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Rutherfordton Construction Injury Lawyer

Rutherfordton Construction Injury Attorney

Thousands of people in Rutherfordton and surrounding areas of North Carolina work in the construction industry, and it is vital for every employee of this sector to know the risks they face at work each day. Even seemingly simple construction projects pose many risks of injury for workers, and when workplace injuries occur, they often have devastating effects. If you or a loved one recently suffered an injury from a construction accident, it’s essential to know your options for recovering from the incident as fully as possible.

Rutherfordton Construction Injury Lawyer

Experienced Legal Representation for Construction Injury Victims in Rutherfordton, NC

State law requires almost every employer in the state to have workers’ compensation insurance, and this insurance comes into play whenever an employee suffers any type of work-related injury. As long as you can prove your injury happened while you were performing your job duties, you have the right to file a claim for benefits. However, the claim filing process is likely to be more challenging than you may initially expect.

Our Representation Can Make Every Phase of Your Recovery Easier

The attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler have years of professional experience handling all types of work injury cases on behalf of clients in Rutherfordton and throughout the state. We can help determine the cause of your construction injury and assist you with filing your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. We can also assist you in determining whether you have grounds for additional legal recourse, such as a third-party civil suit, if a specific party directly caused your recent construction-related injury.

Commonly Reported Types of Construction Injuries in Rutherfordton

Construction is one of the statistically most dangerous industries in the United States, and according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the industry reports most of the workplace accidents in the United States each year. A few of the most commonly reported types of construction accidents responsible for causing serious injuries include:

  • According to OSHA reports, falls are not only the most commonly reported workplace injury in the construction industry but also the most common cause of fatal workplace injuries among construction workers. Falls can result in bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain damage, and a host of other injuries. These incidents often result in multiple injuries, forcing victims to face extensive recovery periods.
  • Many construction workers in the state suffer electrocution injuries from the unfinished electrical systems in their job sites. Electrocution can cause severe burns, nerve damage, cardiovascular damage, and death.
  • Injuries from falling objects. Construction workers are almost always required to wear hard hats to protect themselves from injuries from falling objects. However, hard hats may only mitigate the damage caused by a falling object, not prevent harm entirely. These injuries can occur from dropped tools or falling debris and are more serious when they impact after falling a long distance.
  • Injuries from vehicle accidents. Construction often requires many different vehicles, from standard pickup trucks and box trucks to front-end loaders, excavators, forklifts, cranes, and dump trucks. Vehicle accidents can easily cause acute trauma like brain injuries and broken bones; it is also possible for these incidents to result in crushing injuries. If a vehicle accident injures a construction worker while they are driving on regular roads for work, they could have grounds for additional legal recourse against the driver who caused the accident.
  • Injuries from tools and equipment. Construction workers frequently need to use various forms of machinery to complete their jobs, and many of these devices are capable of inflicting severe injuries in many ways. Lacerations, crushing injuries, puncture wounds, and even amputations are possible from different types of heavy equipment in the construction industry.
  • Repetitive stress injuries. Anyone who performs the same manual labor every day at work faces the risk of wear and tear on their body over time. Soft tissue damage can gradually worsen with repetitive stress, and the symptoms of a repetitive stress injury can increase to the point of requiring surgical correction. This type of injury still qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits under North Carolina law, but proving that the injury directly resulted from work can be challenging without an attorney’s help.
  • Fatal injuries. If a construction worker dies from a fatal injury at work, their family may claim death benefits through their employer’s insurance carrier.

No matter how your construction accident happened, if you were working when you were injured, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim under state law. As soon as your injury happens, you should seek medical care immediately and ensure your supervisor knows about the incident. They will create an incident report that you will need later to file your claim, and they must provide you with any materials needed to submit your claim to their insurance carrier.

While most employers uphold their legal responsibilities to their injured workers in good faith, some, unfortunately, do not and may interfere with employees’ claims, discourage them from filing claims, or even retaliate against them by terminating their employment. If you encounter any problems with your employer after reporting your injury, it is crucial that you speak with a Rutherfordton construction injury attorney as soon as possible. You could have grounds for legal action against your employer depending on the extent of the actions they have taken against you.

Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Claim in Rutherfordton

The workers’ compensation claim filing process is similar to the process of filing any other type of insurance claim. However, your employer plays a role in this process, and you must complete specific steps to file your claim successfully. One of these will be a medical evaluation. You must see a workers’ compensation doctor to have your injury assessed, and the doctor you visit will assign you a disability rating reflecting the severity of your condition.

The disability rating will be a number between 1 and 100, indicating how disabled you are from your injury. Once you complete this review process, you can submit the incident report from your employer, the disability rating and medical report from the doctor you visited, and all other required claim forms to the insurance company for consideration. Once it receives your claim, it will deliver its determination of benefits, notifying you that your claim has either been rejected or approved. If your claim is denied, your Rutherfordton construction injury attorney can help appeal the decision and/or file a complaint through the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC). If your claim is approved, you will receive a determination of benefits explaining the compensation the insurance company will provide for your injury.

Benefits for Construction Injury Victims in Rutherfordton

The purpose of workers’ compensation insurance is to protect employers from civil liability for their injured employees’ damages and to provide financial support to the victims of these injuries. Typically, a successful workers’ compensation claim yields two forms of benefits to the claimant:

  1. The insurance company will cover all the claimant’s medical bills. It will pay for all immediate treatment costs following the accident as well as cover future medical treatment expenses. Many injured workers are surprised to learn how many treatments and therapies are fully covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
  2. The insurance company will offer disability benefits based on the claimant’s disability rating. If the claimant can still work at a lower earning rate, they can receive partial disability benefits to make up the difference in their earning capacity. If they cannot work at all, they can receive temporary total disability benefits for up to 500 weeks, and each payment will be about two-thirds of the claimant’s average weekly wage based on the previous year of work.

Medical benefits are more straightforward, and an injured worker in Rutherfordton can generally expect their employer’s insurance carrier to pay for all treatments they need to reach maximum medical improvement from their injury. Disability benefits are variable, and each type will come with different requirements.

If you are awarded partial disability benefits and can handle lower-paying work during your recovery, you must report your income to the insurance carrier to keep receiving these benefits. You can continue receiving these benefits until you recover fully enough to return to your previous position at your previous earning capacity. Failure to report your income to the insurance carrier could result in disqualification for further payments or other penalties. When you are awarded a partial disability benefits determination, it is vital to understand and follow the terms of the determination.

If you are awarded total disability benefits, these are paid each week at a rate of about two-thirds of your average weekly wage. You can continue receiving these benefits until you recover enough to continue working or for up to 500 weeks. If you have not recovered enough to return to work after these 500 weeks, you can file a request for an extension, and your attorney can guide you through this process.

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

Workers’ compensation insurance will typically protect your employer from any civil liability for your damages after an injury at work. However, you could have grounds for civil action if your employer does not have insurance or if they compelled you to perform a task with virtual certainty to cause injury outside of your typical job duties. If you believe you may have grounds for legal recourse against your employer, it is vital to raise these concerns with your Rutherfordton construction injury attorney as soon as possible.

In most cases, injured construction workers cannot sue their employers. However, it is possible to have grounds for a civil suit against a third party if a specific individual outside of your work caused your injury. This could be a vendor, subcontractor, inspector, or even a bystander. If any party outside of your work caused your recent construction accident, your attorney could help you pursue a civil claim against them, seeking compensation for the damages that your workers’ compensation claim can’t cover. For example, if you only receive a portion of your missing income from your disability benefits, a successful third-party suit could enable you to recover the remainder along with compensation for your pain and suffering.

How Workers Compensation Lawyers Can Help

It’s vital to acknowledge the importance of having legal counsel you can trust in the aftermath of a work-related construction accident in Rutherfordton. Your attorney can make every phase of the workers’ compensation claim filing process easier to manage and more likely to yield positive results. If you encounter problems with the claim filing process, your attorney can resolve these issues for you, providing ongoing support until you receive the benefits you are legally entitled to claim.

Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler, can not only provide comprehensive legal support for your workers’ compensation claim but also help file a third-party claim if you have grounds to do so. Our goal for every client we represent in Rutherfordton is maximum recovery, and we can help you explore every avenue of compensation available to you. When it comes to your legal expenses, there is no need to worry about your attorneys’ fees overtaking your recovery with our contingency fee policy. We only take a percentage of the total case award we win for you, and we only take this fee if we win your case. If our firm is unable to secure compensation for your construction injury, there is no fee at all.

Time is a crucial factor to consider in the aftermath of a construction injury in Rutherfordton. While you may have a two-year statute of limitations in which to file your workers’ compensation claim, it is always preferable to file the claim as soon as possible to have the greatest chance of success. Don’t delay in seeking the legal counsel you need to approach your case with confidence. Contact Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler today to make an appointment for a free consultation with a Rutherfordton construction injury attorney you can trust to help you recover as fully as possible.