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landscape workerLandscaping, or planting and maintaining the grounds of property using hand tools and power equipment, is a dangerous industry. Landscape workers face potential injury from exposure to strenuous and repetitive work, dangerous tools, toxic chemicals, noise, and weather-related hazards.

Businesses in North Carolina with three or more employees are required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to protect landscaping employees who are injured on the job. Landscapers who are employees of landscaping businesses, office buildings, apartment complexes, shopping malls, hotels, and local governments should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance if they are injured on the job. Their medical bills, a portion of their weekly wages, and other costs arising from their workplace injuries should be paid as they recover, regardless of who was at fault for their injuries.

If you have been injured while employed as a landscaper in North Carolina and you are out of work and not being paid a partial wage each week, the workers’ comp lawyers at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., in Raleigh, N.C., are available to assist you. Even if you are in the U.S. illegally, you still have a right to workers’ compensation for work-related injuries.

Why Do Landscape Workers Need Worker’s Compensation

Landscape workers have physically demanding jobs that involve planting and maintaining shrubs, plants, and trees, landscape gardening, and caring for lawns and grounds. They work in many weather conditions. They use power tools with sharp blades. Work-related injuries are common among employees at landscape companies and landscaping services. If they are injured on the job and unable to work, they need wage replacement benefits and coverage of their medical expenses.

However, because many landscape workers are immigrants, some employers believe they can deny injured landscapers the workers’ comp benefits they have a legal right to receive. Many workers who are injured on the job, regardless of background, have little familiarity with workers’ compensation rules and regulations and are denied the benefits they need.

Our legal team is bilingual (English/Spanish) and committed to helping injured landscapers and/or their families seek all of the benefits they deserve after on-the-job injuries. Partner Attorney Joseph Baznik, whose grandparents immigrated from Mexico, speaks Spanish fluently. Contact our law firm today. We offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options and charge nothing at all if we do not recover money for you.

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Why Choose Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks as Your Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

The legal team at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., includes Chip Younce, David E. Vtipil, Joseph Baznik, and Ross Weatherspoon. Chip and David are board-certified specialists in N.C. workers’ compensation law. David has also been included in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of workers’ compensation law and named to the nation’s Top 100 Injured Workers’ Attorneys.

The workers’ compensation attorneys of Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., have helped numerous landscape workers pursue compensation to help them recover from debilitating injuries suffered while at work. If you are worried about your employer retaliating against you for seeking the benefits you are due, we are ready to stand by you and protect you. Workers’ compensation is your right if you have been injured on the job.

We can investigate your workplace injury, handle the paperwork required to file a claim; and apply our knowledge, skills, and experience to pursue your full workers’ compensation benefits. If your claim has already been denied, we will discuss with you a hearing before the N.C. Industrial Commission, which oversees North Carolina’s workers’ compensation system and hears disputed claims.

Landscapers who are not covered by workers’ compensation may have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit if they have been injured due to someone else’s disregard for safety. An injured landscape worker has certain legal rights regardless of his or her immigration status. Our attorneys can help you understand and exercise your rights.

At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, our law firm provides each client with personal attention, including making sure you have proper medical care. Our state-of-the-art case tracking system ensures that no client’s needs are overlooked. We can pursue workers’ compensation benefits for you. We do not charge a fee unless we recover money for you.

Expenses that Can Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation

If you have been injured or become ill while employed full-time or part-time as a landscape worker and performing work duties, you may be eligible for workers’ comp benefits.

Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance coverage. You have a right to workers’ compensation benefits even if you made a mistake that caused your injury or illness – unless you were engaged in illegal activity or were intoxicated.

Once you are disabled as defined by workers’ compensation law for more than seven days, you are entitled to workers’ compensation that:

  • Pays you about two-thirds of your average weekly wages earned before you were injured or became ill.

In addition, once the claim is deemed compensable, workers’ compensation pays all medical bills for authorized and related treatment.  This includes everything from emergency care or your first doctor visit to rehabilitation therapy if you need it.

Workers’ compensation is meant to help injured workers obtain medical care, recover, and return to work. If you cannot return to landscaping or similar work because of your injury, workers’ compensation may pay for new training to help you.

As an injured employee, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation wage-replacement payments for up to 500 weeks if you are deemed permanently disabled and cannot return to work.

If a landscaper has died from an occupational injury or illness, workers’ compensation pays a death benefit to the worker’s spouse and/or dependent children. A death benefit lasts at least 500 weeks. A minor child receives benefits until the age of 18, even if that is more than 500 weeks.

How Much Does Workers’ Comp Insurance Cost for Landscapers?

Businesses in North Carolina with three or more employees are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical care of full—and part-time employees who sustain injuries on the job and provides wage replacement benefits for those who experience lost wages.

Landscapers employed by landscaping businesses that have a workers’ compensation policy should receive workers’ compensation coverage as a benefit of employment. It doesn’t cost anything to the landscape business employee.

Common Landscaping Injuries

There are numerous ways a landscaper may be injured on the job. Some are common to other jobs requiring physical labor:

  • Slips, trips, and falls leading to broken bones, lower-back injuries, traumatic brain injury
  • Strains, sprains, and other soft tissue overexertion injuries from lifting, pulling, digging, bending, stooping, kneeling, awkward postures, repetitive motions
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Electrical burns, shock, and electrocution
  • Blunt-force trauma from contact with objects or equipment, including falling objects.

Landscaping also carries a risk of:

  • Cuts and amputations due to contact with mowers and other cutting machinery
  • Hearing loss from prolonged exposure to loud equipment noise, such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers
  • Broken bones, internal organ injuries, suffocation in excavation cave-ins
  • Respiratory damage from exposure to pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides
  • Poisoning and eye damage from contact with pesticides and other toxic chemicals
  • Weather-related heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, and lightning strikes.

North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Laws for Landscaping Businesses

If you are injured on the job or are diagnosed with an occupational illness, you need to notify your supervisor immediately and get medical care. When you see a doctor, tell the doctor that you were injured while on the job or that you think your working conditions have caused your illness. After seeing a doctor, notify your supervisor in writing with as many details as possible about what happened and the doctor’s diagnosis, including orders not to return to landscaping work until you have recovered.

After an injury suffered on the job has caused you to be out of work for seven days, you qualify for workers’ compensation if you are deemed disabled as defined by N.C.’s workers’ compensation law and should notify your employer. If your employer responds properly and files a claim on your behalf, the workers’ comp insurance company should start sending you wage-replacement payments within a week or so. You should not have to pay any doctor’s bill connected to an occupational injury or illness.

If your employer or their insurer doesn’t promptly file a workers’ compensation claim for you, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss the proper steps to take. An attorney can help you file a Form 18 Notice of Accident (or Form 18B for lung diseases) with the N.C. Industrial Commission and send a copy to your employer’s personnel director or human resources department. This will initiate your workers’ compensation claim.

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Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Specialists for Help

The Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys of Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., can advise you and stand up for your rights if you or a loved one has been injured while working as a landscaper in North Carolina. It will cost you nothing to discuss a potential workers’ compensation benefits claim with one of our experienced attorneys.

Call us at 919-661-9000 or contact us online for a free claim review and advice about your legal options to seek workers’ comp coverage after suffering a work-related injury. We understand your challenges and will provide you with dedicated legal services and the personal care and attention you deserve. Our dedicated and knowledgeable attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., want to help. We have many years of experience fighting for the rights of injured clients, including immigrant workers.

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