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Winston-Salem Construction Injury Lawyer

Construction is a very dangerous field for anyone, and construction injuries happen every day throughout North Carolina. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), along with other state and federal agencies, recognize construction as one of the most dangerous industries due to the various hazards construction workers face. It’s one of the costliest industries related to productivity due to the missed days resulting from a workplace injury.

When a construction injury occurs in Winston-Salem, NC, the injured worker should have a firm understanding of their rights under the workers’ compensation laws of North Carolina. Virtually every employer in the state has a legal duty to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This type of insurance can cover some of an injured worker’s losses resulting from an injury at work. It also shields the employer from civil liability for the worker’s damages.

If you or a loved one recently suffered an injury at work in the construction industry, a Winston-Salem construction injury lawyer can be an incredibly helpful asset as you navigate the workers’ compensation claim process and recover from your injury. Depending on the nature of your injury and how it occurred, you could potentially qualify for multiple forms of compensation for your injury. However, you are most likely to secure a successful outcome to any workers’ compensation claim when you have experienced legal counsel assisting you.

M. Reid Acree, Jr. is an experienced Winston-Salem construction injury lawyer who has successfully represented many clients in a wide range of workers’ compensation cases. Trusted legal council is a valuable asset when you must file a complex workers’ compensation claim, especially if you intend to pursue legal action outside of the workers’ compensation system. Our team can provide the guidance and support you need to navigate the legal proceedings following your construction injury.

Why Should I Hire a Winston-Salem Construction Injury Lawyer?

While it is not a strict requirement to hire an attorney for a workers’ compensation claim, having legal counsel on your side can streamline the claim process and enhance your overall recovery. While North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws typically shield employers from civil liability for their employees’ damages, there are exceptions. A construction injury can occur due to the actions of a third party.

Your Winston-Salem construction accident attorney can help you maximize the benefits you receive from your workers’ compensation claim. They may be able to assist you in filing an additional civil claim against the party responsible for your injury. The workers’ compensation claim process is similar to any other type of insurance claim, but many claimants experience various problems with claim processing and their interactions with insurance carriers. Instead of attempting to handle these issues unassisted while recovering from your injury, have an experienced legal team manage your claim proceedings and other legal concerns on your behalf, so you can recover with peace of mind.

M. Reid Acree, Jr. accepts clients on a contingency-fee basis, and North Carolina law dictates attorneys’ fees for workers’ compensation cases. A contingency fee means the client pays nothing upfront for their legal representation and is only responsible for legal fees if their attorney wins their case. The contingency fee is a predetermined percentage of the final case award, ensuring the claimant’s recovery. If you are hesitant about the potential cost of legal fees, consider that you stand to lose much more by refraining from hiring legal counsel.

How Do Construction Injuries Happen?

OSHA and various other agencies and organizations track injury rates across several industries operating throughout the United States. Construction injuries are quite common and occur through several types of accidents. Unfortunately, because construction work can be so dangerous, many incidents result in death.

Some of the most common construction injuries include:

  • Falls. Falls account for the highest number of missed days of work in the construction industry each year. A fall can result in various injuries, from broken bones to soft tissue damage and brain injury.
  • Electrical hazards. Electrocutions and burn injuries are possible in unfinished structures that have live but unshielded electrical systems.
  • Crushing injuries. A crushing injury can occur when a construction worker becomes caught in between surfaces and heavy objects. Machinery can also cause crushing injuries. This type of injury can result in extreme bone fractures, internal injuries, and even amputations.
  • Injuries from blunt force trauma. Falling objects, dropped tools, debris, and other hazards from above can potentially cause devastating traumatic brain injuries, even if the victim is wearing an appropriate hard hat.
  • Vehicle accidents. Construction often requires the use of specialized vehicles, and many construction workers must drive between work sites as part of their job duties.
  • Machinery accidents. When construction workers must use heavy machinery and complex tools to perform their job duties, they could sustain injuries if these machines unexpectedly malfunction.

When a construction injury occurs in any way, the victim should seek medical treatment immediately and report the injury to their supervisor if possible. The injured worker can see any available doctor if they require immediate emergency care, but they should otherwise expect to see a workers’ compensation doctor. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will provide a list of local physicians the injured worker can visit for treatment and examination.

A workers’ compensation doctor will carefully review a worker’s injuries and assign a disability rating based on their severity. This disability rating informs the level of benefits the worker can expect to receive from the insurance carrier. If you must see another doctor immediately after a traumatic injury, you will need to arrange to see a workers’ compensation doctor as soon as you are safely able to do so.

Your Winston-Salem construction injury attorney can help you with completing your claim forms and gathering any evidence you need to provide to the insurance carrier. If the insurance carrier processing your claim requires additional information, your attorney can assist with such subsequent requests. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier then reviews and investigates your claim, and if approved, you will receive benefits according to your employer’s policy.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Provide?

An injured worker can typically expect their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier to cover the cost of any and all medical treatment they require to fully heal from their injury. These medical expenses are likely to include hospital treatment costs, surgery costs, prescription medications, required medical devices, and the cost of any ongoing rehabilitative care the claimant requires.

When the victim of a construction injury is unable to work due to their injury, the insurance company may provide disability benefits. These benefits are paid on a temporary basis in most cases, but severely injured claimants who develop permanent disabilities may qualify to receive permanent disability benefits. Most claimants can expect to receive roughly two-thirds of their average weekly wage in disability benefits. In North Carolina, most workers’ compensation claims are settled with one of four possible arrangements of disability benefits:

  1. Temporary partial disability benefits are paid when an injury does not prevent the victim from working, but it does prevent them from earning as much income as they usually earn. This form of benefits can help to make up the difference in income when an injured worker is forced to take alternative, lower-paying work due to their injury.
  2. Permanent partial disability benefits may be awarded when a claimant will not be able to return to their previous job due to their injury but are able to train for and handle alternative job duties within a reasonable time after recovery.
  3. Temporary total disability benefits are awarded to claimants who cannot work at all until they recover from their injury.
  4. Permanent total disability benefits are only awarded to claimants who cannot work at all in the future due to the severity of their injury. The term “permanent” can often be misleading in these cases as most insurers will only pay ongoing total disability benefits for up to 14 years. Still, there are exceptions, and some insurers may offer lump sum settlements to resolve catastrophic injury claims.

Beyond these workers’ compensation benefits, a construction injury victim may have grounds for a civil action that may enhance their total recovery. For example, if you were injured by a third party while working, you could file a workers’ compensation claim since the injury occurred at work. However, you would also have grounds for a personal injury claim against the third party.

Personal injury claims could potentially allow you to secure compensation for damages that workers’ compensation won’t cover, such as the remainder of your lost income and your pain and suffering. It is also possible to have grounds for legal action against your employer if they do not have workers’ compensation insurance, if they interfere with your claim in any way, or if they intentionally caused your injury.

Find Legal Counsel You Can Trust

An experienced Winston-Salem construction injury attorney can be a tremendous asset after any construction accident, especially one resulting in severe permanent medical complications. M. Reid Acree, Jr. can help you navigate the complex legal issues that are likely to follow your construction injury. Contact M. Reid Acree, Jr. today to schedule a consultation with a reliable Winston-Salem construction injury lawyer.