Falls are among the most common yet most serious workplace accidents that take place in Charlotte, North Carolina. Whether the victim falls from a height or slips on a hazard, such as a puddle or broken tile, the result can be a debilitating, permanent injury that makes it impossible to earn income and support a family. However, financial benefits may be available in the form of workers’ compensation, which can help provide coverage for medical bills, lost earnings, and disability.
While workers’ compensation can help significantly with your expenses, it can be frustrating and difficult to obtain the benefits you are entitled to. It is not uncommon for benefits to be delayed, or claims to be denied outright. If you are seeking workers’ compensation for a fall-related work injury, you will need help from an aggressive and experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Charlotte. Let the Ramsay Law Firm bring more than 20 years of legal experience to your case, and fight for the maximum benefits. To learn more about getting compensated for a workplace fall in a free and confidential consultation, call the Ramsay Law Firm at (877) 576-5500 today.
Workplace Falls Statistics and Causes
There are two basic types of accidental falls which can take place at a job site or during the course of an employee’s job duties: falls from heights, which are particularly common in the construction industry, and slip and fall accidents, which typically occur when factors like debris, leaks, or poor lighting create a trip hazard. In either situation, the outcome for the victim and his or her family can be absolutely devastating. Even in cases where a full recovery is possible, such as a broken bone that heals with no complications, the injuries may keep the victim out of work for months while he or she recuperates. In the most extreme cases, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), a fall can produce severe and permanent disabilities, or even be fatal for the victim.
Falls occur for a number of reasons, in all types of industries. However, certain types of workers are at greater risk. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has named accidental falls among the “Fatal Four” most common deadly accidents in the construction industry. According to OSHA accident statistics, falls were the number one leading cause of death in the construction industry during 2015, accounting for 364 out of 937 fatalities in the industry that year (about 39%).
Falls from heights frequently involve falls from ladders or falls from scaffolding. The causes of slip and fall accidents are more numerous. Slip, trip and fall accidents in the workplace can be caused by any number of hazards, ranging from slippery floors in a restaurant kitchen to cracked or rotted flooring at a retail outlet. Even in workplaces where falls from heights are unlikely or impossible, such as first floor offices, slip and fall accidents still present a serious injury hazard. These types of accidents can occur in all types of industries and work environments, including:
- Bars and Restaurants
- Construction Sites
- Convenience Stores and Pharmacies
- Distribution Centers
- Fast Food Franchises
- Grocery Stores
- Gyms and Fitness Centers
- Hospitals and Clinics
- Hotels and Motels
- Music and Live Entertainment Venues
- Movie Theatres
- Salons and Spas
- Schools and Universities
Regardless of where or why they occur, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to CDC data, during 2013, “Falls accounted for 47% of all TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States.” Falls can also lead to:
- Back Injuries
- Bone Fractures
- Bruises and Contusions
- Concussions and Head Injuries
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Facial Injuries
- Foot and Ankle Injuries
- Hand and Wrist Injuries
- Internal Bleeding
- Organ Damage/Organ Failure
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Soft Tissue Injuries (Sprains, Strains)
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
Can You Get Workers’ Compensation for a Slip or Fall Injury in North Carolina?
A disabling workplace injury heaps enormous financial hardship atop the victim and his or her family, generating huge medical expenses while simultaneously removing a source of income. After an arduous period of recovery, the worker may need to take on a different, lower-paying job, or may be completely unable to work due to total disability.
Help may be available in the form of workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation, which is a form of insurance carried by most employers under state law, provides benefits for disabled workers who were injured in job-related accidents, such as accidental falls. With several exceptions, the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act requires companies with three or more employees to provide coverage. This extends to business entities that are structured as corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs).
Regardless of fault for the accident, workers’ compensation is generally available to the victim. Nonetheless, obtaining compensation often poses a challenge. Unfortunately, injured workers are often confronted with setbacks and obstacles.
Any number of errors or omissions can cause critical benefits to be delayed, or result in improper denial of the claim. For example, benefits are often delayed due to a company doctor’s failure to file the necessary reports in a timely manner. Benefits can even be unfairly denied. For instance, the insurance company may downplay the severity of your injury, or refute your claim that a work-related injury even occurred.
Even under the best of circumstances, it can be very difficult for employees to successfully interpret and navigate North Carolina’s complex workers’ compensation regulations, especially while they are recovering from severe injuries. In order to ensure that your best interests will be protected, you need skilled legal representation from a tough and knowledgeable attorney who is well-versed in the laws protecting workers and their families.
At the Ramsay Law Firm, we are committed to protecting workers’ rights, which is why we consult with a team of forensic accountants, medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, and economists to fight for our clients. We will utilize every resource available to us in the effort to maximize the value of your claim.
This may involve exploring the possibility a personal injury lawsuit. While state laws normally stop workers from suing their employers over slip and fall accidents in the workplace, an injured worker may be able to sue if his or her fall injury was intentionally caused by the employer, or resulted from egregious misconduct. Additionally, it may be possible to sue an outside party, such as a manufacturing company, if the fall and resulting injuries were caused by a defective product in the workplace, such as a defective handrail, safety mat, or work boot.
Charlotte Workplace Slip and Fall Injury Attorneys
At the Ramsay Law Firm, we are proud to be a voice for the thousands of hard-working North Carolinians who are hurt at work every year. Our combination of experience, perseverance, and skill has enabled us to obtain favorable outcomes for over 1,000 clients, and we are prepared to bring the same level of dedication and focus to your case. Our mission is to see that injured employees in North Carolina are fairly compensated for losses sustained in the course of their job duties.
As an injured worker, you have legal rights. To start discussing your options in a free and confidential legal consultation, contact the Ramsay Law Firm at (877) 576-5500 right away.