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Forest City Construction Injury Lawyer

Forest City Construction Injury Attorney

Construction is one of the most inherently dangerous industries for many reasons. People who work in construction face multiple risks each day at work, from heavy machinery to slip and fall accidents while working on unfinished buildings. Despite the fact that construction companies must enforce rigorous safety regulations to minimize the chance of accidents happening, construction workers report more workplace injuries each year than the majority of other industries.

Forest City Construction Injury Lawyer

Experienced Legal Representation for Victims of Construction Accidents in Forest City, NC

Every state enforces different rules pertaining to workers’ compensation, and North Carolina upholds some very robust standards when it comes to protecting injured workers throughout the state. Almost all employers in the state are legally obligated to purchase and maintain workers’ compensation insurance, and almost every worker in the state is covered by their employer’s insurance policy. However, this does not mean that recovery from a construction accident in Forest City will be easy or that workers’ compensation insurance is your only means of recovering from a construction accident.

The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler routinely provide comprehensive legal representation to injured workers in Forest City and surrounding communities. We have represented many victims of construction accidents, and we know the legal challenges they often face in their recovery efforts. If you or someone in your family is struggling with the effects of a recent construction-related injury, a Forest City construction injury attorney is the ideal asset to have on your side as you seek the benefits you legally deserve.

How Do Construction Injuries Happen in Forest City?

Construction is an inherently dangerous field in which to work for multiple reasons. A few commonly reported construction accidents that lead to workers’ compensation claims in the Forest City area are:

  • Vehicle accidents. Construction often requires the use of various specialized work vehicles, including forklifts, loaders, excavators, and more. These vehicles lack the safety features found in most passenger vehicles, and construction sites are often very busy, with lots of people moving around to complete their work. Vehicle accidents can happen in various ways, potentially causing devastating injuries.
  • Construction workers must often navigate structures that have incomplete electrical systems, use tools that require high-voltage electrical currents, and face other electrocution hazards at work. Electrocution can potentially cause severe burns, nerve damage, and even cardiovascular complications.
  • Slip and fall accidents. Falls are the most commonly reported workplace injury in the United States and the leading cause of missed work days and workers’ compensation insurance claims in the construction industries. Ladders, scaffolds, and working on unfinished buildings are just a few examples of the falling hazards that can potentially cause severe injuries to construction workers in Forest City.
  • Heavy equipment injuries. Construction workers are often required to use various types of heavy machinery to complete their job duties. It’s possible for injuries to occur from negligent use of these devices, unexpected malfunctions, or product defects.
  • Repetitive stress injuries. Construction is a physically demanding job. It’s possible for a construction worker to suffer an injury from acute trauma at work, but it is also possible for them to gradually develop an injury from repetitive stress over time. Some of these injuries may cause debilitating symptoms and require extensive rehabilitative care.

These are only a few possible examples of how construction workers might sustain injuries at work. When such injuries occur, the first option the victim has to recover is to file a workers’ compensation claim through their employer’s insurance company. However, this process is often more challenging than it seems at first, and many complications can arise between the injured worker and the benefits they need to recover.

An injured construction worker should report their injury to their supervisor immediately and seek medical care. Any delay in reporting an injury could later cause the insurance carrier to doubt the truth of the claim. An insurance adjuster may assume that because you did not report the injury immediately, it could not have been as severe as you claim. Timely reporting strengthens your claim, and it’s a good idea to reach out to trustworthy legal counsel as soon as possible after any workplace injury in Forest City.

Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Construction Accident in Forest City

Workers’ compensation insurance functions much like most other types of insurance coverage. However, the claimant faces additional complications due to their employer’s role in the claim filing process. All employers in the state must facilitate their injured employees’ claims in good faith, and they may not interfere with the claim filing process for any reason or retaliate against an employee who requests the materials needed to file a claim. Because employers pay insurance premiums to maintain their workers’ compensation insurance policies, this, unfortunately, encourages some employers to directly interfere with claims out of fear of their premiums increasing.

An experienced Forest City construction injury attorney can help their client navigate the claim filing process and address any issues that arise from their employer. If an employer handles a work injury claim in good faith, they can document the employee’s injury in a formal incident report and then provide the employee with the materials they need to file their claim.

Most insurance carriers will require workers’ compensation claimants to undergo medical evaluations to assess their conditions before ruling on their claims. Your employer should give you a list of approved physicians in your area that you may visit for this review process. The workers’ compensation doctor you see will assess your injury and assign a disability rating for you that reflects the severity of your condition and the likelihood of long-term or future complications.

Benefits That Can Be Available for Construction Injuries

Workers’ compensation insurance protects both employees and employers. For employers, this insurance coverage prevents them from facing issues in civil court for liability for injured workers’ damages, allowing them to continue their operations with confidence even when the work they do is inherently dangerous. For employees, workers’ compensation benefits provide financial relief that helps them recover from their injuries more easily, especially when they face expensive medical treatment bills and economic instability during recovery time when they are unable to work and earn income.

After you submit your workers’ compensation claim to your employer’s insurance company, they will review the details of your accident and the medical report from the workers’ compensation physician you visited.

Your Next Steps for Workers’ Comp

If the insurance carrier requires additional information, they may contact you and your employer for the details they need to complete their assessment. If they approve your claim, they will issue a determination of benefits that explains the compensation you are eligible to receive.

Generally, a workers’ compensation claim for a construction-related injury will yield two types of benefits to the claimant. First, the insurance company will pay for all of the medical treatment the claimant requires. This includes immediate care as well as long-term treatment if they suffered a severe injury and will require ongoing care. Second, they will receive disability benefits to help offset the impact of inability to work due to their injury.

Calculating Disability Benefits for Injured Construction Workers

North Carolina law allows workers’ compensation disability benefits to be paid in several ways based on the severity of a claimant’s condition. Most injured workers will qualify for either partial or total disability benefits based on their disability ratings. A worker can qualify for partial disability benefits if they can still work after their injury but are unable to earn the same amount of income. They will need to continue reporting their income to the insurance carrier each week, and each payment will depend on how much they are able to earn. Failure to meet reporting requirements under a partial disability benefits arrangement could lead to a loss of further benefits payments.

Total disability benefits are awarded when someone cannot work at all because of their injury. These payments typically equal about 66% of their weekly wage average for the past year and may continue until they are able to return to work or for up to 500 weeks. An injured worker can qualify for permanent disability benefits only if their injury is so severe that they will never be able to rejoin the workforce.

Your Forest City construction injury attorney can be a crucial asset for every step of your workers’ compensation claim filing process. They can help you file your initial claim and address any challenges that arise from your employer. Once you file your claim, they can handle correspondence with the insurance company on your behalf and make sure they manage your claim in good faith. After you receive your benefits determination, your attorney can verify that it is acceptable under the terms of your employer’s policy and resolve any disputes between you and the insurance carrier. You will also need their assistance if you have grounds for further legal recourse outside of the workers’ compensation claim filing process.

Filing a Third-Party Personal Injury Claim for a Construction Injury

Workers’ compensation insurance generally protects employers from facing civil lawsuits from their injured workers. However, they must maintain adequate insurance coverage to secure this immunity. If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance as mandated by state law, you can file a claim against them for your personal injury in response to a workplace injury. Alternatively, it is possible to have grounds for a civil suit against your employer if they intentionally caused your injury somehow.

For example, if they forced you to complete a specific task that had a virtual certainty of causing an injury or if they failed to follow applicable industry safety regulations, these issues could potentially form grounds for a civil action.

It’s more likely that an injured worker could have grounds to start a civil claim against another party. If someone you don’t directly work with caused the injury, it is possible that you could proceed with a workers’ compensation claim since the injury occurred when you were working, and you could file a third-party personal injury claim.

When to Call a Construction Injury Lawyer

Your Forest City construction injury attorney can be an invaluable resource if you believe you have grounds for a third-party civil suit. After they guide you through the workers’ compensation claim filing process, they can potentially help you secure recompense for the damages workers’ compensation won’t cover:

  • Workers’ compensation benefits may cover all of your medical costs, but they will only provide some of the income you lost while unable to work due to your injury. A good attorney can help hold the defendant accountable for the remainder of this missing income, including lost future earning power if you will be unable to return to your job due to a permanent disability they caused.
  • You cannot recover pain and suffering compensation through a workers’ compensation claim, but you can claim compensation for your pain and suffering in a third-party personal injury suit. Your attorney can help determine a suitable amount of pain and suffering compensation to include with your third-party claim. Depending on the scope of your injury, this could form the bulk of your final case award.
  • It is possible to recover punitive damages at a judge’s discretion if the party responsible for your injury caused it through some illegal misconduct. For example, if you were driving as part of your job responsibilities and an intoxicated driver hit you, the defendant could face punitive damages and/or restitution along with their liability for your other damages.

Success with a personal injury claim requires identifying the party or parties you believe to be responsible for your damages, proving the full extent of those damages, and then showing proof of causation between the defendant’s negligence or misconduct and your claimed losses. In other words, you can only claim recompense for the direct effects of the defendant’s actions, and you must prove that your damages did not result from any other cause.

The right attorney can help you succeed with both a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party personal injury claim to enhance your recovery from a construction injury. However, it’s important to note the role that fault will play in both of these legal efforts.

Issues Concerning Fault in Construction Accident Cases

Proving fault is not necessary for the purposes of workers’ compensation claims. A worker can cause their own injury and still qualify for benefits, as long as the injury happened from an honest mistake while they were working in good faith. If the employee was working under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if they intentionally violated a workplace safety rule, these issues might disqualify them from workers’ compensation benefits. If you have any concerns about bearing fault for your recent construction injury, consult your attorney; they can help determine if and how your shared fault could impact your benefits.

Fault is a more important issue when it comes to filing a personal injury claim. Success with a personal injury claim requires proving that a defendant was entirely at fault for the damages cited in the claim, and that they did not occur from any other cause. Additionally, the plaintiff may not bear any measure of partial liability due to the state’s contributory negligence law. Any level of plaintiff fault, however slight, negates their ability to claim recompense from the defendant.

Benefits of Working With a Forest City Construction Injury Attorney

It is technically possible to manage your recovery efforts on your own after a workplace injury in Forest City, but you can significantly improve the quality of your experience with this process and your chances of maximizing your recovery if you have legal counsel you can trust on your side. The right attorney can streamline your case in several ways, resolving any disputes that arise between you and your recovery.

When you choose Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler for your work injury claims, you are hiring a firm with years of experience. We have represented many past clients in front of the largest insurance carriers in the state. We know the tactics they often use to minimize claim payouts and deny claims whenever possible. When you have grounds to pursue further legal recourse outside of the workers’ compensation system, you can trust us to provide guidance and support through every phase of your case.

Talk to Experienced Construction Injury Lawyers

Time is a crucial consideration for anyone facing the aftermath of a construction injury in Forest City. There is a limited time for you to file your workers’ compensation claim, and any delay could interfere with your ability to secure the benefits you need to recover. Our goal in every case we accept is to help our client maximize the workers’ compensation benefits they receive and help them with their additional recovery efforts when available. If you are ready to learn how a Forest City construction injury attorney can help your recovery efforts, contact Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler today and schedule your free consultation with our team.