When Should I Contact a Construction Accident Attorney?
Injuries on construction sites can range in severity from a sprain or strain to catastrophic trauma. Tragically, it is not uncommon for workers to be killed as a result of injuries suffered in construction accidents.
Both workers who have been hurt and families who have lost a loved one who was working construction may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for their losses. Depending on the circumstances, additional damages may be recoverable as well.
However, without a lawyer, it is often difficult to protect your rights and seek the full compensation you deserve. A North Carolina construction accident attorney at Whitley Law Firm can build a strong case on your behalf and pursue recovery for the damages you and your family have sustained.
Do I Really Need a Lawyer After a Construction Accident?
Many construction workers are under the impression that an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will cover their injuries in the event of an accident. Generally, this is true. North Carolina law requires most businesses with three or more employees to carry insurance for workers’ compensation.
However, workers’ compensation only covers certain losses related to a construction accident. Some damages are only covered in part or not covered at all by workers’ comp benefits. Furthermore, qualifying for benefits is not automatic. And, in the event that your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance and/or another party is liable for your injuries, you may need to file additional claims.
For all of these reasons, you should contact a construction accident attorney as soon as possible if you have been hurt on the job. Seeking legal counsel promptly is the best way to explore the full extent of your options and protect your right to compensation.
Why You Should Speak to a Construction Accident Attorney ASAP
The aftermath of a construction accident is overwhelming. Serious injuries can be painful and debilitating, requiring lengthy recovery. Your injuries may impact your ability to work, creating financial hardships for you and your family. Catastrophic injuries sustained in a construction accident can lead to long-term impairments that permanently alter multiple areas of your life.
No one should have to face these challenges alone. Unfortunately, without legal representation, many construction workers have to contend with the burdens of an on-the-job injury as well as the difficulties of taking legal action by themselves.
In the following situations, it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side:
- Your workers’ comp claim is denied or your benefits are underpaid. Employers and their insurance carriers may dispute a worker’s claim for benefits and/or argue that the accident was not work-related. A construction accident attorney can help you appeal an adverse decision, act on your behalf at hearings and mediation conferences, and more.
- You suspect another party may be at fault for the accident. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. If you are injured at work, you generally forfeit the right to sue your employer. However, other parties may be liable for your injuries if negligence was a factor, with potential claims including:
- Premises liability claims, if the owner of the property failed to maintain safe conditions
- Product liability claims; manufacturers and other parties may be liable for injuries caused by a defective product, such as a ladder, power tool, scaffolding, heavy equipment, and more
- Auto accident claims for collisions caused by careless drivers in construction zones
- If your employer does not have the legally mandated workers’ compensation insurance or qualify for self-insurance, you may be able to recover damages through a personal injury claim.
- It is unclear how the accident occurred. The circumstances of a construction accident may play a role in your ability to recover workers’ compensation benefits and/or personal injury damages. Your attorney can thoroughly investigate the accident on your behalf. Compelling evidence such as photographs, witness statements, and more can support your right to workers’ comp as well as claims of negligence against one or more third parties.
Employers and insurers alike are more concerned about the bottom line than the health and safety of workers. If you have been injured or you lost a loved one in a construction accident, a knowledgeable attorney can help you not only with the legal aspects of your claim but provide much-needed support and peace of mind as you try to recover.
How Long Do I Have to Sue for a Construction Accident?
Workers who are hurt on the job are required to provide written notification of the accident to their employer within 30 days. You have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in North Carolina is three years, while wrongful death claims are subject to a two-year time limit.
Regardless of the circumstances of the construction accident, it is important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Construction accident claims take time to build, and you do not want to lose your opportunity to recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact a North Carolina Construction Accident Attorney Today
When you are looking for a lawyer after a construction accident, experience counts. Founding partner Bob Whitley has been handling construction accident claims for more than 40 years, and the attorneys at our firm have achieved significant results on behalf of injured construction workers.
Clients of the Whitley Law Firm benefit in multiple ways from the Whitley Advantage. When you hire our firm, our attorneys will relentlessly pursue the optimal result in your case while treating you like family every step of the way. Our team is committed to earning your trust. You can count on us to be respectful of your needs, respond to your questions promptly, and provide a sympathetic ear when you need it most.
Please call the Whitley Law Firm at (919) 785-5000 today for service in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, New Bern, or elsewhere in North Carolina. It won’t cost anything to see if we can help.