Construction sites are among the most dangerous job environments in the country. Unfortunately, accidents at these sites can lead to serious injuries and, in the worst cases, death. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a construction accident, it is important to reach out to a Raleigh construction accident lawyer who can help. At Maurer Law, our workers’ compensation lawyers understand that each case is different, which is why we are committed to providing personalized attention to each and every one of our clients.Risks Posed by Construction Environments
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, about one-fifth of the nationwide workplace deaths occur in the construction industry. The four leading causes of death within the construction industry are falls, being struck by objects, electrocutions, and being caught between equipment, objects, or collapsing structures. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 150 fatal work injuries in North Carolina in 2015. The private construction industry had the highest number of fatalities, accounting for 20 percent of the total workplace deaths in the state.
Construction is a high-risk industry, which is why construction companies and third parties have a duty to their workers to follow safety regulations and take measures to keep workplaces as safe as possible. Some common causes of construction accidents include:
- Heavy falling objects;
- Chemical burns;
- Slippery surfaces, causing slip and fall accidents;
- Construction equipment and scattered debris, causing trip and fall accidents;
- Electrocution or electrical burns;
- Falls from heights;
- Machinery malfunctions;
- Failures to adhere to safety regulations; or
- Improperly or insufficiently trained heavy equipment operators.
Most injuries that occur while a person is doing construction work are covered by North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system. A construction accident attorney in Raleigh can explain how this system functions. Essentially, workers’ compensation designates specific benefits, such as medical expenses and lost income, to employees in the event that they are injured on the job. After a workplace injury, a worker must file their workers’ compensation claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. In most cases, this claim must be filed within two years, although an injured worker should provide notice to the employer right away. The Industrial Commission will review the claim and decide whether an injury or illness is covered by workers’ compensation and, if it is, which specific benefits are owed to the worker.
Workers’ compensation is an injured worker’s “exclusive remedy” against their employer, which means that they cannot sue the employer for an on-the-job injury. One corollary to this rule, however, is if a third party caused your injury. For example, if an accident was caused by a faulty piece of equipment, you may be able to sue the equipment manufacturer for damages. A lawsuit against the manufacturer would be a personal injury claim, rather than a workers’ compensation claim. As a result, a worker filing a personal injury claim against a third party can potentially recover damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress, losses that are not covered by workers’ compensation. The workers’ compensation system is limited to more objectively quantifiable forms of benefits, like lost wages and the costs of treatment.Discuss Your Situation with a Construction Accident Lawyer in Raleigh
A construction accident can have devastating consequences for a worker’s life. If you have been injured while working at a construction job, you should consult an attorney who can assess the merits of your case. At Maurer Law, we are committed to helping North Carolina workers pursue the compensation and benefits that they deserve for their harm, and we can help you as well. Our Raleigh construction accident attorneys understand how to handle these cases efficiently and effectively. We also assist injured workers in Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, and Fayetteville, among other communities. To discuss your case in more detail, call us at 919-229-8359 or contact us online. Our firm also can help you if you have been hurt in a car accident on the job or another workplace incident.