Common Injuries for Factory Workers in North Carolina
In North Carolina and across the country, workers in the manufacturing and production industry face hazardous work environments. These risks are faced by those whose work includes manufacturing and packaging food, clothing and other products; making cars and other types of vehicles; pressing metal and forging steel; milling grain or oilseed; and processing meat (significantly, in our state, pork and poultry products).
If you or a loved one was hurt or killed as a while working in a factory, you may have a legal right to obtain workers compensation benefits and compensation. This is true either if you were injured in a sudden industrial accident or if your injury developed over time as a result of the repetitive stress placed on your body.
North Carolina law allows you to obtain benefits in order to make sure a work injury doesn’t prevent you from making a living. However, you will need the experience of a lawyer to protect your rights and seek the compensation that you deserve.
To learn more, contact the law firm Hardison & Cochran. Our legal team is dedicated to helping workers throughout our state to recover compensation for injuries and illnesses they suffer from their work.
Types of Injuries Among Factory Workers
The assembly line at a factory is a dangerous place. It presents many hazards for workers. Although individuals in different types of manufacturing environments perform different tasks, the risks they face are very similar across the entire manufacturing sector. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has outlined some of these risks, including:
- Overexertion – Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) result from overexertion. They are a very common type of injury among workers because the nature of the work requires the body to have extensive stamina and because the work requires physical tasks, such as lifting.
- Repetitive motion – Some injuries result from working at factories doing the same movement over and over. When you do the same thing with your body time and again, this can cause the soft tissues to start to wear out and wear down. When these tissues are damaged or provide less cushioning, you may experience significant pain and a host of other health problems.
- Body movement injuries – Many injuries occur because the worker is constantly bending, crawling, twisting and reaching.
- Transportation incidents – A significant number of factory worker injuries are attributed to transportation incidents, including those that occur on forklifts.
- Exposure to harmful substances in the environment – Inhaling or coming into contact with hazardous chemicals is a threat faced by many factory employees.
- Contact with objects and equipment – Workers may become severely injured, including crushing injuries and the loss of limbs, as a result of being ensnared in dangerous equipment.
- Fires and explosions – Fires can become even deadlier when they spread to flammable and highly combustible materials located within a manufacturing plant.
Factory workers may also suffer injuries as a result of slip and falls, malfunctioning machinery, falling objects, exposure to high temperatures, overturned equipment and falling objects.
Common injuries that can occur in factories as a result of these and other causes may include:
- Amputation injuries from getting caught in machines
- Musculoskeletal disorders due to overexertion or repetitive motions
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones
- Illnesses due to toxic exposure
- Spinal cord injuries resulting from falls or machinery malfunctions
- Skin disorders
- Respiratory problems
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss.
The consequences of these injuries can be devastating to a factory worker. Not only will he or she need medical care, but the injury may prevent the worker from being able to return to work and earn a living.
Options Available for Injured Factory Workers
A factory worker who is hurt in North Carolina may be able to get his or her bills, costs and losses covered. There are two potential legal avenues that an injured worker can pursue, including:
Recognizing the financial devastation that a work injury could cause, lawmakers in North Carolina passed workers’ compensation legislation to ensure that an injured employee always received compensation if he or she was injured on the job.
Workers’ compensation laws prevent employees from suing their employers for on-the-job injuries. Instead, employers are required to buy workers’ compensation policies for their employees. Whenever a work injury occurs for any reason that is directly related to work – regardless of whether the employer or the employee was negligent – workers’ compensation provides benefits.
These benefits can cover medical costs as well as lost wages due to partial or total, temporary or permanent disability. If an employee is killed while performing work, then workers’ compensation will cover the death benefits paid out to dependents.
Although workers’ compensation protects workers and guarantees that they have the money they need to cover medical expenses and pay their bills, it does not allow a worker to obtain certain types of compensation traditionally available in a personal injury claim, such as for pain and suffering.
Because of the limitations, some workers are interested in pursuing third-party personal injury lawsuits. These workers compensation claims can be brought if any non-employer was responsible for causing the work injury. For example, if a factory worker was hurt when a machine malfunctioned on the assembly line, the manufacturer of that machine might be responsible if there was a defect in it that caused the industrial accident to occur.
Third-party claims can be filed in conjunction with and separate from workers’ compensation claims. To be successful, however, you’ll need to show that the defendant was unreasonably careless (negligent) or that the defendant violated some legal duty, like the obligation to make a safe product.
Our Work Injury Attorneys Are Ready to Help Injured Factory Workers
Getting hurt at work is frightening, and obtaining workers compensation benefits and compensation after the fact can be a daunting experience. It is always advisable to have a lawyer looking out for your interests and handling your industrial accident claim after you or a loved one was injured on the job.
At the law firm Hardison & Cochran, our attorneys provide comprehensive legal services to injured factory workers and others throughout North Carolina. Our goal is to ensure you get the full workers compensation benefits available to you after your injury. Some of the different ways that we can assist you with your workers compensation claim include:
- Evaluating your case to determine your rights under workers’ compensation and personal injury liability laws.
- Assembling evidence during the claim process and presenting it to help you obtain and maximize benefits.
- Proving your case so you can obtain workers’ compensation benefits and/or be successful in a third-party claim.
- Negotiating with the workers’ compensation insurer on your behalf and settling claims.
- Fighting for full benefits if there are disputes over necessary medical treatment, ability to return to work or other issues.
These are just some of the many different ways that our North Carolina factory worker injury lawyers work to help clients who were hurt at work. To learn more about how we can assist you with your claim, call the law firm Hardison & Cochran at (800) 434-8399 or take a moment to complete our online contact form. We will respond within 24 hours. We can set up a free case review and get to work on helping you right away.
- Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities in Food Manufacturing, Bureau of Labor Statistics