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Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in America, accounting for more workplace injuries and fatalities each year than any other industry. However, it is one of the most crucial industries, and millions of construction workers face countless risks each day at work. When construction accidents occur in Hickory, NC, the effects can be devastating, often resulting in long-term or permanent disabilities for victims, along with a severe financial toll due to medical bills and the inability to work.
If you or a family member recently suffered any workplace injury in the construction industry, you need a Hickory construction injury attorney to help you recover as fully as possible. Virtually every employer in the state is legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and failure to have this insurance can lead to severe penalties for the employer. However, even when an employer has the insurance required by law, an injured construction worker can still face many legal challenges as they seek compensation for their injury.
Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler has a team of experienced workers’ compensation attorneys who have years of successful cases behind us. We provide client-focused legal counsel in every work injury case we accept, meaning we do not believe in one-size-fits-all strategies for our clients. We can listen to your story and help determine the most viable path to maximizing your compensation. Whatever your recovery entails, you can rest assured that our firm can provide the ongoing support, reassurance, and guidance you need to approach the process with confidence and peace of mind.
Every construction worker faces various risks each day at work. As long as your injury occurred while you were performing your job duties, you are likely eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim in Hickory. The results of your claim could include compensation for the medical expenses you incur and ongoing disability benefits for missing income. Like any other insurance claim, you must report the details of your injury, how it occurred, and the damages you face because of it to the insurance carrier. A few of the most commonly reported construction injuries in Hickory include:
These are only a few examples of the most commonly reported construction injuries in Hickory each year. No matter how your injury happened, if you were performing your job duties at the time, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. However, there are many potential complications you may face in your efforts to claim these benefits, and having a Hickory construction injury attorney’s assistance is invaluable in this situation.
Once an injury occurs, you should seek immediate medical care if the injury is serious. You should notify your employer of the injury, and they are legally required to document an incident report that explains how, when, and why the injury occurred. You will need a copy of this incident report to file your workers’ compensation claim, and if your employer fails to create one, they can face legal penalties. They will also face penalties if they interfere with your claim or retaliate against you for filing it in any way.
Your employer should provide you with the forms you need to submit to the insurance carrier as well as a list of local physicians you can visit for a disability rating. Almost all workers’ compensation insurance carriers require claimants to undergo medical examinations before they are awarded benefits. During one of these evaluations, the workers’ compensation doctor assesses the claimant’s injuries and assigns a disability rating, which is a numerical value representing the severity of their injury. A higher rating means a greater amount of benefits that can be awarded for longer.
While it’s possible to file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits on your own, you will have a much easier time securing the compensation you need when you have an experienced Hickory construction injury attorney representing you. Your legal team will assist you in filling out your claim forms, gathering any supporting documentation you must submit to the insurance carrier, and resolving any issues that arise concerning your medical evaluation. For example, your attorney can help arrange a second opinion if you disagree with the first physician’s assessment of your condition.
After you complete your claim packet, you will submit it to the insurance carrier and they will review it, potentially contacting you for more information if necessary. Once it has reviewed your claim, it will provide a determination of benefits, explaining how much compensation you will receive, what medical procedures it will cover, and how much you can expect in your weekly disability benefit payments.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides important protections to both employers and employees when workplace injuries happen. For employers, this insurance shields them from civil liability for their injured employees’ damages. This means an injured worker cannot sue their employer for an injury on-the-job as long as the employer did not intentionally cause the injury and they have appropriate insurance coverage as required by state law. For employees, workers’ compensation insurance can cover medical expenses and provide relief from missing income when their injuries prevent them from working.
When it comes to medical expense coverage, an injured construction worker can typically expect full compensation for all the medical care they require. This includes any immediate treatment of their injuries and the cost of rehabilitative therapy when they need long-term care to restore functionality and manage symptoms in recovery. Most workers’ compensation insurance carriers will cover a surprisingly vast number of treatments, including some alternative therapies for certain conditions.
Disability benefits are more variable, awarded on a case-by-case basis according to the needs of the claimant. In the state, ongoing disability benefits are awarded on a temporary or permanent basis depending on the severity of the injury in question, and it is possible for a claimant to receive either total or partial disability benefits. It is also possible for a claimant to initially qualify for temporary total disability benefits and later transition to receiving partial disability benefits when they regain the ability to perform gainful but lower-paying work.
An injured worker can qualify for partial disability benefits if they are still able to work after their construction injury, but the effects of the injury prevent them from earning as much income as they did prior to the injury. Partial disability benefits may be awarded on a temporary basis until the worker fully recovers and can resume their previous job duties, earning as much as they did previously. They may also be awarded permanently, providing ongoing support to account for permanently lost earning power. However, permanent partial disability benefits will likely expire after a period of several years, and your attorney can help you understand the terms and conditions of a permanent partial disability arrangement.
It is vital to remember your reporting requirements if you are awarded partial disability benefits. These benefits can make up the difference in your income, but you must provide medical updates on your recovery to the insurance carrier and report all your earnings. Failure to meet your reporting requirements may lead to losing your benefits or even facing a charge of workers’ compensation fraud.
When an injured construction worker qualifies for total disability benefits, this means the worker cannot work at all until they recover from their injury. Temporary total disability benefits last until they can return to work and will generally amount to two-thirds of the claimant’s average weekly pay based on the year prior to their injury. Permanent total disability benefits may be awarded when a claimant has been rendered completely unable to work in the future due to the severity of their injury.
Your Hickory construction injury attorney can help ensure that your benefit determination is suitable under the terms of your employer’s policy. If you encounter any kind of retaliation from your employer, you could have grounds for a civil suit, and if the insurance company does not handle your claim in good faith, you may have grounds for legal recourse in response to such issues. Additionally, many people who suffer construction injuries in the Hickory area will have grounds for further legal action outside of the workers’ compensation claim process that can yield additional compensation for their work-related injuries.
Workers’ compensation insurance generally protects employers from civil liability for their injured workers’ damages. However, if an employer does not have workers’ compensation or if they directly caused a worker injury through some intentional act or egregious negligence in the workplace, the injured worker could have grounds for a civil suit. Additionally, it is also possible for a third party to bear fault for a construction accident. For example, if you are working on a roadside construction site and a negligent driver hits you, the injury occurred while you were working, so you qualify to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, you would also have grounds to file a third-party personal injury claim against the driver.
A third-party personal injury suit can potentially help an injured construction worker recover compensation for damages that their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider does not cover. For example, you may receive about two-thirds of your average weekly pay in disability benefits, but a successful personal injury claim can yield repayment for the remainder of your lost income.
Aside from any economic damages not covered by workers’ compensation, an injured construction worker also has the right to claim compensation for their pain and suffering, and North Carolina law does not limit this aspect of recovery in any personal injury claim. Your Hickory construction accident attorney can help determine a suitable amount to reflect the severity of your injury. If you suffered any permanent harm due to the defendant’s actions, they might owe several times the total of your economic losses in pain and suffering compensation. Your attorney could alternatively argue in favor of a per diem settlement that awards a set amount each day you spend recovering from your injuries.
When you have suffered a construction injury of any kind due to illegal misconduct or another party’s intentional desire to harm you, they can face criminal charges for their actions. This could influence your recovery efforts in several ways. You could be awarded punitive damages, or the judge handling their criminal sentencing could add restitution to you as part of their penalty. Ultimately, every personal injury case is unique, and every plaintiff needs legal counsel they can trust to reach the ideal outcome of their claim.
The right attorney can have a very positive influence on the outcome of your recovery efforts following a construction injury in Hickory. Instead of attempting to navigate complex legal proceedings on your own while managing a serious injury, your attorney can help with the legal affairs ahead of you while you focus on your medical needs. The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler have years of experience handling construction injury claims, and we will apply our experience and resources to every facet of your case.
When you choose our firm as your legal counsel for a construction injury claim, we can begin by helping you file your claim for benefits to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If you encounter any illegal retaliation from your employer, we can help address this, and if the insurance company fails to handle your case in good faith, we can assist with resolving this problem as well. Once you have received your determination of benefits from the insurance company, we can review the terms of your employer’s policy to ensure you receive the maximum benefit allowance possible under the policy.
If you have grounds to pursue further legal action in response to your construction injury, we can assist you with these efforts as well. For example, if you have grounds to file a third-party personal injury claim, our team has a strong record of successful personal injury cases behind us, and we are confident in our ability to guide you to a positive conclusion. Ultimately, every client needs compassionate and responsive legal counsel from an attorney they can trust, and when you choose our firm to represent you, we will do everything we can to streamline your recovery efforts however possible. The sooner you reach out to our firm to discuss your situation, the sooner we can begin guiding you to the recovery you legally deserve.
A: According to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and various other agencies that collate workplace injury statistics, falls are the most common injury in the construction industry each year. Falls can be fatal from great heights, and the severity of the victim’s injuries generally depends on the height and location of the fall. Every year falls account for most of the workers’ compensation claims filed in the construction industry and the most missed days of work.
A: Ideally, you should start the claim filing process for any workplace injury as soon as possible after the injury occurs to ensure you meet the statute of limitations. Any delay inherently casts doubt on your claim, as an insurance carrier will assume that if you did not take prompt legal action after your injury, it must not be as severe as claimed. You should notify your supervisor of any workplace injury immediately so they create an incident report and can provide you with the materials needed to file your claim for benefits.
A: Workers’ compensation insurance aims to provide financial security for injured workers, offsetting the financial impact of medical bills and the inability to work. Generally, a successful workers’ compensation claim will yield full compensation for the claimant’s medical expenses, including the cost of long-term rehabilitative care they require to fully heal from their injury. They will also receive ongoing disability benefits based on the severity of their injury and whether they are able to work at all during their recovery.
A: No, there is no legal obligation to hire legal counsel for your workers’ compensation case. However, hiring an experienced Hickory construction injury attorney can significantly improve your chances of maximizing your benefits in the shortest timeframe. A good attorney can help file your claim for benefits to your employer’s insurance carrier, resolve any issues that arise between you and the insurance company, and provide further legal guidance if you have problems with your employer or grounds for a third-party personal injury claim.
A: The team at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler does not charge upfront legal fees to our workers’ compensation clients, nor do we charge ongoing legal fees during our clients’ case proceedings. Instead, our firm offers contingency fee billing, meaning we only take a fee once we win our client’s case. This fee is a percentage of the total compensation we recover on their behalf, and they keep the remainder. This billing policy ensures the legal representation you need is accessible when you need it at no unnecessary financial risk to you and your family.
Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler offers years of professional legal experience for your impending workers’ compensation case. If you or a family member is recovering in the aftermath of a construction accident, we know the various challenges and financial problems this kind of situation can cause for any family. Our goal is to help you recover as fully as possible as quickly as possible, and we are confident in our ability to effectively address all the unique aspects of your construction injury claim. Contact us today and schedule your consultation with a Hickory construction injury attorney to learn more about the various professional legal services we offer.
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