Charlotte Construction Accident Attorneys
Offering Knowledgeable, Trusted Counsel
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 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 the time it takes to start receiving benefits.
Construction Industry Injury & 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
Also Handling Construction Worker Falls
Falls are a common cause of unintentional injury in North Carolina. But while anyone can be hurt in a fall, certain segments of the population are at increased risk for suffering these types of injuries. For example, accidental falls are highly prevalent in the construction industry, causing hundreds of deaths and even higher numbers of nonfatal injuries each year. While construction workers face many risks on the job site, from dangerous machinery to electrical hazards, accidental falls are more likely to result in injury, disability, or death.
If you suffered an injury or your spouse was injured after falling at a construction site, whether from an elevated point or due to a trip hazard on the ground, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which provide financial coverage for medical bills while replacing partial wages. If the fall injuries are fatal to the victim, his or her dependents may be entitled to additional benefits to help with funeral and burial costs. Backed by more than 25 years of legal experience representing disabled construction workers in the Charlotte region, the aggressive and knowledgeable construction injury lawyers at our firm are ready to help you file a workers’ compensation claim, appeal a denied claim, or fight an employer’s request to suspend, reduce, or terminate your benefits.
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. Our attorneys know what tactics employers and insurance companies use to minimize benefits or deny claims outright, and we can 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.
To learn more about how to file a claim or to receive representation, call our Charlotte construction accident attorneys at (704) 376-1616.
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