Several years ago, the Center for Construction Research and Training conducted a study of national work injury statistics. The organization concluded that a construction worker faces a 75 percent chance of suffering a disabling injury over the course of a 45-year career. As Safety and Health Magazine reports, the study also found that construction workers have a 1-in-200 chance of suffering a fatal injury.
If you are a construction worker in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, you should be aware of the very real risk of injury that you face every day that you are on the job. You should also know what to do in case you get hurt in a construction accident. Here are a few basic steps that you should follow:
- Immediately report your injury to your employer.
In North Carolina, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days after a workplace accident happens. If you fail to report it, then your employer (or its insurer) can deny your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You should give notice in writing, if possible, or use a form that your employer provides to you. Keep a copy of your notice.
- Get medical attention right away.
If emergency responders do not take you to the hospital, then go on your own and get checked out as early as possible. For the sake of your health, you want to make sure that a doctor diagnoses and starts treatment of your injuries. For the sake of your benefits or other legal claims, you want to ensure that you get documentation of your injuries.
- Get names and contact information of witnesses.
If any co-workers or other bystanders saw the accident happen, do your best to get their names and contact information before they leave the scene. Witnesses could play an important role in your claim for workers’ comp benefits or a personal injury claim as you move forward.
- Keep track of your medical bills and other accident-related expenses.
Our law firm suggests that you keep copies of all of your medical bills, receipts of other accident-related expenses and other documents such as an accident report or letters from your employer or its insurance company. Use a folder or a box and keep it in a safe place.
- Hold on to the clothes you wore and equipment you used.
Many construction workers tear their clothing or damage their equipment in an accident. These items can serve as evidence of how your accident happened. Keep them in the same condition they were in at the time of the accident. Do not wash your clothes or repair the equipment.
- Call a lawyer today.
The North Carolina worker’s compensation system is supposed to be non-adversarial. Still, employers and their insurance carriers frequently deny claims and force workers to take legal action in order to recover the medical, lost wage and other benefits they deserve. So, the sooner you contact an attorney, the better off you will be in the long run.
The attorney will protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits and explore all of your other options. For instance, you may be able to pursue a third-party liability claim against another contractor or sub-contractor at the construction site whose negligence caused your accident and injuries.
At Warren & Kallianos, PLLC, we are results-driven and dedicated to helping injured construction workers to pursue the benefits and all other compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one suffered injury at a construction site in North Carolina, contact us today to talk about your case in a free consultation.