Many people working in Monroe, NC, and throughout the surrounding region face various safety risks at work each day. Fields such as construction, transportation, distribution, and warehousing logistics require heavy machinery. Factories, refineries, and other manufacturing centers often have specialized machines designed for production. The results can be devastating when heavy equipment malfunctions or when someone in the workplace uses it incorrectly. Heavy machinery accidents are likely to cause catastrophic injuries, many of which will entail some level of long-term or permanent damage.
If you or a loved one recently sustained any type of heavy machinery injury, a Monroe heavy machinery accident attorney is the very best asset to have with you as you seek compensation for your damages. If any other party bears fault for your injury, you have the right to hold them accountable. If your injury happened at work, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim to help you recover, and you could have grounds for further legal action outside the workers’ compensation system.
Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler offers comprehensive legal representation to clients in the Monroe, NC, area struggling in the aftermath of heavy equipment injuries. When these accidents occur, victims typically require immediate emergency medical attention followed by extensive recovery time. Therefore, it is crucial for anyone in this situation to know their rights and their most viable options for legal recourse to ensure accountability for their damages.
Heavy machinery accidents are most common in specific workplaces. For example, the construction industry is statistically the most dangerous in terms of annual workplace accidents. When construction or work of any kind requires heavy equipment, anyone who must handle said equipment could face several daily risks while performing their job duties. If a heavy equipment accident happens, the victim will likely need legal assistance to file a workers’ compensation claim.
North Carolina requires almost every employer in the state to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This coverage comes into play whenever a policyholder’s employee sustains an injury at work or while performing work-related duties outside the workplace. Workers’ compensation insurance covers most workplace injuries in North Carolina. However, an insurance carrier may deny coverage if an investigation reveals the claimant caused their own injury because of recklessness, egregious negligence, or a violation of workplace safety rules. For example, if a heavy equipment injury occurs because the operator was under the influence of alcohol at work, they would not only likely face a denial of their workers’ compensation claim but may also have few to no other options for claiming compensation for their injury.
An experienced Monroe heavy machinery accident lawyer is the ideal resource for anyone who is unsure how to proceed after a workplace injury. If you pick Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler as your counsel in a complex heavy machinery accident claim, you can expect personalized legal counsel and ongoing support as your case unfolds. Whether you simply need assistance with the workers’ compensation claim system or if you believe your case will involve more extensive proceedings, we can help.
If you sustained any type of heavy equipment injury at work, you should immediately report the incident to your supervisor. In most cases, heavy machinery accidents are severe enough that victims require emergency medical care. For example, an injured worker in North Carolina can see any doctor for treatment in an emergency, but filing a workers’ compensation claim will require a formal medical examination from an approved workers’ compensation insurance doctor.
When you visit a workers’ compensation doctor following a heavy equipment injury, they will assess the severity of your injury and determine what long-term complications you are likely to face. They use this information to determine your disability rating, a numerical value assigned to the severity of your condition. For example, a claimant who suffered a catastrophic injury certain to cause permanent damage will have a higher disability rating than a claimant who is expected to recover fully.
Your Monroe heavy machinery accident attorney can help you with the filing of your claim, including obtaining any supporting documents you must submit to the insurance carrier. In addition, your team of attorneys will assist you in your interactions with the insurance company, ensuring the company processes your claim in good faith and offers a reasonable settlement.
North Carolina enforces very strict workers’ compensation laws compared to other states, and almost every employer in Monroe, NC, must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This coverage can provide two benefits to injured workers — medical expense compensation and ongoing disability benefits while they cannot work because of their injuries.
Ongoing disability benefits for a heavy machinery injury can be awarded in four possible ways:
When an injured worker qualifies for ongoing disability benefits, they usually receive about two-thirds of the average weekly earnings in weekly benefits. So, for example, if an injured worker usually earns about $2,000 per week, their benefits could be as much as $1,500 per week until they can return to work.
Your Monroe heavy machinery accident lawyer will guide you through the workers’ compensation claim process until you reach a suitable result. In addition, if you encounter any controversies with the insurance carrier, your attorney can address these issues and help you reach a suitable conclusion to your case.
Some injured workers can secure suitable recoveries for their heavy equipment injuries through workers’ compensation claims, while others face extensive damages that workers’ compensation does not cover. In these situations, injured workers need to know whether they can pursue alternative legal recourse to obtain the compensation they need to recover.
The workers’ compensation system aims to help injured workers recover while providing employers with immunity from liability. In most cases, an injured employee cannot start a civil suit against their employer for a workplace injury. However, this rule does not apply if the employer does not have appropriate workers’ compensation insurance coverage as required by state law, if the employer directly and intentionally interferes with the injured worker’s claim, or if the employer deliberately caused the injury in some way.
If a third party caused your recent heavy machinery accident, you could have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim against the third party. Since your injury occurred while you were working, you have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and could secure coverage of your medical expenses and a portion of your lost income. Alternatively, if you must file a personal injury case as a standalone civil action, your attorney will be an invaluable asset for building your claim and reaching a suitable result.
Success with any personal injury case in North Carolina requires accurate identification of the defendant responsible for causing your injury, a complete list of all the damages their actions inflicted on you, and proof of a causal connection between their improper behavior and your damages. In other words, you must prove that your claimed damages are solely the result of the defendant’s actions and not any other cause.
In a personal injury case, the plaintiff has the right to request compensation for any economic losses they suffered due to the defendant’s actions. If they could secure some compensation for these losses with a workers’ compensation claim, they could include any outstanding damages in their personal injury suit. However, North Carolina personal injury plaintiffs must understand the state’s contributory negligence law. If a plaintiff bears any partial fault for claimed damages, they lose the right to ask for compensation for their damages.
Workers’ compensation is typically the best initial option for any injured worker in Monroe. Their successful claim can compensate them for all the medical expenses they incur from their injury and a significant portion of their lost income. However, a personal injury claim or a third-party liability claim filed in tandem with a workers’ compensation claim can offer a more expansive recovery.
In North Carolina, the plaintiff in a personal injury case has the right to seek full compensation for all economic losses caused by a defendant. These typically include medical expenses, ongoing medical treatment costs, lost wages beyond what workers’ compensation can offer, and property losses. Plaintiffs may also seek compensation for their pain and suffering. A Monroe heavy machinery accident lawyer will help their client determine a fair amount based on their injury’s severity.
An experienced Monroe heavy machinery accident attorney could help their client assess the full range of damages they could seek if another party caused their injury. However, if the incident occurred at work, it is generally best for the injured worker to pursue a workers’ compensation claim, if possible, before proceeding with a personal injury claim.
Many people who sustain injuries from heavy equipment face very long and difficult recoveries. In addition, some of the injuries heavy equipment can cause entail long-term or permanent harm, including disabilities. Some of the most commonly reported injuries from heavy machinery accidents in North Carolina are:
Some machinery accidents cause multiple injuries, and victims may not know how to enhance their recoveries beyond what workers’ compensation insurance can offer. Therefore, if you have legal questions after a workplace injury, it’s vital to consult a Monroe heavy machinery accident lawyer as soon as possible to discern your best options for legal recourse.
Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler believes in client-focused and compassionate legal representation for every client we represent. We will take the time to learn as much as possible about your claim and help you make informed decisions about your case. If unexpected variables arise as your case unfolds, we will help you address them effectively. If you must file a workers’ compensation claim and a civil suit against the party responsible for your injury, you can rely on us to provide ongoing guidance through both sets of proceedings.
The sooner you secure legal counsel you can trust, the sooner your team of attorneys can start helping you build your case. To discuss your options with a Monroe heavy machinery accident attorney, contact us today and schedule your consultation.
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