A construction site is an incredibly dangerous place to be a bystander, and it has significantly more dangers for employees who work on the site for many hours a day. Working in construction is one of the most dangerous occupations and includes working with hazardous materials, dangerous machinery, and construction vehicles. If you’ve been injured at a construction site, you can benefit from retaining a Charlotte construction accident lawyer.
Construction accidents can result in severe and catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, amputations, and spine and spinal cord injuries. These severe injuries require a lot of medical care and recovery time. An individual may be unable to return to work for a long period of time or may be unable to return to work at all.
Construction accidents also have a high likelihood of fatality, and surviving family members deserve compensation during this difficult time. A personal injury or workers’ compensation claim may provide the individual or their family members with the compensation they need.
Unfortunately, when you are recovering from catastrophic injuries and dealing with immense pain and recovery, it can be overwhelming to manage a civil or workers’ claim. This is also true when family members have lost a loved one. During this difficult time, it can be helpful to work with a Charlotte construction accident lawyer who can handle a claim on your behalf, guide you through the legal process, and get you the financial stability you need.
When you or a loved one has suffered from a construction accident, it can be overwhelming and emotionally and physically painful. You and your family may be suffering from financial strain as you receive expensive medical treatment and suffer a major loss of income. A claim is essential to managing these financial damages, but it isn’t always easy to deal with this issue while in pain and recovering. Even more frustrating is the knowledge that these claims need to be filed quickly.
The attorneys at Bridgman Gantt want to review, investigate, and calculate your claim for you. We manage important deadlines, insurance negotiations, and other legal requirements so that you can focus on recovery. We know how frustrating this situation can be for individuals and families. We want to fight for your compensation to ease your stress and give you the financial support you need.
Our attorneys can help you determine whether you should file a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim and begin planning accordingly to build a strong case. We listen carefully to your unique needs and accident circumstances to effectively tailor our legal services to those needs.
Whether you are an employee or another individual injured on a construction worksite, there are several steps you should take to protect your health and your right to file a claim.
Employees injured on the job have the right to file for workers’ compensation, regardless of the cause of the accident, through the workers’ compensation insurance system. Bystanders or non-employees may also be able to obtain compensation if another party was at fault for the accident by filing a personal injury claim. However, there are situations where an employee may be able to file a personal injury claim, and it is important to understand how these claims differ.
In most situations, a workers’ compensation claim is an employee’s only method of obtaining compensation. In a workers’ compensation claim, there does not have to be an at-fault party. An employee, in some cases, may even be partially responsible for their own injury and still file for workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation claims exist to protect both employers and employees. Employers are protected from personal civil liability. This is why it is rare that an employee can file a personal injury claim against their employer.
A workers’ compensation claim can cover medical bills and a portion of the employee’s lost income while they recover. However, unlike personal injury claims, a workers’ compensation claim will not provide for non-economic damages such as physical pain or emotional distress.
Most companies in the state are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. An employee can file a workers’ compensation claim with the insurance held by their employer if their injury is work-related. This includes injuries from sudden worksite accidents and developmental injuries or illnesses.
A non-employee may file a personal injury claim against an at-fault party if they are injured on a construction site. Non-employees may include bystanders, sub-contractors, visiting parties, and sometimes independent contractors. An at-fault party may include the construction company, a product manufacturer, or other party.
A party is at fault when they have acted carelessly, recklessly, or negligently, and those actions resulted in the individual’s injuries or other damages. Fault must be present to file a personal injury claim. If no one is at fault, no one can be held legally liable for damages, and the claim will be unsuccessful.
There are very specific situations where an employee may file a personal injury claim in addition to or instead of a workers’ compensation claim.
One cause may be that a third party is liable for the accident. This may occur if an employee is driving a construction vehicle while they are clocked in and are in a car accident that is not their fault. In that situation, they may file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer and a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver or other party.
A third party may also be at fault if the injury was caused by a defective product or machine or if a subcontractor who is not an employee was at fault for the accident.
If an employee is injured in the workplace, and their employer does not have the workers’ compensation insurance they should, the employee can find compensation through a personal injury claim.
Another unique situation that would allow an employee to file a personal injury claim against their employer is if their employer is found to be malicious or willfully negligent in their actions. If an employer’s willful or criminal negligence caused the accident and injury, the employee may file a personal injury claim. This situation may also allow for punitive damages.
Construction accidents frequently cause severe and potentially fatal injuries. These dangers are much more likely to impact employees, particularly when safety regulations are lax or there is improper supervision. Common injuries include:
Depending on the accident, these injuries can have varying levels of severity. They are often catastrophic and leave the injured party with long-term or permanent disabilities. A traumatic accident and injuries can additionally result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. It’s essential to obtain compensation for the current and long-term medical needs and financial burden of these injuries.
A sudden accident on a construction site can happen for many reasons and cause injuries to multiple employees and third-party individuals. Some of the most common reasons for construction accidents in Charlotte, NC include:
Employees work at great heights frequently, operating tall construction vehicles, standing on roofs, scaling ladders or scaffolding, or working on roofs. Even a second-floor fall can cause significant injuries. There may be insufficient safety railings, hazards on surfaces, or unstable ground.
If an object on a higher level is unsecured, it can fall on individuals and cause serious head injuries, even with proper protective gear. Building materials, tools, timber, steel beams, and debris can fall from upper floors, off construction equipment, or into trenches.
If equipment or scaffolding is improperly constructed or maintained, it can collapse, harming employees on the structure and bystanders under or near it. The construction build itself may also be unstable, whether it was unsafe before construction began or was made unstable. When the property itself is unsafe, a property owner, architect, or supervisor for the project may be held liable.
Heavy and potentially dangerous machines are necessary for construction work, including cranes, drills, pile drivers, and other machines. If used incorrectly or operated negligently, these machines can cause serious injury. Accidents can also occur if proper training or safety features are not provided by employers.
Heavy machinery accidents can also happen due to malfunction. In some cases, this malfunction can be attributed to the negligence or failure of a manufacturer, designer, or distributor of the machine or component that malfunctioned.
Construction vehicles are necessary for transporting employees and materials both onsite and offsite. These vehicles can get into accidents if negligently operated, like any other motor vehicle. Vehicles like bulldozers, forklifts, and garbage trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, which can lead to more damage and more severe injuries.
Employees must move and work with heavy building materials each day. If these materials are not properly secured, or an employee is unable to hold them, these materials can cause broken bones and crushing injuries. Employees may also be injured by sudden sprains and strains from carrying heavy materials.
Construction sites need lots of electricity on sites that may often not have an electrical setup. This can frequently lead to faulty wiring and other electrical dangers. This can lead to electrocution, sparks, and electrical fires. Employees may also work on power lines and work with electrical equipment. This can also cause electrocution.
Most chemical exposure injuries are long-term conditions from inhaling or being in contact with toxic materials. Certain chemicals and hazardous materials are dangerous even under short-term exposure and could cause chemical burns or similar injuries.
If employers do not train their employees to handle these materials with care and/or do not provide employees with personal protective gear, employees can be severely injured. An employer may be considered willfully negligent for these actions.
Certain construction sites require employees to dig out and work in trenches. If improperly constructed or made in unstable soil, these trenches can collapse, causing severe crushing injuries and fatalities. Trenches can also flood, causing collapse or otherwise making the trench unsafe for employees.
Explosions can be caused by several hazards, including bad wiring, flammable chemicals, gas leaks, and electrical sparks. An explosion on a construction site can hurt many people, causing burns, scarring, loss of limbs, and deaths.
Employees frequently suffer from work-related injuries and conditions that are not from sudden accidents on the worksite. Long-term exposure to certain materials and repetitive motion can cause other injuries and occupational illnesses. These conditions may be caused by:
Construction sites see many potentially toxic chemicals, such as engine fuel, paints, stains, and varnishes. Exposure to these materials over time can cause conditions like cancer and respiratory illnesses. This is more likely if proper protective gear and/or ventilation are not provided when working with these chemicals.
Repetitive motion injuries occur when employees repeat the same motions constantly, such as in assembly-line arrangements or consistently lifting heavy items. Repetitive motion injuries cause tissue, tendon, and nerve damage over time. If employees are not able to rest these injuries, they only worsen.
Construction sites frequently have dust, debris, and dirt in the air from the location and construction work. Trenches are even more likely to have this issue. If employers do not ensure proper safety or protection, employees can develop occupational illnesses like respiratory conditions.
Developmental workplace illnesses can cause serious damage to employees, but it can sometimes be hard to prove that the injury occurred in the workplace. A workers’ compensation insurance provider may attempt to claim the illness was present before employment and the condition wasn’t worsened by the employee’s work. An experienced attorney can handle a proper investigation to prove a developmental condition was workplace-related.
A construction accident lawyer is incredibly beneficial to any claim and improves the chances that you will receive the most compensation possible for the claim. An attorney can help you by:
An attorney can advocate for your needs in negotiation and represent you in litigation if a fair settlement can’t be reached.
A workers’ compensation claim should cover certain damages an employee suffered in their accident or from their developmental illness. These damages include:
Medical costs may include hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, surgery, rehabilitative care, physical therapy, medical devices, prescription drugs, mobility aids, and medical modifications to your home or vehicle.
This rating impacts the compensation you will receive. Permanent disability benefits are also usually ⅔ your weekly wage and are provided to make up for lost future income and lost earning capacity.
Personal injury claims have slightly different damages than are available in a workers’ compensation claim. Like a workers’ comp claim, the damages earned in a claim directly reflect the damages suffered in an accident. These compensable damages could include:
There are additional damages available in personal injury claims that may not be available in workers’ comp claims. However, personal injury claims tend to take longer to resolve and require an at-fault party. An attorney can help you determine what claim is ideal for your situation.
When you are injured in a construction accident, it’s essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Bridgman Gantt want to guide you through your claim process. We provide effective and caring legal representation during your difficult time. Contact our team today.
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