Hurt on the Job in Mecklenburg County? Contact us at Our Charlotte Law Office Today
At Waple & Houk, PLLC, our Charlotte workplace injury lawyers are passionate, justice-focused advocates for injured workers. With a deep knowledge of workers’ comp claims and workers’ comp appeals, our law firm has the experience you can trust. Were you or your family member hurt on the job in Mecklenburg County? We are ready to help. Contact our Charlotte law office today to schedule your free, no-obligation initial consultation with a top-tier North Carolina work injury lawyer.
How Common are Workplace Injuries in North Carolina?
Every worker in Charlotte deserves safe conditions at their place of employment. While the rate of serious work injuries has been dropping in recent years, there are still far too many accidents. According to data from the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL), there were around 74,300 non-fatal injuries and occupational illnesses reported by private employers in the state in 2022 alone. Tragically, approximately 175 workers lose their lives on the job each year statewide.
An Overview of the Most Common Workplace Accidents
Workplace injuries can happen in a wide variety of different ways. Every serious accident should be investigated to determine exactly what went wrong and why it went wrong. Some of the most common causes of job-related injuries and illnesses in Charlotte include:
- Slips, Trips, and Falls: Fall accidents are consistently the most common accidents in workplaces. They can happen when floors are wet, objects are in the way, or if there is another type of hazard. Slips and trips can lead to devastating injuries.
- Strains and Sprains: Lifting heavy things the wrong way can cause injuries like strains (stretching or tearing a muscle) and sprains (injuries to ligaments). It is important to lift with your legs, not your back, and ask for help if something is too heavy.
- Being Hit by Falling Objects: In some workplaces, things stored up high can fall and hurt someone. Wearing hard hats and storing items safely can prevent these kinds of accidents. Falling object injuries are especially common at construction sites.
- Motor Vehicle Collisions: Many of the most serious work-related injuries are caused by motor vehicle collisions. Accidents involving cars, trucks, or other vehicles can happen in a wide range of different work environments.
- Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs): Doing the same motion over and over can cause RSIs. These are injuries to muscles, nerves, and tendons. Taking breaks, stretching, and using ergonomic equipment can help. Still, these injuries can be quite serious.
- Electrical Accidents: These can happen when working with faulty electrical equipment or in areas with exposed wires. Always checking for electrical safety and using equipment correctly can prevent electrical accidents.
- Burns: Burns can occur in workplaces with hot materials, chemicals, or fire. Wearing protective clothing and handling hot items carefully can help avoid burns. All second-degree burn injuries and third-degree burn injuries require immediate attention.
What to Do if You are Hurt on the Job in Charlotte, North Carolina
Were you injured on the job in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, or elsewhere in the surrounding area? You need to take a proactive approach to protect your health, your safety, and your ability to secure the maximum financial benefits. A serious work-related accident can be devastating. It can put an enormous amount of pressure on an injured worker and their family. Knowing what to do helps to ease the recovery process. Here are five steps that you should be ready to take:
- Seek Immediate Medical Care: Medical needs are the top priority—especially in an emergency. The first thing to do if you are injured at work is to get medical help right away. Go to a doctor, a clinic, or a hospital. Make sure that you get the immediate care that you need. Doing so is not just necessary for your physical health and mental well-being, it is a required step in North Carolina’s workplace accident claims process.
- Notify Your Employer of the Accident: After you have received medical attention, the next step is to inform your employer about the accident. Be sure to do so as soon as possible. In North Carolina, you are generally required to report the injury to your within 30 days of the accident. If you wait too long to notify your employer of a workplace injury, you could be denied an opportunity to file for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Document the Incident and Your Injuries: Documentation matters. As with any other type of legal case, a work injury claim―whether a workers’ comp claim or a third-party liability claim—must be based on a foundation of reliable evidence. It is crucial to keep detailed records of everything related to your injury and the accident. Take photos of your injuries and the place where the accident happened. Write down what occurred and how it led to your injury. Keep a record of all medical treatments.
- File for Workers’ Comp Benefits: In Charlotte, workers’ comp benefits are there to help you if you are injured on the job. These are no-fault benefits that can cover your medical bills and part of your lost wages. To apply, you need to fill out a document called ‘Form 18’. It should be submitted to the North Carolina Industrial Commission in a timely manner. You should be able to get the form directly from your employer, though it is also available online.
- Consult With a Charlotte Workers’ Comp Lawyer: Issues in the workplace accident claims process can arise for a wide range of different reasons. You do not have to go up against a workers’ compensation insurance company, your employer, or any negligent third party alone. One of the best things that you can do to protect your rights and your interests is to consult with a top-tier Charlotte work injury attorney.
Your Two Primary Options for Seeking Compensation After Suffering a Workplace Injury
If you were hurt in a workplace accident in Charlotte, you have two primary legal options to seek financial compensation. Here is an overview of what you can do:
- A Workers’ Compensation Claim: Workers’ compensation is a system set up to help workers hurt on the job. If you are injured while working, you should file a claim. North Carolina workers’ comp is a no-fault system of liability. You are not required to prove that your employer was “to blame” for your workplace accident. If your claim is approved, you can get benefits like medical care costs and a portion of your lost wages. That being said, workers’ comp is an exclusive remedy against an employer. You cannot sue your employer for a work injury. Have questions about your options? Contact our Charlotte workplace injury attorney for a free case review.
- A Third-Party Liability Claim: In some cases, your work-related injury might be due to someone else’s actions other than your own employer. Some examples include contractors, subcontractors, property owners, motorists, and equipment manufacturers. In such cases, you can file a type of work injury claim called a third-party liability claim. It is different from a workers’ compensation claim because it involves suing the responsible party. To prevail, you will need to prove that their negligence caused your injury. If you win your case, you can recover additional financial compensation, including for your pain and suffering. Have questions about your ability to bring a third-party liability claim? Contact our Charlotte workplace injury lawyer for your free consultation.
To be clear, these are not an “either/or” choice. You should always file for workers’ comp benefits. Even if you do so, you are still eligible to file a third-party liability lawsuit.
Why Rely on Waple & Houk, PLLC After a Workplace Accident in Charlotte?
Workplace accident claims are complex. It is normal to have a lot of questions about what happens next after a job-related injury. At Waple & Houk, PLLC, we have decades of experience handling fighting for the rights and interests of workers and their families. When you contact our Charlotte office, you will have an opportunity to connect with a North Carolina work injury lawyer who can:
- Hear what you have to say and answer your legal questions;
- Investigate your workplace accident—gathering evidence;
- Help you with any workers’ comp claims paperwork;
- Evaluate your other options, including a third-party liability claim; and
- Take action to help you secure the absolute maximum financial benefits.
Every workplace injury case is unique. A one-size-fits-all approach is not good enough for injured workers in Mecklenburg County. You need a lawyer who is committed to your case. We always invest time, resources, and personalized attention. When matters most, injured workers can rely on our Charlotte, NC, workplace injury attorney.
Contact Our Charlotte Workplace Injury Lawyers Today
At Waple & Houk, PLLC, our Charlotte workplace accident attorneys go above and beyond to help injured victims get results. If you or your family member was hurt on the job, professional help is just a phone call away. Contact us now to get started with your case. We fight for the rights of injured workers in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and all across North Carolina. Initial consultations are free, fully confidential, and carry no obligations.