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Construction is one of the most crucial industries in the United States; it is also the most inherently dangerous. When it comes to workplace accidents, fatal work injuries, and missed days of work, the construction industry leads by a wide margin. Everyone who works in the construction industry faces innumerable risks every day. These include working on unfinished structures that do not have standard safety elements, as well as the requirement to use various types of potentially hazardous equipment. When construction injuries occur, they often cause devastating harm to victims and tremendous economic strain on their families.
After a workplace injury, victims need experienced and compassionate legal help. Some construction work injuries are devastating, and many people don’t know where to turn in the aftermath.
Virtually every employer in the state is legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance, and this insurance exists to provide a financial safety net to injured workers if an on-the-job injury occurs. If you or a loved one suffers a construction injury, workers’ compensation can be a valuable lifeline, but the process of securing your benefits may be more challenging than you initially expected. For example, if you happened to sustain an injury related to construction as a bystander or passerby, you likely have grounds for a personal injury suit against the party responsible for the accident.
The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler have the experience and resources you want on your side in the aftermath of a construction injury. Whether you believe you can recover through a workers’ compensation claim and/or you must prepare a personal injury suit, we can help you with all the recovery efforts you must pursue after your accident.
It is technically possible for the victim of a construction injury to seek compensation on their own, and there is no strict requirement for anyone in this situation to hire legal counsel. However, you will not only have an easier time navigating the workers’ compensation claim process with an attorney’s assistance, but you will also be more likely to maximize the total compensation you obtain from all your recovery efforts.
The right attorney is invaluable to your case in several ways. Immediately after the construction accident, they can help their client gather any evidence they may need to prove the exact cause of their injury. When it comes to the workers’ compensation claim filing process, an attorney can not only make this process much easier for the injured claimant, but they can also ensure that the claimant’s employer upholds their responsibilities to their employee under state law. Unfortunately, some injured workers encounter difficulties not only in their interactions with workers’ compensation insurance carriers but also with their own employers.
The workers’ compensation laws of North Carolina will generally prevent a construction accident victim in Albemarle from filing a civil suit against their employer, but there are exceptions to this rule. For example, a construction worker could suffer an injury due to the actions of a third party outside of their work, and it is possible to file a personal injury claim if you were not working but were injured by a construction accident in any way.
Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler can work closely with you to determine the scope of your legal options following a construction accident in Albemarle. We have helped many past clients secure far better results than they expected at the outset of their recovery efforts, and we can answer your most pressing legal questions during this difficult time.
Construction workers face many risks every day at work. A few of the most commonly reported types of construction injuries each year include:
These are only a few examples of how construction injuries might occur. If you are unsure whether you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Albemarle, you only need to consider whether you were working at the time the accident occurred. As long as you were on your way to or from work or performing work-related duties when you were injured, you are likely eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is very similar to how one would file any other type of insurance claim. However, the claimant faces an additional layer of complexity in the form of their employer’s role in the process. Employers pay premiums to maintain their workers’ compensation insurance coverage, and this, unfortunately, compels some employers to mishandle their employees’ claims or, worse, retaliate against employees who file claims in good faith.
It is important to remember that if you caused your own injury, this does not disqualify you from filing a workers’ compensation claim. As long as you caused the injury while you were working and it happened in good faith, you can still qualify for benefits. However, if you were working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, blatantly violated a workplace safety rule, or if you caused your own injury through horseplay at work, these factors may disqualify you from filing for workers’ compensation benefits.
Once you report your construction injury to your supervisor, they are required to create an incident report documenting the injury and provide you with the forms necessary for your workers’ compensation claim. If they interfere with this process or fail to meet these requirements, you could have grounds for legal recourse against them. For example, if you were fired when you asked to start a workers’ compensation claim or otherwise mistreated, this could form the foundation of a retaliation lawsuit against your employer.
If your employer fulfills their legal duties in good faith, they will supply you with your claim forms and any other materials needed to file your claim for benefits. You will likely be required to undergo a medical examination from a doctor approved by the employer’s insurance company. You can go to any doctor in an emergency, but you will need to arrange this examination once you are safely able to do so. This workers’ compensation doctor will rate your disability based on the severity of your injury. Once you have your claim forms and complete the medical evaluation process, your Albemarle construction injury attorney can help you proceed with your claim.
A successful workers’ compensation claim will generally yield two sorts of benefits. First, insurance will pay for any medical care the victim needs to fully recover from their injury. This includes both immediate healthcare expenses as well as long-term costs for any ongoing rehabilitative treatment the victim requires. Your attorney can help to ensure that you receive full coverage for all the medical treatments you need to reach maximum improvement from your injury.
The second form of compensation comes in the form of ongoing disability benefits. These benefits help offset the financial impact of the claimant’s inability to work as they recover from their injury. In North Carolina, disability benefits from workers’ compensation are typically awarded in four formats:
Once you submit your claim to the insurance company, it will investigate and determine your eligibility for benefits. After concluding its review, it will send you your determination of benefits, explaining the compensation you will receive from the insurance company and for how long these benefits will continue. An experienced Albemarle construction injury attorney is a valuable asset for ensuring that you receive a fair and reasonable determination of benefits from the insurance company.
The state’s workers’ compensation system serves to protect both employees and employers. For employees, workers’ compensation benefits can provide a valuable lifeline that helps them recover with peace of mind. For employers, workers’ compensation insurance helps protect covered employers from civil suits from injured workers. However, some exceptions exist. For example, if an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance as required by law, the injured worker can file a civil suit against their employer. They could also start a personal injury suit if the employer intentionally disregarded applicable workplace safety regulations or caused the injury through some intentional act.
It’s more likely for the injured worker to have grounds for a personal injury suit against a third party. If anyone outside of the workplace caused the accident, the victim could file their claim for workers’ compensation benefits because they were injured while working, but they would also have the right to pursue a third-party personal injury case against the party who caused their injury. For example, if you were driving for your construction job and were hit by a drunk driver, you could file your workers’ compensation claim and a third-party personal injury suit against the drunk driver.
A personal injury claim can yield more compensation than an injured worker could expect from workers’ compensation insurance. Their workers’ compensation claim can cover their medical expenses and the income they cannot earn during their recovery, but a personal injury claim reaches further, expanding the forms of compensation the claimant can seek from the party responsible for their injury. Under North Carolina’s laws, a victim can hold the defendant accountable for:
You could have grounds to seek more compensation than you may initially expect, and it is vital to start the claim filing process as soon as possible to have the greatest chance of success with your case. When you choose Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler as your legal counsel, we can provide the personal injury representation you need whether you are filing a third-party claim in addition to your workers’ compensation claim or a standalone personal injury action.
It is important to remember, however, that the state upholds a contributory negligence law. If you contributed to causing your injury in any way, this may not prohibit you from qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits, but it will prevent you from filing a personal injury suit. If a plaintiff in a personal injury case bears any measure of fault for causing the damages, this negates their ability to seek compensation from the defendant.
Hiring the right legal team to assist you with your recovery efforts can make a tremendous positive impact on the final outcome of your construction injury case. Whether you need to file a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury case, or both, your Albemarle construction injury attorney can be invaluable in several ways as you seek compensation for the losses you sustained.
The team at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler has successfully represented many injured construction workers in Albemarle and surrounding communities. We take time to learn as much as we can about each client’s needs and concerns, and our goal in all our cases is maximum recovery for our client.
If you are concerned about the cost of legal representation for your impending case, this is no cause to worry when you choose Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler as your Albemarle construction injury attorneys. We take workers’ compensation and personal injury cases on contingency, only collecting legal fees when we win our clients’ cases. In addition, there is no fee at all if we cannot obtain compensation on your behalf, and we do not charge upfront or ongoing fees for our representation.
Ultimately, every injured construction accident victim will face different challenges and have different opportunities as they seek compensation for their injuries. The sooner you connect with trustworthy legal counsel after this type of accident, the easier it will be for you to approach your recovery process with confidence and peace of mind. Contact Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler today to schedule your consultation with an Albemarle construction accident attorney and learn more about the legal services we provide.
I was in a bad situation but John did everything that need to be done so I could have a clear mind with my financial situation, surgery, medical. John Ayers and team is the best!!…
My most sincere thanks for the most professional representation. You and your team have stuck by me through the years in dealing with this very stressful case. I admire your composure, work ethic and most…
Christian was handling a situation for my brother-in-law when my brother-in-law unexpectedly passed away. He followed up until the matter was resolved. He was easy to contact and always got back to me. I would…
Christian was patient with me as we navigated my workman’s comp claim. He supported my rights to proper reimbursement. He explained what I should expect and was exactly right! I felt comfortable with his expertise.…
During an extremely stressful event in our lives we sought out the services of a Workers Compensation Attorney. Christian Ayers came highly recommended. He was great to work with and explained everything in detail, making…
When I went to see John the company Lawyers had offered me $26K for an on-the-job injury that resulted in leaving me a paraplegic. We met and John immediately put me at ease. He explained…
John is a excellent attorney, he’s very caring and professional. He has given us peace of mind and security. My husband is a quadriplegic and he fought hard for our rights and came to us…
John really understands the laws and is willing to go the extra mile to make things easier for his clients. I really liked the “ no nonsense “ approach in an industry that doesn’t make…
Mr. Ayers is the best attorney I've ever had the privilege to work with. Not only is he a knowledgeable professional, but he's honest and truly cares about his clients. He was a crucial part…