When an employee suffers an injury on a construction site, worker’s compensation may initially appear to be the only option available. However, in many cases, a construction accident is the result of the negligence of a third party – not the worker’s employer. When an entity other than the employee’s own company is to blame, it may be possible to file a third-party claim to pursue compensation for the associated damages — in addition to the workers’ compensation claim.
At Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC, our lawyers focus on helping injured victims of negligent acts pursue the compensation they need to allow for full recoveries and financial security. We have been helping residents in Hickory and surrounding areas in western North Carolina recover fair compensation after an accident for more than two decades.
Construction is inherently dangerous in many ways. Every day, construction workers must perform their job duties on unfinished structures with few to no safety features seen in finished buildings. This may include unfinished stairwells, exposed electrical systems, and numerous falling risks.
North Carolina upholds some of the strictest workers’ compensation laws in the US, but filing a workers’ compensation claim is more complicated than many claimants initially realize. Additionally, construction is a heavily regulated industry, and construction employers must follow stringent rules for every job site they manage. Therefore, if a construction injury happens because of regulatory noncompliance, unreasonably dangerous working conditions, or intentional misconduct, the injured worker may face more challenging legal issues than a workers’ compensation claim alone.
Helton, Cody & Associates can provide the comprehensive legal counsel an injured construction worker needs in this challenging situation. Our team has the experience and knowledge to guide our clients through the most challenging workers’ compensation claims. We can also help clients maximize their recovery by helping them explore recovery options outside of the workers’ compensation system. As a result, you are not only more likely to succeed with a workers’ compensation claim with the help of a Hickory construction accident lawyer but will also have access to the legal counsel you need if you face a particularly complex case outside of the workers’ compensation system.
Generally, workers from more than one company are present on construction sites at the same time, including contractors and subcontractors. When these types of workers cause a serious accident, others can suffer injuries, which then open the door to a claim for compensation.When a worker is injured on the job because of the negligence of someone who is not their employer, the injured worker can pursue a third-party personal injury claim. In addition to negligent workers, equipment manufacturers can also be held liable for construction accidents such as those caused by a defective machine design.
If your construction injury occurred due to the negligence of someone on your worksite, you likely have grounds for both a workers’ compensation claim through your employer and a civil claim against the party who caused your injury. Workers’ compensation generally offers medical expense coverage and disability benefits when a victim cannot work for an extended time. The victim’s personal injury claim can potentially help them recover damages that workers’ compensation doesn’t cover.
Your Hickory construction accident attorney can assist you with the various legal proceedings you will likely face after an injury on a construction site. They will help you complete your claim forms, settle any discrepancies with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, and assist you in building a third-party personal injury claim if necessary. Additionally, a good lawyer can help you shield your third-party claim recovery from the workers’ compensation insurance carrier if they attempt to claim a portion of this case award.
Filing a third-party claim may not be an easy process for most, which is why you may need to speak with an attorney who has experience handling third-party personal injury claims as well as workers’ compensation claims. At Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC, we have more than 20 years of experience helping injured workers take the necessary steps to recover damages after suffering a work-related injury.
Third-party claims related to construction accidents are personal injury claims. To succeed with this type of civil claim, the plaintiff must identify the party responsible for their injury, prove their actions directly caused the plaintiff’s claimed damages, and prove their damages are not the results of some other issue. A third-party claim can focus on the defendant’s negligence or failure to exercise reasonable care, or it may revolve around proving intentional misconduct resulted in the plaintiff’s damages. If a party intentionally harmed the plaintiff, the at-fault party could face criminal charges and civil liability for the victim’s damages.
You can potentially recover a substantial amount of compensation when filing both a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party claim related to your construction accident. Workers’ compensation in North Carolina will typically cover all your medical treatment costs. This includes immediate emergency care expenses and any ongoing medical costs you incur for necessary restorative treatment and management of your symptoms. Workers’ compensation can also award disability benefits, which typically function on a “total” or “partial” basis and may be awarded temporarily or permanently:
A third-party personal injury claim can allow you to recover the other damages you incurred that are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. For example, if you qualify for disability benefits from workers’ compensation, your employer’s insurance carrier will pay a percentage of your average weekly wage, but these benefits may not fully cover the total amount of your lost income resulting from your construction injury. You can seek the remainder of your lost wages through your third-party claim. Additionally, workers’ compensation will not compensate you for your pain and suffering, so you can seek compensation for your non-economic damages in your third-party personal injury claim.
North Carolina’s contributory negligence law is one important factor to consider if you believe you have grounds to file a third-party personal injury claim. If you caused your workplace injury, you would still likely qualify for benefits. However, if you plan to file a personal injury claim against a third party, you would be barred from recovery if you bear any fault for causing your claimed damages. If you are unsure whether contributory negligence plays any role in your pending case, it’s vital to consult a Hickory construction accident attorney as soon as possible.
The right construction accident attorney on your side can make a tremendous difference in the quality of your overall recovery from a construction accident injury in Hickory, NC. Instead of attempting to manage your recovery and handling all your legal proceedings unassisted, you can have your attorney manage your legal affairs while you focus on your recovery. Helton, Cody & Associates has extensive experience guiding clients through complex construction accident claims, and we can assist you in navigating your case. Our goal is to maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible under North Carolina law.
To take advantage of our experience and knowledge, schedule a free initial consultation online or by calling our office located off of Interstate 40, next to Lenoir-Rhyne University. Call 828-328-9966 or toll-free 888-321-0494 to schedule an appointment today.