Common Work Accidents
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., help individuals who have been injured on the job obtain the workers’ compensation benefits that are provided by law under North Carolina’s workers’ compensation insurance program.
A workplace injury or work-related illness can disrupt a worker’s life, limit future earning capacity and drastically alter the standard of living of the worker’s family. Most businesses in North Carolina are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide benefits to full- and part-time employees who sustain injuries or develop a work-related disease. Workers’ compensation insurance typically covers all medical costs related to a workplace injury or illness, reimburses a portion of lost wages while the injured worker is temporarily disabled, and provides specific payments for disabling and disfiguring injuries or for a work-related death.
At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., our experienced Raleigh workplace injury lawyers are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation for injured workers throughout the Triangle area. If your employer is disputing your right to workers’ compensation benefits, contact us today for a free review of your workers’ compensation claim. We’ll answer your questions and discuss whether filing a workers’ compensation appeal is right for you.
Workplace Accidents in North Carolina
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), North Carolina private industry employers reported more than 71,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2016. There were 183 fatal work injuries in North Carolina in 2017, the BLS says.
Some jobs and industries are known as particularly dangerous. Here are some occupations in which workers frequently report on-the-job injuries:
- Construction Accidents. Construction work involves the use of heavy machinery and power tools, which can cause construction workers to suffer serious injuries. Construction work is often done on ladders, scaffolds, and other elevated surfaces that expose workers to fall hazards. Workers in deep trenches that are not stabilized properly may be buried by trench collapses. Some construction workers are exposed to hazards from electrical currents, caustic chemicals, and open flame or other heat sources that can cause burn injuries.
- Healthcare Worker and Nursing Injuries. Healthcare workers, particularly nurses and nurses’ aids, routinely face overexertion injuries related to lifting and moving patients. The next most common events leading to workplace injuries and illnesses in hospitals and other healthcare settings are slips, trips, and falls. Needlestick injuries are a common job hazard for healthcare workers and hospital workers and pose the risk of disease transmission. In psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, healthcare workers also run a greater risk of physical assaults and violence perpetrated by patients.
- Industrial Accidents. Workers are commonly injured in industrial accidents due to contact with energized machinery, defective equipment, unsafe work conditions, and other workers’ actions. Injuries may be due to a machine’s unsafe mechanical design; improper machine guarding or broken safety guards; electrical shocks, caustic chemicals, forklift accidents; or materials that fall onto workers.
- Restaurant Worker Injuries. Restaurant work can lead to burn or scald injuries from stoves, ovens, dishwashers, or other appliances. They may sustain strain injuries from moving tables or carrying heavy trays, and slip and falls injuries on wet or cluttered floors. Some food delivery workers are exposed to workplace violence, including robbery, and/or auto accidents while delivering food.
- Mechanic Injuries. Mechanics often suffer strain injuries caused by overexertion while lifting tires and wheels and other automotive parts. Mechanics may suffer burns from contact with hot surfaces in running engines. They can suffer serious or fatal crush injuries if a lift falls or a car falls off a lift or jack. They may be injured by being struck by or against vehicles, engine parts, and tools or caught in equipment or machinery. Mechanics in garages and brake shops may develop serious respiratory disease including mesothelioma, a form of cancer, from exposure to airborne asbestos particles from brake pads, clutches, and other friction parts.
- Asbestos Exposure. Asbestos is a natural mineral that has been used as fire-resistant insulation in industrial and mechanical equipment, building materials, automotive parts, and consumer products. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma or similar lung cancers if the asbestos fiber has been inhaled or ingested. Workers employed in shipyards, utilities, manufacturing plants, auto garages, and other industrial settings may develop mesothelioma decades after their exposure to asbestos.
- Farming / Agriculture Injuries. Farmworkers are exposed to numerous safety, health, environmental, biological, and respiratory hazards. These include hazards related to musculoskeletal injuries caused by physical overexertion; weather-related exposure; contact with hazardous chemicals, such as pesticides; entrapment in grain bins and silos; crushing and entrapment injuries from farming equipment; and falls from ladders, roofs, and tall machinery. Some farmworkers at large agricultural operations are covered by workers’ compensation, but many smaller agricultural operations are not required to provide workers’ compensation in North Carolina.
- Work Zone Injuries. Highway work zones are hazardous for motorists who encounter unfamiliar stretches of road filled with signs, barrels, and lane changes, and for roadworkers who must work in close proximity to moving vehicles. Typically work zone accidents are automotive accidents, such as collisions or workers being struck by vehicles. Highway work zones also pose all the hazards of construction sites. A driver injured in a motor vehicle accident while traveling for work may be eligible for workers’ compensation.
- Trucking Injuries. In addition to motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks, truck drivers who must load or unload the goods they transport often suffer strains and sprains from reaching, lifting, and carrying loads. Other common injuries among truckers include strains and back injuries from hitching or unhitching trailers; trauma from falls while climbing on or off of trailers or loading docks and crush injuries if unsecured cargo falls on a driver.
- Retail Worker Injuries. Retail workers are often injured due to overexertion from lifting items that are too heavy or too bulky; tripping, slipping, and falling on the floor; getting hit by falling boxes; doing repetitive tasks that put a strain on the body, and using cutting tools such as box cutters and knives. Retail workers are also exposed to acts of violence committed by customers.
- Mining Injuries. Hazards in the mining industry include the use of heavy equipment and explosives, either of which can malfunction and cause direct injury to those in close proximity, as well as indirect injury through such incidents as cave-ins, floods, release and ignition of natural gases, and release of toxic gases that lead to asphyxiation. Flooding, wall collapse, cave-ins, rock falls, gas releases, etc., can also occur naturally in a mine.
If you are an employee working in North Carolina, any injury you suffer from a workplace accident may be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. To be sure that you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled, we suggest a free legal conference with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys.
Common Workplace Injuries
A worker who has suffered an injury or illness while on the job becomes eligible for workers’ compensation benefits once the injury has caused them to miss a week of work. The longer a worker is out of work and under medical care, the more expensive a claim is for the workers’ comp insurance carrier and the employer whose premiums rise. The likely cost of an injury is usually the reason a workers’ comp claim is disputed.
Workplace injuries and illnesses that may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits from your employer or their insurance carrier include:
- Back Injuries
- Broken Bones (Fractures)
- Burn Injuries (including chemical, electrical, and radiation burns)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other Repetitive Motion Injuries
- Crush Injuries
- De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
- Degenerative Disc / Joint Disease
- Disfiguring Injuries
- Head and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Musculoskeletal Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Nerve Injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Respiratory Disease
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries (Paralysis)
- Strains and Sprains
- Vision Loss.
This is not an exhaustive list of job-related illnesses or injuries that may be covered by workers’ compensation. We urge you to contact the Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., for a free review of the workers’ compensation benefits you may claim due to occupational injury or illness.
How Can A Raleigh Workplace Injury Lawyer Help Me?
If your injury or illness is work-related, you may have a right to workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, obtaining workers’ comp benefits is not always as straightforward as reporting your injury to your employer and getting the name of a doctor to treat you.
Employers and their workers’ compensation insurance administrators often question valid claims, especially if the injury was not reported at the time it occurred. Some employers wrongly try to classify workers as independent contractors to avoid providing workers’ compensation.
Our attorneys have extensive experience navigating North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system. We can put our knowledge and skills to work for you as we pursue the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
An attorney from Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., can help you:
- Compile medical records and other documents to show the cause and extent of your injury or illness and how it is related to your job duties
- File a claim with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which oversees the state’s workers’ compensation program
- Petition to change the doctor overseeing your claim if it fits your needs better and the insurance company has previously denied your request
- Determine whether a workers’ comp settlement is appropriate, including how the terms of the settlement may affect your receipt of future benefits
- Appeal a workers’ compensation decision if your initial application for benefits has been denied or you were not awarded full benefits
At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., our Raleigh workers’ comp lawyers are dedicated to providing personalized legal representation to each client we serve. We will do all the legwork for your workers’ compensation claim. We want you to be able to focus on dealing with your injury.
Contact Our Raleigh Workers’ Compensation Law Firm Today
If your injury or illness occurred while you were engaged in assigned job duties and it prevents you from working or limits the type of work you are able to do, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Our North Carolina board-certified workers’ compensation attorneys understand how to appeal a denied claim or improper settlement. We urge you to talk to our dedicated Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers.