know about mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive, malignant cancer that attacks the mesothelium, i.e., lining, of your lungs. The build-up of the microscopic asbestos fibers you and many other workers inhale on a daily basis causes it.

FindLaw explains that you face the greatest risk of asbestos inhalation if you work as one of the following:

  • Construction worker
  • Pipefitter or welder
  • Stonemason or bricklayer
  • Roofer
  • Shipbuilder
  • Auto mechanic, particularly if you do brake repair work

What to consider before making a medical malpractice claim

Did you know that billions of dollars are paid out to recipients of medical malpractice claims each year? There is an alarming number of medical malpractice accusations in the United States. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has even gone so far as to state that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

If you or a loved one has been affected by medical malpractice, you may want to take action to claim the damages to which you are entitled. Not only will this ensure that you get justice, but it may play an important role in preventing other patients from being negatively affected by malpractice. The following are some of the key things you should consider before making a medical malpractice claim.

Bursitis: What is this repetitive-stress injury?

As a worker, one kind of injury that you should watch out for is called bursitis. In the body, there are small sacs of fluid called bursae. These sacs cushion the bones, muscles and tendons that surround or connect with a joint.

Bursitis is the inflammation of that small sac of fluid. This leads to pain and dysfunction of the joint.

Which birth injuries occur most often?

If you are pregnant with your first child, you may well have concerns about the labor and delivery process and what you and your baby will go through during it. You may also have niggling worries about the possibility of birth injuries.

You will be glad to know that, per the Birth Injury Guide, 97% of U.S. births occur without any problems or difficulties whatsoever. For the remaining 3% of babies, the birth injury or injuries they receive usually are temporary in nature and resolve themselves with little or no medical intervention.

You'll really miss your knees when they fail

One body part that people give little thought to until it breaks down is the knee. Our knees allow us to do everything from walking and climbing stairs to kneeling in worship and getting down to the level of a small child.

Knees certainly deserve to be treated with care, as when they "go out," the consequences can be life-altering. Unfortunately, those in certain professions are more likely to develop knee problems like bursitis. If you work at one of the following jobs, you, too, might suffer a work-related knee injury:

  • Carpenters and construction workers - Builders, contractors and construction workers have to frequently bend and kneel to do their jobs.
  • Carpet, tile and floor installers - Kneeling on the ground and "kicking" the carpet using a knee-kicker is particularly damaging to the knees.
  • House-cleaners - Whether it's done professionally or simply in your own home, kneeling to scrub floors can damage the knees over time.
  • Bricklayers - Those who toil at stonework, bricklaying and masonry spend their working days on their knees.
  • Roofers - Roofers must kneel to measure, repair and install roofing shingles.
  • Landscapers and gardeners - Yard work involves pulling weeds and planting flowers, activities that are often done while kneeling.

Is your carpal tunnel syndrome due to your job?

Do your wrists, hands or arms often hurt? How about your neck? If you have noticed recent recurrent pain anywhere like this, you could have the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome. And your job could be causing it.

OrthoInfo.com explains that CTS occurs when you perform repetitive motions with your hands, such as typing, wielding a hammer, etc. Unfortunately, once begun, CTS continues to progress, resulting in your experiencing ever-increasing pain that radiates up your arms and into your neck and back.

What must you prove in a wrongful death case?

If you lose a loved one due to someone’s negligence or wrongdoing, you likely can recover damages from the person at fault via a wrongful death suit. Keep in mind that in North Carolina, only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can bring a wrongful death action. However, (s)he brings that action on behalf of the decedent’s estate and heirs; i.e, close family members. Consequently, if the decedent was your spouse, child, parent, etc., you likely can recover your damages.

FindLaw explains that the plaintiff in a wrongful death suit must prove the following in order to prevail:

  • That the decedent died
  • That (s)he died due to the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing
  • That the defendant knew or should have known that his or her actions would harm the decedent
  • That the defendant’s actions represented the proximate cause of the decedent’s death
  • That the decedent’s estate and heirs suffered compensable damages as the result of the decedent’s death

How big a risk does asbestos pose?

If you work construction or a variety of other jobs, your job could be harming your health without your even realizing it. How? You could be inhaling asbestos fibers emitted from the materials with which you work.

FindLaw explains that asbestos fiber inhalation over a period of years can cause such incurable diseases as mesothelomia and asbestosis. The former is an aggressive form of cancer; the latter is a serious lung disease.

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