When you go to work, you expect to perform your duties for the day without harming your health. Unfortunately, accidents often happen in the workplace. In fact, 4,585 workers across the U.S. died on the job in 2013 – or 12 deaths each workday. One out of five deaths involved construction accidents. More than 917,000 workers suffered injuries that prevented them from working for some length of time.
A workplace injury can have difficult consequences, from physical recovery to the potential of financial losses. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed. However, the Raleigh workers’ compensation attorneys at Hardison & Cochran are here to assist you with the process to secure all of the benefits you deserve.
If you or someone you love has suffered a workplace injury or occupational disease that kept them from working in North Carolina, call Hardison & Cochran today toll-free at (800) 434-8399 or fill out our online contact form. You’ll get a response within 24 hours. Your initial consultation is always free.
North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act
The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act is a state program that is designed to compensate employees for work-related injuries and families who lose a loved one in a workplace accident. The program is set up as insurance that’s meant to cover a worker’s total medical costs and a portion of any lost income. The North Carolina Department of Labor conducted investigations of 40 workplace fatalities in the fiscal year 2014, although the actual number of workplace fatalities is higher because the agency’s data excludes independent contractors.
The most common type of workplace accidents causing fatal injuries in North Carolina were:
Free Worker’s Compensation Book
Worker’s compensation is a “no fault” system. This means you usually don’t have to show that your employer did anything wrong. You simply have to prove you were injured while working. However, employers and insurance companies sometimes try to pay less than what a claim is actually worth or wrongfully deny a valid claim. North Carolina’s no-fault system means you just need to provide evidence that you were hurt while working.
Even if the injury was accidentally caused by you, your employer, a co-worker, dangerous chemicals, or a defective product, you could be entitled to benefits. That’s because the workers compensation claim process is centered on providing compensation for legitimate, serious workplace injuries – not prosecuting potential offenders.
Common North Carolina Workplace Accidents and Injuries
The Liberty Mutual Insurance Company compiles an annual Workplace Safety Index of serious, non-fatal workplace injuries. The Index is based on workers’ compensation insurance claims from across the country and on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the National Academy of Social Insurance.
The 10 most frequent causes of disabling workplace injuries in the 2014 Workplace Safety Index were:
- Overexertion (from lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying and/or throwing)
- Falls on the same level
- Falls to a lower level
- Bodily reaction injuries (caused by bending, reaching, climbing, standing, sitting)
- Being struck by object (such as something falling from above)
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Being caught in or compressed by machinery or objects
- Being struck against objects (including walking into or being pushed into doors or walls)
- Repetitive motion injuries (i.e., repeated stress or strain)
- Slipping and/or tripping without falling.
Common workplace accidents that our Raleigh workers’ compensation lawyers assist with might be caused by:
- Lack of gear for protecting the head, eyes, ears, torso, feet, etc.
- Collapsed scaffolding (falls and being struck against objects)
- Unsafe tools or machinery
- Insufficient illumination
- Improper ventilation or lack of respiratory equipment
- Lack of proper training
- Other unsafe practices or OSHA violations.
Common Raleigh workplace injuries from these types of accidents include:
- Lacerations (cuts)
- Electrical shock
- Impact injuries (bruises, concussions, bone fractures, joint dislocations, spinal injuries, etc.).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of days that injured workers are away from work is eight days. Significantly, more than a fourth of workers who are injured on the job are out of work for 31 days or longer.