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Asheville Construction Accident Lawyer

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Construction work is one of the most dangerous workplace environments in the state. Accidents can occur on construction worksites from machine and equipment malfunctions, safety violations, slips and falls, improperly secured scaffolding, and many other hazards. You need compensation to make it through the recovery process, and an Asheville construction accident lawyer can help you attain it.

These injuries can cause fatalities, long-term medical rehabilitation, or prevent an employee from ever returning to work. These damages should be compensated, either for the employee or for their surviving family members.

These claims typically are filed as workers’ compensation claims. However, there are some cases where employees can instead file a personal injury claim against their employer or a third party. Bystanders or non-employees who were injured on construction sites through no fault of their own may also be able to file personal injury claims against a construction site employer, property owner, or manufacturer.

Filing a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim while you are grieving the loss of a loved one or healing from significant injuries can be difficult. This is much easier with a qualified Asheville construction accident lawyer leading you through the process.

Project Your Rights After a Construction Accident

Construction site accidents often cause severe and painful injuries, such as head trauma, broken bones, and exposure to toxic materials. You should take time following your injury to rest and recover. By working with a skilled attorney, you can rest, and your attorney can devote their resources and time to investigating the accident, gathering essential evidence, and calculating the extent of damages available to you in a workers’ comp or personal injury claim.

At Bridgman Gantt Law Offices, we want to help you through this difficult time by managing legal deadlines, filing requirements, and working to get the compensation you deserve. When you work with our team, you increase the chances that your claim will succeed.

We have significant resources that we use in your interests and have experience negotiating with insurance providers on behalf of injured employees and other individuals. We take the time to fully understand the unique complexities of your construction accident case. Our attorneys work to give you the guidance you need during this difficult time.

Filing a Personal Injury or Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Construction Accident

As an employee injured on a construction site, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and/or a workers’ compensation claim. This depends on the unique circumstances of the injury and who was at fault for the accident. It’s important to understand the difference between these types of claims.

Workers’ Compensation Claims

A workers’ compensation claim doesn’t require anyone to be at fault for the accident. Any non-exempt employee can file with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance system. Nearly all businesses in North Carolina are required to have workers’ compensation insurance.

An injured employee can recover damages for an injury sustained over time or suddenly if the injury is work-related. A workers’ compensation claim can cover medical bills and a portion of lost income but not non-economic damages like a personal injury claim.

For most employees injured on the job, a workers’ compensation claim is their only avenue to cover their damages. The purpose of the workers’ compensation system is to protect employers from legal liability when their employees are injured and to protect injured employees by providing them with the compensation they need to remain financially stable.

There are only some cases when an injured employee can file a personal injury claim against a third party. It is also rare that an employee can file a personal injury claim against their employer.

Workers’ compensation laws in North Carolina cover most employees, including seasonal, part-time, and undocumented employees.

Personal Injury Claims

A personal injury claim can be filed by a non-employee who is injured on a construction site when another party is at fault for the accident. A non-employee may include a bystander or another individual visiting the construction site. Unlike a workers’ compensation claim, it matters who was at fault.

If no one was at fault for the accident, a personal injury claim is unlikely to be successful. Safety guideline negligence, failure of a company to train their employees, or a manufacturer malfunction may be reasons to hold certain parties at fault in a personal injury claim. These claims require significant investigation into the accident.

Employees could file a personal injury claim in addition to or in place of a workers’ compensation claim in unique circumstances. If a third party is responsible for the accident, the employee could file a personal injury claim against that party as well as file for workers’ compensation with their employer.

This may be necessary if there was a workplace car accident involving at-fault non-employees, if the injury was the result of seller or manufacturer negligence, or if an injury was caused by another construction company’s employee.

An employee may also be able to file a personal injury claim against their employer if the employer was criminally or willfully negligent and malicious. This is rare and often hard to prove. An employee may benefit from filing a personal injury claim in this situation because they could receive pain and suffering damages, other non-economic damages, full compensation for lost wages, and maybe even punitive damages.

Should I File a Workers’ Comp or Personal Injury Claim?

If you are an employee and there is cause to file a personal injury claim, it can be complicated to determine what to do. Your attorney can help you determine whether a personal injury claim or workers’ compensation claim is more beneficial for your unique situation.

Although there are several monetary benefits to filing a personal injury claim, it often takes longer to prove and resolve, which may cost more in the long run. Workers’ compensation claims tend to be resolved more quickly, especially if you have a skilled attorney negotiating on your behalf.

Your attorney can also determine if you can file both a personal injury third-party claim and a workers’ compensation claim. They can also help you determine how to maximize the benefits of both these claims. The final settlement in a personal injury claim would be impacted by the amount awarded in a workers’ compensation claim. However, if you have suffered damages that are not covered by your workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury claim may be worthwhile.

How Can a Construction Accident Attorney Help My Claim?

A construction accident is often severe and painful and can cause long-term pain and suffering. You should take the time after your injury to properly heal. Unfortunately, personal injury and workers’ compensation claims should be filed as soon as possible after your accident or the discovery of an illness.

This is when an attorney is a useful ally. By working with an experienced construction accident attorney, you can be confident that your claim or claims are handled while you rest.

Your attorney can determine whether a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim is appropriate for your unique situation and calculate the damages you deserve for that claim. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider and any other parties for your personal injury claim. This may include property owners, product or machine manufacturers, or another subcontractor or contracting business onsite.

Your attorney can investigate the event of the accident and injury or the potential cause of a developmental illness. Medical documentation, safety guidelines for your worksite, and recommended precautions are all important evidence to support a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim.

If you are filing a personal injury claim, your attorney can use this information to prove fault. An attorney provides you with the greatest chance at a successful claim that maximizes the monetary compensation you earn.

Common Causes of Construction Job Site Accidents

Employees and bystanders can be hurt in many ways on the job site. Sudden accident or injury can result from:

  • Falls. Falls off of scaffolding, ladders, roofs, and floors can result in serious injuries such as broken bones and brain injuries. Falls may be caused by a lack of safety railings, unstable flooring, uneven ground, or spills of liquid or debris.
  • Falling debris. Materials can fall off of higher levels, off of trucks, or into trenches if it is not secure. Falling tools, beams, timber, and other worksite debris can cause serious injuries and death.
  • Machine accidents. Construction sites use a lot of heavy and dangerous machinery, such as cranes, forklifts, drills, pile drivers, and saws. Serious accidents can occur if these machines are not correctly manufactured, safety features are ignored, operators are not properly trained, or operators become negligent.

Heavy machinery can cause crushing accidents, severe electrocutions or lacerations, and other injuries. Crane accidents often result in falling debris that is fatal.

  • Vehicle accidents. Construction sites use many types of motor vehicles, including employee vehicles, forklifts, bulldozers, excavators, garbage trucks, and pavers. These vehicles can cause injuries on a construction site from improper operation and crashes. Construction vehicles can also be in accidents with other individuals offsite while on the road.
  • Dangerous scaffolding. If scaffolding on construction worksites isn’t properly built, secured, and maintained, it can become incredibly dangerous. Falling scaffolding can be incredibly dangerous to those using the scaffolding, and it can also harm those below the scaffolding.
  • Structural issues. There are many parties who may be at fault if a structure collapses, including the architect, property owner, construction material manufacturers, or construction company. These accidents can cause severe injuries and death to anyone onsite.
  • Heavy construction materials. Employees frequently work with very heavy materials during their daily work. Employees can suffer sudden strains and sprains from lifting too much. These materials can also cause crushing injuries.
  • Faulty wiring. Improper electricity wiring in construction sites can cause electrocution. They may even cause sparks and electrical fires that cause burns.
  • Chemical exposure. Some chemicals are so hazardous that even short-term exposure can cause serious health risks like chemical burns. Employees should be trained to work with these chemicals safely and provided with the proper protective gear. If they are not, serious injury can occur.
  • Unstable trenches. Trenches are necessary for some construction site work. If these trenches are badly made or created in unstable ground, they could collapse. Trenches can also flood, which can be dangerous, as well as lead to trench collapse. Collapsed trenches can result in crushing injuries and suffocation.
  • Explosions. Faulty electrical wiring, electrical sparks, flammable chemicals or materials, and gas leaks can all result in explosions on a construction site. Explosions can cause scarring, disfigurement, loss of limbs, burn injuries, and fatalities.

Employees can also suffer from occupational illness and repetitive injuries over a long period of time while working. A developmental illness or injury can be caused by:

  • Chemical exposure. Dangerous and toxic chemicals used on a construction site, like paints, varnishes, and stains, can cause harm to employees over a long period of time. This is more likely if proper ventilation or protective gear isn’t provided. Chemical exposure can cause respiratory illnesses, cancer, and other illnesses.
  • Repetitive motion injuries. Employees can get soft tissue and nerve damage from repetitive motions. Lifting heavy objects can cause strain on muscles over time. Any repeated motion done in the same way can cause tendon and nerve damage. These injuries can be worsened without sufficient rest.
  • Dust and dirt inhalation. Significant construction debris dust may be present on a site, particularly in trenches. Without proper ventilation or protective gear, employees can develop respiratory illnesses from breathing in these substances.

Each accident and resulting claim is going to be unique. A personal injury claim for a sudden accident requires an investigation into the cause of the accident to determine what party can be held at fault. A workers’ compensation claim for a similar accident does not require proven fault, but a developmental illness may require investigation to prove it was caused at the workplace.

Bridgman Gantt Can Provide the Resources Your Claim Needs

If you wait too long after a workplace accident or other construction accident, you may lose the essential evidence necessary to prove your claim. Work with an experienced attorney at Bridgman Gantt as soon as possible to use this evidence and meet legal deadlines for filing your claim.

Our attorneys provide you with individualized and compassionate legal support during this difficult time. Contact our team today before beginning your claims process to see how we can help.

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