North Charleston Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Injured Construction Workers
Construction is one of the most dangerous industries for workers. It generates tens of thousands of workers’ compensation claims every year. One small mistake or oversight on a construction site can cause a catastrophic injury or even death.
If you or a loved one were hurt or killed while working construction in North Charleston, South Carolina, call the workers’ compensation attorneys at Steinberg Law Firm. You could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injury and you deserve to be paid fairly.
Construction Site Dangers
The nature of a construction site makes workers there particularly prone to injury. There may be crews from several different service providers working on site at the same time and if one acts negligently others can be hurt. Although sites are heavily regulated for safety, sometimes these rules are ignored. Whenever corners are cut or jobs are rushed, the workers are at increased risk of injury.
According to data from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) some of the top causes of construction site injuries include:
• Falls — Falls from scaffolding, ladders, rooftops or other heights are extremely common. Workers sometimes might fall into a hole or ditch too. Any fall can cause broken bones, traumatic head injuries and death.
• Trench collapse — When a trench is not properly fortified it can collapse and trap workers inside. Suffocation is of special concern if the air supply is cut off by the collapse.
• Electric shock — Wiring, generators and power tools are just a few of the electrical dangers that cause shocks and burns.
• Failure to wear protective gear — Hard hats, safety goggles and ear protection are all required for a reason. When they are not worn injuries occur.
• Heavy equipment accidents — Heavy equipment like excavators, forklifts, trucks and cranes are construction site staples. These can hit and crush workers or otherwise wreck.
• Power tool accidents — Tools like nail guns and saws can easily cause injury when they malfunction or are used incorrectly.
Common Construction Injuries
The injuries sustained while working in construction can be serious and even fatal. Common injuries suffered by construction workers include:
• Traumatic head injuries
• Broken bones
• Back and neck strain
• Spinal injuries
• Crush injuries
• Cuts and lacerations
• Severed fingers or limbs
• Hearing loss
• Eye injuries
These injuries can be mild to severe, and in the most tragic cases fatal.
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Basics
Workplace injuries are devastating and threaten a person’s livelihood. In addition to the physical pain and disability, there are significant financial and emotional consequences too. Lost income and earning potential, permanent disability, medical debt, bankruptcy, drug addiction and other difficult issues have all been caused by just one workplace accident.
South Carolina requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees under many circumstances. These protections allow workers who have been injured while at work to recover medical costs, lost wages and other expenses incurred as a result of their accident.
In exchange, injured workers cannot sue their employer for their injury. Workers’ compensation claims are not based on negligence, meaning the employer does not need to be at fault for the injury for you to be compensated like they would in a personal injury lawsuit. If the injury occurred while working in a construction or otherwise within the scope of employment it likely will be covered under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws.
Even though workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured workers, the amount granted to the worker is still subject to an insurance company’s claims process. This can become a complicated and frustrating ordeal and might necessitate the assistance of an attorney to make sure an injured worker is compensated fairly.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Some employers will attempt to talk an injured worker out of filing a workers’ compensation claim or make them believe they are not entitled to this benefit when they are. Construction workers might be misclassified as independent contractors as a way around providing workers’ compensation coverage. An attorney can recognize when an employer is behaving illegally to discourage a workers’ compensation claim.
Then there are the insurance companies, who are well known for being difficult to work with for a reason. Adjusters are trained to take any opportunity to reduce a payout and can be quite aggressive and underhanded. Insurance companies make the process frustrating on purpose, hoping that injured workers will give up and accept a lower settlement just to get it over with.
Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney levels the playing field. Attorneys understand the tactics used by insurance companies and employers to avoid paying and they know how to counter them. Your attorney will fight for you and negotiate a fair workers’ compensation settlement.
Depending on the details of the injury, you could also file a personal injury claim in addition to workers’ compensation. If the negligence of a third party contributed to the injury, for example in an equipment malfunction situation, they could potentially be held liable as well. An attorney could determine what would be appropriate in your case.
An attorney will handle disputes and follow the required legal process exactly to help your claim run smoothly. Knowing that the details of your case are being handled by a professional can help you focus your energy on healing, not on stressful legalities.
What to Do If You Are Hurt at Work
There are steps to take after an injury on the job and it is essential that they are followed exactly to preserve your rights.
• Notify a supervisor immediately of your injury. The incident must be documented properly. The insurance company will be looking at details like this when they investigate your claim. File a report as soon as you can so you recall as much as possible.
• Get medical attention. If the injury is severe immediate care will be necessary. It is still critical to be seen by a doctor even if you think your injury is minor or that you can get through it. Pain and damage can develop hours or even days after the incident occurred. At that point, more damage could have been done by going without treatment or working through the pain and the insurance company could exploit the delay in care as evidence that the injury is less serious than it really is.
• Follow company protocol and instructions related to the workers’ compensation process. For example, your employer has the right to choose which physician you should see. If you see another provider without your employer’s consent, those expenses may not be covered.
• Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Workers’ compensation laws are complicated and the process of filing a claim can become tedious. An attorney will make sure all protocols are followed and that you are paid for your injury by the insurance company and your employer.
Contact a North Charleston Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you have been hurt while working on a construction site in North Charleston, South Carolina you have rights and deserve to be compensated fairly. Do not let unscrupulous employers and insurance companies play games with you or your livelihood.
Call one of the workers’ compensation lawyers at Steinberg Law Firm if you or a loved one were injured or killed on the job. Our Charleston office can be reached by calling (843) 720-2800. As always, your initial consultation is free.
WE HAVE RECOVERED OVER $500 MILLION FOR CLIENTS IN THE LAST 10 YEARS, INCLUDING:
Workers' Comp Case
Workers' Comp Case
Leaders in the Legal Industry
Steinberg attorneys have been awarded numerous distinctions, such as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report, Gedney M. Howe, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, the SC Leadership in Law award, and has been voted Best Workers’ Comp Firm in SC, among other distinctions.
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