Durham Construction Accident Lawyer
If you recently became ill or suffered an injury while working in construction, you could be entitled to workers compensation benefits that can support you in your time of need. Get in touch with a qualified Durham construction accident attorney who can help you get your claim approved.
When you work in the construction industry, your risk of injury or illness is high. Working with heavy equipment and around toxic substances increases your chance of becoming injured or sick. Construction is considered one of the most hazardous industries you can work in.
Because the risk of injury is high, many who work in construction find themselves unable to work and in need of workers compensation benefits. If that’s the case for you, reach out to an experienced Durham construction accident lawyer at Ricci Law Firm, PA.
We can help you obtain the workers compensation benefits you deserve as quickly as possible. When you have to take time off of work but still have a household to support, there isn’t time to waste, so give us a call.
You Are Entitled to Workers Compensation
When your work environment is directly responsible for the injury or illness you suffer, your employer’s workers compensation insurance policy should kick in and provide benefits to you. If you are unable to work during your recovery, you’ll need workman’s comp benefits to supplement your income until you are able to get back on the job.
Any employer who has three or more employees in the state of North Carolina is required to provide workers comp coverage to employees from the moment they begin working. Liability, how long you’ve worked with the company, and how many hours you work each week are all irrelevant.
As long as your injury happened at work or because of the conditions of your position, the insurance company will need to provide you with workers comp benefits. However, neither the insurance company nor your employer is going to be happy to compensate you. The insurer will lose money, and your employers may see their insurance premiums go up.
This is why we often see insurance adjusters denying claims to even the most deserving injured construction workers in Durham. A denied claim would be valid if you were committing a crime, violating your company’s code of conduct, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury.
Outside of those scenarios, a denial isn’t likely to be justifiable. Unfortunately, you may be one of the deserving claimants who sees his or her claim denied for seemingly no reason. If that’s the case, a Durham construction injury lawyer can assess your case and show you the way forward.
What You Can Use Your Work Comp Benefits For
If your claim for workers comp benefits has been approved, you will receive approximately 66 percent of your average weekly earnings to replace the income that you are unable to earn while you are out of work. This weekly benefit can be used however you like, although many claimants continue to pay household expenses like the mortgage, phone bills, utility bills, or groceries.
North Carolina does not expect work comp claimants to cover their own medical expenses when they’re injured at work. The insurance company will cover all healthcare expenses that pertain to your construction-related illness or injury. Some of these might include the cost of prescription medications, ambulance fees, physical therapy, transportation costs, hospital bills, and copays.
Workers comp insurance will also provide job training and education to employees who will not be able to return to their former positions due to the injuries they suffered.
Benefits will also cover the costs of a funeral and burial if an employee passes away due to a work injury or illness. The insurance company will provide the surviving spouse and dependent children with cash benefits to help replace the lost income, as well.
Because construction-related injuries are serious, most or all of the above benefits are usually necessary. A construction accident attorney in Durham can help you make sure you get all the workman’s comp benefits you need and deserve.
A Denial Isn’t the End for Your Claim
We discussed valid reasons why your claim might be denied, but there are also wrongful denials issued every day. Some common reasons why workers compensation insurance companies would wrongfully deny a claim include the following:
- They claim you are exaggerating the extent of your injuries.
- They suggest that your medical records don’t support your claims about your injuries.
- They claim there were errors in your paperwork.
- They suggest that you failed to disclose a pre-existing condition that relates to your injuries or illness.
By simply correcting any issues with your claim, providing additional medical documentation, submitting to an independent medical exam (IME), or discussing the insurance adjuster’s concerns, a Durham construction work comp lawyer will likely be able to get your denied claim approved.
In the event that the insurance company remains rigid in its decision to deny your claim, we may request a hearing in front of the North Carolina Industrial Commission. The commission will independently review your claim to determine whether it should be approved.
Filing a Civil Suit for a Durham Construction Accident
The purpose of filing a civil lawsuit outside of the workers compensation system is to ensure that all of your losses are accounted for.
Although your medical expenses will be covered in their entirety, workers comp does not provide benefits for a third of your lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, or the loss of love and companionship, among other damages.
These types of economic and non-economic damages often have a significant impact on your life and should be considered. However, you’ll only be able to file a personal injury claim for a Durham construction accident under very specific circumstances.
To file a personal injury claim against the person or group that caused the construction accident that left you injured, your claim will need to fall under one of these circumstances:
- Your employers did not carry workers compensation insurance.
- Someone working on the construction site intentionally harmed you.
- A third party other than your employer caused the accident through negligence.
If you’re unsure of which route to take or whether you can file a civil claim at all, reach out to a Durham construction injury attorney at our firm for insight and guidance.
Durham Construction Accident FAQ
Below, we have answered some of the most commonly asked questions about workers comp claims that involve construction accidents. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm directly.
Will I have to submit to an IME?
You are not legally obligated to submit to an IME (independent medical exam). However, when the insurance company or your employer question your claim, agreeing to be assessed by a physician may be the only way to convince them that your construction injuries are legitimate.
What is an occupational disease?
When you become ill due to the conditions of your work environment, your condition would be considered an occupational illness. For instance, if you are routinely exposed to toxic gases through the work you do in the construction industry and are diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), this condition would likely qualify as a compensable occupational disease.
Can I receive workers comp if I am permanently disabled?
Yes, you can. You’ll be able to collect workers compensation benefits until you reach the maximum number of weeks allowed, based on the severity of your injuries and what part of your body has been affected. Once you reach this time limit, you may begin collecting disability benefits that will replace your workman’s comp benefits.
Call a Durham Construction Accident Attorney
You already have a difficult recovery ahead. Having to take time off of work will financially impact you, but with the assistance of an experienced lawyer at Ricci Law Firm, PA, you can obtain the workman’s comp benefits you’re entitled to.
There’s no time to waste. Take advantage of a free claim evaluation with a Durham construction accident lawyer by completing the quick contact form at the bottom of this page or calling our office at 252-752-7785.