Common Workplace Accidents
What Are the Most Common Work Accidents?
Some jobs, such as those in the construction industry, can be more dangerous than others, especially when employers neglect industry safety regulations. In fact, the North Carolina Department of Labor says fatalities in construction jobs accounted for 34 percent of the 35 workplace fatalities that occurred in our state in 2017. However, the types of accidents that usually result in workplace injuries and fatalities – falls, being struck by objects, motor vehicle accidents – can happen in any type of job. Fortunately, North Carolina’s workers compensation system provides protection and benefits to many workers in the state. Workers comp benefits include payment of authorized and approved medical expenses and compensation to replace a portion of lost income during recovery or permanent disability. In cases of fatal workplace accidents or illnesses, workers comp may also pay benefits to surviving members of the worker’s immediate family or to those who are dependent on the deceased worker.
At Riddle & Brantley, our North Carolina workplace accident lawyers, including two certified specialists in workers compensation, help injured workers and their families obtain the benefits they deserve. We have experience representing a wide variety of workplace accident claims, from construction accident cases involving immigrant workers to claims for injured cell tower workers. We have also represented injured law enforcement officers and agricultural workers. No matter what kind of work accident caused your injuries, we can try to help.
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Workers compensation is a large and complex state-run program. It has complicated and lengthy laws, regulations, policies and procedures. Employers and insurance companies are familiar with all of those regulations. This makes it easier for them to dispute your claim as a means of saving themselves money. Injured workers who try to file a claim on their own can make mistakes, resulting in the delay or denial of their benefits.
Riddle & Brantley can help you or your loved ones avoid these problems. We have extensive experience with North Carolina’s workers compensation laws. We know how the N.C. Industrial Commission runs this program and we can put our experience to work for you.
What Are Common Workplace Accidents?
Any of the following types of accidents could cause an injury that could qualify you for workers compensation benefits:
- Falls from heights – Construction workers and others in heavy industries often work at elevated heights. Thus, falls are a leading cause of injury among these workers. Still, any worker can sustain injuries after a fall from a ladder, step stool or other device. Falls may lead to broken bones, sprains, and head injuries as well as other potentially serious wounds.
- Falls through openings – Holes in floors, openings in walls, stairways and other similar hazards should be guarded by fences, railings or other barricades. The absence of proper protection, including personal protective equipment necessary for certain situations, can lead to falls and serious injuries.
- Slip and fall accidents – Trips and slip and fall accidents are among the most common causes of injury in any environment. In the workplace, spills, loose equipment, cords, bunched carpeting or rugs, debris and other hazards left in walkways create fall hazards.
- Struck-by accidents – When an injury results from the impact that an object has on a worker’s body, federal OSHA regulators consider it a “struck-by” accident. Workers may be hit and seriously injured by objects that are ejected by power tools or machinery, hoisted by cranes or other lifts, by structures that collapse, and in other ways.
- Falling objects – The most common struck-by accident occurs when something that falls from above and strikes a worker. Common objects that cause these injuries are tools and falling work materials.
- Car/motor vehicle accidents – Workers comp may cover an accident involving a truck, car, forklift, bulldozer, or any vehicle at a job site or while otherwise on the job. Additionally, you may file a workers comp claim after an accident as a driver or a passenger in a motor vehicle as part of your job duties.
- Scaffolding accidents – Scaffolds must be erected properly to provide workers safe access to work locations. They also serve as level and stable working platforms, and storage for materials and equipment. In most scaffolding accidents, either deck planking or a support gives way, causing a fall. Otherwise, an employee may slip or a falling object may cause a struck-by injury.
- Warehouse accidents – Warehouse employees suffer many musculoskeletal injuries from the strain of over-extension and repetition. Additionally, they are also subject to being struck by falling objects or forklifts and similar vehicles.
- Farming accidents – Farm and other agricultural workers may encounter numerous safety, health, environmental, biological, and respiratory hazards. These include vehicle rollovers, heat exposure, falls, musculoskeletal injuries, hazardous equipment, grain bin cave-ins, unsanitary conditions, pesticides, and more.
- Willful misconduct by employer – Numerous federal and state regulations address the steps employers must take to ensure workplace safety. These include provisions for training, equipping and supervising their employees. Employers who skirt the law or ignore regulations to save time or money can be held liable and made to pay penalties to the injured worker when this recklessness leads to accidents and injury or death.
Contact Our Attorneys for More Information
If you have lost time from work due to an injury suffered in a workplace accident in North Carolina, then you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Our North Carolina workplace accident attorneys can help you obtain a fair settlement. This may include compensation for your medical expenses and lost income. In some cases, there may be opportunities to obtain compensation beyond workers’ comp benefits. For example, you might have grounds for a lawsuit if your injury resulted from an accident caused by a third party.
Riddle & Brantley has extensive experience representing injured employees who are seeking workers compensation through the North Carolina system. Firm partner Chris Brantley is board-certified as a workers comp specialist.
Speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer at Riddle & Brantley today for a free consultation about your options for pursuing a workers compensation claim. We have several locations in North Carolina, including Raleigh & Jacksonville available time.