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N.C. Supreme Court Reinstates Injured Trucker's Compensation in Landmark Ruling on June 20, 2023

Gastonia, NC (June 20, 2023) - As reported in local news, the North Carolina Supreme Court, in a landmark decision, has reinstated total temporary disability benefits to Donna Splawn Sprouse, an injured long-haul trucker. In a surprising twist, the high court reversed an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeals, which had dismissed Sprouse's compensation claim due to late notice and claims of pre-existing sciatica.

In September 2016, Sprouse and her husband, John, both employees of the Mary B. Turner Trucking Co., met with an accident on the westbound lane of Interstate 40 in Tennessee. A tire blowout had caused their truck to smash into an embankment, resulting in injuries for both. Sprouse's primary complaint was back pain, which she initially assumed to be linked to her pre-existing sciatica condition.

Although Sprouse reported the incident to her employer on the day of the accident, she didn't seek immediate medical attention, focusing instead on getting her husband safely home. Sprouse did not report her injuries until much later, which formed the crux of the dispute that followed.

In the months following the accident, Sprouse's pain persisted, eventually leading her to seek medical help in September 2017 when numbness developed in her fingers. After extensive testing and evaluation, including an MRI, a spinal neurosurgeon, Dr. Matthew J. McGirt, identified two herniated discs in Sprouse's cervical spine. He asserted that these injuries resulted from the compression caused by the 2016 truck crash.

Dr. McGirt's testimony at the Industrial Commission highlighted Sprouse's resilience. He stated, "She was pretty tough because… she had some pretty darn significant weakness that she was not coming in and screaming nor did we have a long drawn out workers [sic] comp conversation nor a causation conversation."

After a surgical intervention to correct the herniated discs in February 2018, Sprouse returned to work two months later. The Industrial Commission deemed Dr. McGirt's testimony as credible and awarded Sprouse temporary disability benefits from the date she experienced numbness in her fingers until her return to work.

Despite North Carolina law mandating claimants to provide written notice of workplace injuries within 30 days, the Industrial Commission concluded that Sprouse had a valid excuse. She had informed her employer about the accident on the day it happened and hadn't sought care for a work injury until much later because she was not aware that her injury was caused by the accident.

However, the Court of Appeals later disagreed with the Industrial Commission's decision. The Appeals court argued that Sprouse's injury was a consequence of a pre-existing condition and that she hadn't given timely notice.

This decision, however, was challenged and reversed by the North Carolina Supreme Court. In an unequivocal stand, the high court concluded, "A claimant’s pre-existing medical condition cannot properly be deemed to constitute a complete bar to a successful workers’ compensation claim when a plaintiff provides evidence to support the Commission’s conclusion that a work-related accident has caused a new injury that aggravated or accelerated the individual’s pre-existing condition.”

In an unexpected win for Sprouse, the Supreme Court deemed the Appeals court's decision as wrong. They reinstated the compensation awarded to her, thus setting a precedent for future worker's compensation cases involving pre-existing medical conditions.


How Rosensteel Fleishman Can Aid Accident Victims

The legal team at Rosensteel Fleishman, a North Carolina personal injury and truck accident law firm in Charlotte, wishes to extend their deepest condolences to all those affected by the trucking accident involving Donna Sprouse. With years of experience in handling personal injury, car accidents, tractor trailer incidents, trucking accidents, and wrongful death cases, the law firm's professionals understand the depth of pain and confusion such incidents can cause.

Corey Rosensteel, a leading figure in the firm, says, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Donna Sprouse, her husband, and all others affected by this unfortunate accident. We at Rosensteel Fleishman understand that during times like these, dealing with legalities can be extremely overwhelming for victims and their families."

The Team at Rosensteel Fleishman

The law firm comprises professionals who focus on different types of law, including personal injury and trucking accidents. Their experienced team is well-versed in dealing with the complexities of such cases, striving to provide victims with the support they need during these trying times. With a track record of success, Rosensteel Fleishman has established itself as a top-rated and favored firm for many in Charlotte, NC.

Experience in Handling Complex Cases

Given the firm's rich experience in handling various types of accident cases, Rosensteel Fleishman has become a trusted authority in personal injury law and trucking accident cases in particular. Understanding the intricate laws surrounding these incidents is crucial for victims seeking rightful compensation.

Matthew Fleishman, another prominent attorney at the firm, stated, "Navigating through the complexities of legal proceedings following an accident can be daunting. At Rosensteel Fleishman, we aim to help victims understand their rights and ensure they are not short-changed during these challenging times."

The Role of a Truck Accident Attorney in Charlotte

The aftermath of a trucking accident can be a whirlwind of confusion, fear, and uncertainty, leaving victims and their families grappling for answers. In such precarious times, a seasoned truck accident attorney from Rosensteel Fleishman, based in Charlotte, NC, can become a crucial lifeline.

The Indispensable Aid of a Truck Accident Attorney

Truck accidents, including those involving tractor trailers, are often catastrophic, leading to severe injuries or even wrongful death. This is where the role of a truck accident attorney becomes vital. They not only bring their deep understanding of law to the table but also their wealth of experience dealing with similar cases.

Corey Rosensteel, from Rosensteel Fleishman, emphasizes, "Our work goes beyond providing legal representation. We strive to alleviate the burden on victims and their families, guiding them through the legal labyrinth, and fighting relentlessly for their rightful compensation."

Expertise Rooted in Charlotte's Unique Legal Landscape

Operating within Charlotte, NC, attorneys at Rosensteel Fleishman have an intimate understanding of North Carolina's unique legal landscape. They leverage this knowledge to navigate the complexities of the state's legal framework, tackling the numerous challenges that often surface in truck accident cases.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Helps in the Aftermath of a Trucking Accident

When tragedy strikes, in the form of a trucking accident, the role of a personal injury lawyer from Rosensteel Fleishman becomes indispensable. Offering much more than legal advice, these personal injury attorney can truly help victims begin the process of rebuilding their lives.

The Transformative Impact of Personal Injury Lawyers

Matthew Fleishman, another cornerstone of the Rosensteel Fleishman team, explains, "Our focus is on helping victims regain some sense of normality after such a devastating incident. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial implications of a trucking accident and work tirelessly to ensure that victims and their families are adequately compensated."

Advocacy Rooted in Understanding and Compassion

Lawyers at Rosensteel Fleishman stand out due to their compassionate approach and dedication. They are not just attorneys; they are advocates for those affected by such calamities. By shouldering the legal complexities, they give victims the much-needed space to focus on healing and recovery.

Navigating the road to recovery post-accident can be a daunting journey, but with a trusted team of experienced professionals at Rosensteel Fleishman, victims are never alone. Their expertise and compassionate approach offer a beacon of hope amidst the chaos, helping victims turn the page and start anew.

Contacting Rosensteel Fleishman Post-Accident

Victims of such unfortunate incidents are urged to reach out to Rosensteel Fleishman to discuss their rights and receive legal assistance. The firm's professionals stand ready to guide victims and their families through the process, aiming to bring a sense of clarity and support in such turbulent times.

Corey Rosensteel added, "If you or a loved one have been involved in this accident, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team at Rosensteel Fleishman is here to ensure your rights are upheld and provide the legal guidance you need during this difficult time."

Expressing Sympathy to All Parties Involved

Rosensteel Fleishman extends heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the victims of the accident, along with all involved parties and their families and friends. The firm understands that such incidents have a profound impact on the lives of many, and they stand ready to offer their expertise and support in the aftermath of this tragic event.

With a keen focus on personal injury and trucking accident cases, the team at Rosensteel Fleishman is here to guide those affected through these challenging circumstances. They are just a phone call away at 1-704-714-1450 or can be reached via their website, https://rflaw.net. In such trying times, the firm's professional and compassionate approach can make a world of difference for victims and their families.

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