The construction industry is a huge part of North Carolina’s economy, especially in busy Charlotte where new housing developments and business centers are being built all the time. While the construction industry employs hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians, it can also be extremely dangerous, even for the most experienced of construction workers. If you, your adult child, your spouse, or another family member was injured on the job while working at a construction site, or while transporting materials from one construction site to another, workers’ compensation can help to pay for medical bills while compensating lost earnings and providing benefits for total or partial disability.
Workers’ compensation helps millions of injured workers across America support themselves and their families. Unfortunately, the process of getting compensated for a construction site injury can be extremely difficult. Many workers’ claims are initially denied, and even when claims are approved, a number of errors can cause delays in time it takes to start receiving benefits. At the Ramsay Law Firm, our Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers have over 20 years of experience representing injured construction workers, and know how to make the process more efficient while protecting your best interests.
Injured workers have legal rights. The attorneys of the Ramsay Law Firm are here to help workers exercise those rights by pursuing the full benefits injured workers are entitled to. For a free and confidential legal consultation about filing a workers’ compensation claim for a construction-related injury in North Carolina, call the Ramsay Law Firm at (877) 576-5500 today.
Construction Industry Injury and Death Statistics
Any industry poses hazards to employees. However, some industries are more dangerous than others. The construction industry confronts workers with a wide array of serious occupational hazards. Depending on their job duties and the nature of a given construction project, a construction worker is routinely exposed to dangers such as extreme heights, heavy machinery, electrical hazards, fire hazards, and construction site debris. In other cases, temporary hazards like falling objects and faulty or defective equipment can cause serious or even fatal injuries.
The Construction Industry is one of the Most Dangerous
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has detailed statistics on injuries and deaths in the construction industry. According to OSHA statistics on the construction industry, nearly 940 out of the 4,379 job-related fatalities reported in 2015 involved construction workers. The “Fatal Four” leading causes of death and fatal injury among construction workers are:
- Falls – 364 out of 937 fatalities
- Object Strikes – 90 fatalities
- Electrocution – 81 fatalities
- Being Caught Between Objects – 67 fatalities
Types of Accidents that are Common on Construction Job Sites:
- Building Collapses/Structural Collapses
- Crane Accidents
- Defective Equipment Accidents
- Electrical Failures
- Falls from Heights
- Forklift Accidents
- Ladder Accidents
- Lockout/Tagout Accidents
- Job-Related Auto Accidents
- Scaffolding Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
Common Construction Industry Injuries:
- Amputation/Loss of Limb
- Ankle Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Bone Fractures/Broken Bones
- Burn Injuries
- Chemical Burns
- Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Crush Injuries
- Dislocated Joints
- Ear Injuries/Hearing Loss
- Electrical Burns
- Eye Injuries/Vision Loss
- Facial Injuries
- Finger and Thumb Injuries
- Foot and Toe Injuries
- Hand Injuries
- Head Injuries
- Knee Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Organ Damage/Organ Failure
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Soft Tissue Injuries (Sprains/Strains)
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and Paralysis
- Wrist Injuries
Workers’ Compensation for North Carolina Construction Workers
Workers’ compensation, commonly called “workers’ comp,” is a type of insurance that provides benefits for employees who are injured at the job site, or in the course of performing their job duties. For example, a construction worker who gets in an auto accident while transporting equipment from one location to another could be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Most construction workers in North Carolina are covered by workers’ compensation. Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, businesses are generally required, with a few narrow exceptions, to obtain workers’ compensation insurance if they meet the following criteria:
- The business has a minimum of three employees.
- The business is structured as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation, including S corporations and C corporations.
Workers’ compensation benefits may continue for up to 500 weeks, which is approximately 9.5 years, depending on the extent to which the worker is disabled and unable to work due to the injury. Benefits for injured construction workers, which are typically paid on a weekly basis, stop when:
- The worker returns to work.
- The worker’s employer successfully demonstrates to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which oversees workers’ compensation claims in Charlotte and other parts of North Carolina, that the worker’s disability has healed or resolved.
The first step to getting workers’ compensation is reporting the injury promptly to your employer. You should also file a workers’ compensation claim within 30 days of the construction site accident, with assistance from an injury lawyer for construction workers.
Your employer will likely require you to see a company doctor of his or her choosing. You will likely receive a diagnosis that does not reflect the seriousness of your injury, which is one of the reasons it is imperative to ensure that you are represented by a skilled attorney. At the Ramsay Law Firm, we know what tactics employers and insurance companies use to minimize benefits or deny claims outright, and will execute an aggressive, proactive legal strategy designed to protect your rights and pursue the full benefits you deserve.
In addition to your workers’ compensation claim, our personal injury attorneys may also be able to assist you in filing a lawsuit, depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident and resulting injury or injuries. While employees in North Carolina are generally prohibited from suing an employer for workplace injury, several exceptions may apply in your case.
For instance, an injured worker may sue an employer for injury if the injury was caused by the employer’s intentional or egregious conduct. Additionally, it may be possible to sue a party other than your employer, such as a product manufacturer, depending on the source of your injury. For example, if you were injured by a defective saw or cable at a construction site, or if you fell because safety gear was not up to proper standards, the product’s manufacturer could be liable for your expenses.
Our Charlotte Construction Site Injury Lawyers Can Help
As a construction worker, you risk your safety to help Charlotte grow. If you were injured on the job, you deserve the benefit of aggressive legal representation. Martha Ramsay, founding attorney of the Ramsay Law Firm, is a board certified workers’ compensation specialist who has helped over 1,000 clients obtain benefits after a workplace accident. Her outstanding professional achievements have earned her recognition by the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Advocates for Justice, and the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers.
When you need an effective and experienced workers’ comp lawyer for construction workers in Charlotte, turn to Martha Ramsay and the Ramsay Law Firm for caring and committed representation. To learn more about how to file a workers’ compensation claim for a construction accident in North Carolina, call the Ramsay Law Firm immediately at (877) 576-5500.