Falls From Heights at Work
Falls are a leading cause of unintentional injury among workers in Charlotte. Workers in certain industries, such as North Carolina’s construction industry, where falls accounted for 364 out of 937 construction worker fatalities during 2015, are at especially serious risk. If you, your spouse, or one of your family members was injured after falling at work, or while performing his or her job duties, compensation may be available for the resulting medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. For example, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation, which is available for most types of employees in North Carolina following an accidental work-related fall.
Workers’ compensation can provide a greater measure of financial security and stability while you are unable to work due to your injury. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for Charlotte’s workers to get the benefits they deserve, particularly while they are in the exhausting process of recovering from a serious injury.
For a free consultation about how our lawyers for injured workers can help you obtain benefits, contact the Ramsay Law Firm at(704) 376-1616 today.
Who is Covered by Workers’ Compensation Laws in NC?
Each state has its own unique laws governing workers’ compensation, which you may hear described as “workers’ comp” or simply “WC.” In North Carolina, workers’ compensation laws are consolidated under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. Claims are processed and reviewed by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which also functions like a court in cases where a dispute arises concerning the amount, duration, suspension, or termination of benefits.
Under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, most types of employees are entitled to receive benefits following a work-related accident that results in injury or disability, though certain types of workers, including railroad workers, domestic workers, and various farm or agricultural workers, are excluded from the act. If you suffered a fall-related injury while working in an occupation that is not covered by workers’ compensation laws, you may be able to recover benefits through other legal pathways, such as the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). It is also important to note that, in cases where a workplace fall is fatal, the accident victim or decedent’s dependents may be entitled to death benefits.
Benefits for Employees Injured in Workplace Falls from Heights
In order to receive benefits for a work-related fall injury, you must report the injury to your employer as soon as possible following the accident. You have up to 30 days to report the injury, but the sooner you take action, the sooner you will be able to continue the claims process and start receiving your benefits. Next, your employer should promptly file a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. If your employer does not carry workers’ compensation coverage, forgets to report your injury, or even refuses to report your injury, you should contact our workers’ compensation attorneys immediately for legal guidance concerning your next steps.
After the injury is reported, your employer may select a physician. However, you may request a different doctor by providing the necessary documentation to the Industrial Commission. Your workers’ comp lawyer for fall injuries at work can assist you with this process. An attorney can also assist if you believe that your workers’ compensation doctor has given you an inappropriate diagnosis that does not accurately reflect the true severity of your injury.
Once a workers’ compensation claim has been approved, benefits are generally paid on a weekly basis. Keep in mind that, unless your injury is severe enough to cause disability lasting longer than 21 days, you will not begin receiving benefits until seven days have elapsed. Benefits are calculated to be approximately 66.66% of your average weekly wages before the fall, and are capped at a weekly maximum of $978.00, a figure which will be adjusted in 2018.
You may continue to receive benefits until you are able to return to work. Benefits are generally limited to 500 weeks, or about nine and a half years, though it may be possible to extend this period depending on the circumstances.
Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Handling Fall Injury Claims
Falls from heights can cause an array of catastrophic injuries that result in devastating disabilities and impairments, with some common examples including bone fractures, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI), hand and wrist injuries, back injuries, and spinal cord injuries (SCI). If you or a loved one fell from a rooftop, ladder, scaffold, escalator, walkway, utility tower, tower crane, or other structure or vehicle while performing job duties, you could be eligible for weekly workers’ compensation benefits, which can provide steady income while helping to cover your medical expenses.
The skilled and experienced Charlotte workers’ comp attorneys of the Ramsay Law Firm are available to help you file a workers’ compensation claim, dispute a claim denial, dispute the suspension or termination of your benefits, or simply answer your legal questions about your rights and responsibilities following a workplace fall.
For a free legal consultation about getting workers’ comp for a fall-related injury in Charlotte, NC, contact our law offices at (704) 376-1616.