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Injuries to Construction Workers
Injuries to Construction Workers
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Raleigh Construction Accident Lawyer for Work Injuries in NC

If you have suffered injuries from a construction site accident, you should speak with a Raleigh construction accident lawyer at Martin & Jones for information about your rights.

Construction Site Attorney for Accidents Throughout North Carolina

Every year, thousands of workers are seriously injured or killed while working on construction sites. Unfortunately, many injury victims — and surviving family members of those who suffered fatal injuries — fail to receive just compensation. Due to the legal complexities associated with construction accidents, seek the assistance of a Raleigh construction accident lawyer if you were injured at work.

Common Hazards of Construction Site Jobs Outlined by a Raleigh Construction Accident Lawyer

Construction workers regularly confront significant hazards on the job. They are required to lift heavy objects, work at dangerous heights, operate or be in the vicinity of heavy machinery and implements, and work with all sorts of materials that potentially put them in harm’s way. For example, a worker on a construction site might become injured or even killed by:

  • A dangerous fall – Many construction sites require workers to work at considerable heights. There may also be open pits or trenches. Falls due to a lack of railings, signs, or other safety measures can result in serious injuries. Workers can also be injured in slip, trip, and fall accidents. Workers who have been injured in a fall should contact a Raleigh injury at work lawyer to discuss their options. 
  • Being in the way of falling materials or debris – Another common hazard on construction sites is injuries arising from falling tools, equipment, steel beams, lumber, or other debris or materials. These accidents often occur due to inadequate safety measures or poor supervision on the worksite.  
  • Falling scaffoldings – Scaffolding is common at many construction sites. Unfortunately, they can be poorly erected or negligently maintained. In other situations, the materials used in the scaffolding may be defective. When scaffolding fails, it can result in severe injuries to anyone on the scaffolding when it falls as well as to other workers on the ground and in the vicinity. A Raleigh construction accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you need if you have been injured by falling scaffolding. 
  • Hazardous machinery – Saws, drills, pile drivers/borers, and other types of machinery cause a significant number of injuries. These accidents may be caused by missing safety features, negligent maintenance, or the machines themselves may be defective. 
  • Working with heavy materials – Construction regularly involves lifting heavy objects and moving them into place. One of the most common injuries that occurs from working with heavy materials is back injuries. In addition, crushed feet, toes, and fingers are also common injuries when an object is dropped while being lifted. 
  • Being exposed to toxic materials – Construction workers are commonly exposed to a number of toxic materials such as paint, stains, engine fumes, and other chemical substances. Failure to ensure that the workspace is adequately ventilated or failing to provide respirators or other devices can result in acute injuries. Over time, exposure to these toxic materials can result in a variety of long-term illnesses. If you are unable to work due to an injury or illness caused by exposure to toxic materials, you need to contact a Raleigh construction lawyer as soon as possible. 
  • Working in a manner that requires repetitive motion – workers who spend a significant amount of time engaged in repetitive motions such as hammering or digging are at risk of repetitive motion injuries (RPI) such as tendonitis and nerve damage. These injuries tend to develop over time, so it can be difficult to diagnose when the injury occurred. If you are unable to work due to an RPI, a Raleigh injury at work lawyer can help you get the compensation you need. 
  • Faulty electrical equipment or wires – Construction sites require electricity to run lights and other equipment. Unfortunately, the equipment can malfunction and exposed wires can result in electrocution. In other instances, workers may come into contact with overhead power lines that the supervisors have failed to mark. Faulty electrical equipment and power lines can result in severe injuries. 
  • Crane accidents – cranes are used to lift materials, equipment, and other heavy objects to places high above the ground. Workers can be crushed and killed when the material falls or the crane collapses. These accidents are often caused by failing to properly secure loads or failing to ensure that the crane has been properly erected. 
  • Vehicle accidents – At any given time, there can be several vehicles in motion on a construction site. Bulldozers, backhoes, compactors, excavators, pavers, forklifts, and other construction vehicles can cause serious injuries and even death when they are operated improperly and without regard to the safety of the individuals on the ground. Road construction workers are also at risk of being struck by negligent motorists driving through the construction zone. A Raleigh at work injury lawyer can help you pursue a claim if you have been injured in a vehicle accident on a construction site. 
  • Structure collapses – Occasionally, the building under construction can collapse, often resulting in severe injuries and death to the construction workers on the site. These collapses can be due to a number of reasons including design defects, defective materials, or negligent construction practices. These cases can be extraordinarily complex. If you or a loved one has been involved in a structure collapse, we strongly recommend that you contact a Raleigh construction accident lawyer as soon as possible.
  • Explosions – explosions are more common on construction sites than you might expect. Gas leaks, electrical sparks, flammable materials, and even dust can ignite and explode in a moment. These explosions may be due to poor cleaning protocols, failure to properly maintain equipment, and failure to regularly inspect the work site for potential hazards. Explosions can result in severe burn injuries, dismemberment, and sometimes death. 
  • Trench collapses – Unstable soil, flooding, or poor construction can lead to a trench collapse. A trench collapse can be devastating when workers are in the trench, resulting in serious injuries or suffocation. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a trench collapse, a Raleigh construction injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.

All of these accidents can contribute to a host of serious injuries. Common injury claims from construction accidents include:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Loss of hands, feet, digits, or limbs
  • Lung damage and respiratory illnesses
  • Concussions
  • Severe lacerations
  • Internal organ damage
  • Hearing or vision loss
  • Skull fractures
  • Facial and dental injuries

Any one of these injuries can be debilitating and leave you unable to work, due to temporary or permanent disability. Unfortunately, many construction accident victims suffer multiple injuries and often require hospitalization and extensive medical treatment. By working with a Raleigh construction lawyer, you can let them handle your claim so that you can focus on your recovery. 

Depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common among construction workers who have been seriously injured in a construction accident. You may be entitled to compensation for these conditions in addition to your physical injuries so that you can get the treatment you need to make a full recovery. 

Am I Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits if I was Injured at a Construction Site?

If you have been injured in an accident while working at a construction job or while visiting a construction site during work, you may be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. 

As a general rule, all employees in North Carolina (with limited exceptions) are covered under workers’ compensation. This means that even if you are a temporary, seasonal, or part-time worker, you should be covered. Undocumented workers are covered under the law, as are most independent contractors. While a Raleigh construction accident lawyer will be able to assess your eligibility in your particular case, chances are good that if you are a construction worker that was injured on a construction site, you have the right to file for benefits under North Carolina’s workers’ compensation law.

Questions about Injuries to Construction Workers
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Filing a Construction Accident Lawsuit with a Raleigh Construction Accident Lawyer

Being injured at work does not mean that a worker’s compensation case is your only recourse for collecting damages. A Raleigh construction accident lawyer will review the circumstances surrounding your injuries and let you know whether you can pursue additional third party claims.

For instance, you may be entitled to file a personal injury action against parties or entities responsible for the accident or occurrence that resulted in harm. For example, under the laws covering negligence and product liability, you may be able to seek damages from the following:

  • Property owners
  • Developers
  • Architects
  • Insurance
  • Companies
  • General
  • Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Equipment manufacturers and producers

What To Do if You Have Been Injured in a Construction Accident

The moments and days following an accident can be vital to pursuing a  claim. To the extent that you are able to, taking the following steps can protect your rights and improve the likelihood of a successful claim: 

  • Report the accident and your injuries to your employer immediately following your accident. You want to make sure that your employer is aware of what happened, even if you are unsure whether or not you are injured. Hopefully, they will prepare an accident report that could be helpful in establishing important facts later on. 
  • Seek guidance from your employer about getting medical treatment. Because they pay for the workers’ compensation coverage, they have the right to direct your medical treatment. As a result, you should tell them when you report the accident that you want to get a medical exam and ask them for guidance. They will direct you to the medical provider who is covered by their workers’ compensation insurance. This way, you will not have to pay for treatment out of pocket and it will simplify your claim if you need to pursue workers’ compensation later. 
  • Keep notes. Write down what happened when you were injured and who was present. Write down whatever details you can concerning your injuries, the limitations they have caused, and any pain that you are experiencing. 
  • Report your injuries to your employer in writing. North Carolina law requires that you report your injuries to your employer no later than 30 days after the accident. If you fail to notify your employer, you may be unable to receive any workers’ compensation. Reporting the accident and your injuries in writing establishes a written record and documents that you did your part.
  • Contact a Raleigh construction accident lawyer. A lawyer can explain your options to you and help you get the compensation you need as quickly as possible. While most construction accidents will be covered by workers’ compensation, your lawyer can identify whether you might have a third-party claim. In addition, they can help you avoid common problems that workers experience with workers’ compensation, streamlining the process so that you can get your benefits when you need them. 

Workers’ Compensation is a No-Fault Benefit 

There are many employers and employees who are confused about what it means to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation provides coverage to injured workers regardless of who was at fault or even if no one was at fault. As a result, pursuing a workers’ compensation claim does not mean you are claiming that your employer or your coworker was negligent or otherwise responsible for causing the accident. Workers’ compensation pays medical and disability benefits based solely upon the fact that your injury occurred at work, arose out of your work, and in the course of performing your duties. For example, workers’ compensation would most likely provide coverage in the following situations: 

  • A coworker runs over your foot with a forklift
  • You are injured in a fall because your employer did not immediately replace a safety railing that had been removed for repair
  • You suffered an eye injury because you neglected to wear safety glasses while using a piece of machinery

An experienced Raleigh construction accident lawyer can help you navigate the workers’ compensation claim process to make sure you get the benefits you need.

How a Raleigh Construction Accident Lawyer at Our Firm Can Help

Every North Carolina and Raleigh construction accident lawyer at Martin & Jones has extensive experience handling construction accident claims. Following a work-related injury, we will fight to protect your rights while providing respectful support and proven legal assistance. Helping you obtain all the compensation to which you are entitled is our number one priority.

Let us explain your options, guide you through the claims process and handle the legal details of your case so you can concentrate on your recovery. Our track record of successes and testimonies from past clients should help you decide if Martin & Jones is right for you.

Can I Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Sue My Employer?

Generally speaking, you cannot both collect workers’ compensation benefits and pursue a personal injury claim against your employer. Workers’ compensation benefits are generally an employee’s “exclusive remedy” against his employer. If you are considering suing your employer, you should speak with a Raleigh construction accident lawyer before taking any action. 

How a Workers’ Compensation Claim is Different from a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In a personal injury claim, you are entitled to seek compensation for all of your losses, including your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. However, your claim could take months to get resolved, and you also need to prove that the party your claim is against was somehow at fault for causing your injuries. 

Workers’ compensation pays benefits almost immediately without proving that anyone was at fault. In fact, you can seek workers’ compensation benefits even if your accident was a result of your own negligence. However, workers’ compensation covers only two-thirds of your lost income and your medical bills. 

In many cases, pursuing a workers’ compensation claim is your best option. While it won’t cover all of your losses, you will be able to receive compensation quickly and without having to prove liability. A Raleigh construction accident lawyer can review your case and help you decide which is your best option. 

Can I Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Pursue a Third-Party Claim?

In certain cases, you may be able to pursue a claim for workers’ compensation and a personal injury lawsuit against a third party such as a subcontractor or equipment manufacturer. In this situation, you would be able to collect your workers’ comp benefits while awaiting the outcome of your lawsuit. However, any compensation awarded through the lawsuit would be offset by the benefits you received through workers comp. In other words, the third-party lawsuit does not entitle you to compensation that exceeds your losses. A Raleigh construction accident lawyer can explain how this would apply to your case should you be able to pursue both a lawsuit and a workers comp claim. 

What Are the Deadlines for Pursuing My Claim?

In most cases, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in North Carolina varies. To pursue a workers comp claim, the time to file is limited. The sooner you pursue your claim (whether a lawsuit or a workers’ comp claim), the better your chance that your claim will be successful. 

Independent Contractor May Also be Eligible for Worker’s Compensation or a Personal Injury Claim

Construction accident claims for independent contractors are complex. As a general rule, workers’ compensation covers only employees. There are situations where an independent contractor may qualify for workers’ compensation. If you aren’t covered, however, your only option may be to pursue a personal injury claim. If you are an independent contractor who has been injured on the job, A Raleigh construction accident lawyer can review your case and help you understand your options. 

Contact a Raleigh Construction Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Contact a North Carolina and Raleigh construction accident lawyer online or call our Raleigh, North Carolina, office at 800-662-1234 today for a free consultation with a Martin & Jones lawyer. Injury claims are handled on a contingency fee basis. We also have offices in Durham and Wilmington. 

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The law firm you choose makes a difference. If you are the victim of an accident or an illness that someone else caused, the North Carolina personal injury law firm of Martin & Jones has the depth of experience, skills and sensitivity to make your road to recovery as smooth as possible. Whether you have experience with the legal system or have never hired a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer before, our attorneys and staff will do our best to answer your questions, provide clear advice and prepare you and your family for what to expect. If you would like more information or to meet with one of our attorneys, please fill out the form below or call us at 800.662.1234.