Raleigh Construction Accident Lawyers
Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the world. Construction workers regularly put themselves at risk of serious injuries when working from scaffolds, on ladders, around heavy machinery, with power tools, and with electrical components. You might need legal assistance if you or a loved one has suffered injuries while working in construction. Riddle & Brantley can help you get the most out of a workers’ compensation claim, third-party claim, and/or a claim against a negligent employer in Raleigh, North Carolina. Contact us today.
When to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Almost all construction workers in North Carolina fall under the scope of workers’ compensation coverage. The type of injury or accident does not matter. North Carolina workers’ comp provides benefits to injured construction workers with no questions asked in most scenarios. If the following statements apply to your recent construction accident, you can most likely file a workers’ compensation claim:
- You were on the clock or performing work-related tasks at the time of your accident.
- You suffered a personal injury or illness referred to as occupational disease.
- You did not intentionally or recklessly cause your injuries.
- Your employer has at least three employees.
- You reported your workplace accident to your employer within 30 days.
If you said yes to all five of these stipulations, you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim in North Carolina. You will first need to file Form 18, the Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, with your employer. If your employer doesn’t file this form for you, you can take it straight to the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Then, contact a lawyer for assistance.
Do You Have Grounds for a Third-Party Lawsuit?
Injured construction workers may have compensation opportunities outside of the state’s workers’ comp system. Some of the most common construction-related accidents deal with the negligence of a party other than the employer (a third party). For example, if a dangerous or defective lift malfunctioned and resulted in a fatal fall, the employee’s family might have grounds to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer as well as a workers’ compensation claim for death benefits.
North Carolina laws permit injured employees to seek recovery through both the workers’ compensation system and a third-party lawsuit if a third party caused or contributed to the accident. It is in the worker’s best interests to file both types of claims since he or she could potentially recover twice (or more) the amount of compensation compared to a workers’ comp claim alone. Discuss your particular case with our lawyers to find out your rights to a third-party claim.
Claims Against Your Employer
Workers’ compensation delivers benefits without the employee having to prove negligence, but it comes at a price: an injured employee gives up the option to file a lawsuit against the employer when he/she accepts a workers’ compensation settlement. Consider whether or not this is the best option in your case if you believe your employer could have prevented your injuries or a loved one’s death.
For example, an employer could be liable if he or she didn’t properly train employees to build safe scaffolds. In this case, the accident could be the employer’s fault, thus exposing the employer to a potential personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit will generally result in better compensation than workers’ comp, since it reimburses the workers’ full lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. However, North Carolina law does not presently allow for a claim against the employer for negligence unless the employer’s actions were almost equivalent to intentional or grossly reckless conduct. Our attorneys have handled a few of these claims in the past and they are complex.
Riddle & Brantley is Here to Help
It’s important to contact a Raleigh injury attorney after a construction accident. Riddle & Brantley can go over your case and help you understand which legal option is best for you. Contact us online today for more information.