What Concord Workers Should Know About Workplace Injuries

It’s every employee’s right to work in a safe environment that offers protection from workplace injuries. Still, accidents happen. Concord workers who experience injuries while doing their job are entitled to workers’ compensation. Here are the essentials that everyone should be aware of, from key steps to take to why you should consult with a Concord workers comp attorney.

What Qualifies as a Workplace Injury 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 5,486 workplace accidents in 2022 had a fatal outcome. That’s an increase of 5.7 percent on an annual basis. Each year, employers report 2.8 million cases of injuries and work-related illnesses. Because workplace accidents are such a common occurrence, compensatory mechanisms have been put in place.

This North Carolina State Government handbook outlines the situations and the types of injuries that are considered work-related and that you can get compensated for. Some of the most common kinds of workplace injuries include:

  • Trauma sustained during a fall
  • Machine-related accidents
  • Automobile accidents
  • Occupational diseases (related to one’s line of work) like respiratory diseases, hearing loss when constantly working in a loud environment, cancer, etc.

For an accident to be considered work-related and covered by financial compensation, it has to arise out of a traumatic situation outside of the normal work routine. Back injuries are the sole exception. They are compensable in North Carolina whenever they arise out of a traumatic event, whether an accident occurred or not.

workplace accidents can cause severe injuries

What Happens After a Workplace Injury

If you participate in an accident that causes workplace injuries, you’ll need to do a number of important things. One of the key suggestions is to consult a Concord workers compensation attorney. This is especially important for people who aren’t aware of the procedure to follow.

Your lawyer will suggest the best course of action and the kind of evidence collection that will result in optimum compensation recovery.

A few of the key steps you’ll have to complete after getting injured in a workplace accident include:

  • Focus on getting medical assistance first: See a physician immediately and make sure that the injury is addressed professionally, even if it doesn’t seem that serious at first. Something as simple as a slip and fall accident can have lasting consequences that are difficult to identify at first.
  • Report the accident: You need to report the accident to a manager or a supervisor. The sooner you trigger the procedure within the organization, the better. Most North Carolina companies have a protocol that outlines the procedures and the reporting steps that will have to be completed.
  • Collect as much evidence as possible: Your medical report is important evidence that establishes the scope and severity of the injuries. Photographic evidence and witness accounts could also come in handy when making an insurance claim. Start gathering evidence immediately after receiving medical care.
  • File a claim: In North Carolina, workers compensation claims are filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission. You have two years from the date of the accident to file your claim.

You need to maintain communication with your workers compensation lawyer throughout these steps. Your attorney will give you instructions and handle some of the most challenging aspects of the workers compensation claim process. 

Having a legal representative reduces the risk of miscommunication or revealing information to the insurance company that’s not in your best interest.

Can I Sue an Employer for a Workplace Injury?

The common answer to this question is no, you can’t sue an employer after suffering a workplace injury. That’s because the company’s workers compensation insurance will cover the expenses and missed opportunities caused by the accident.

There are a few exceptions to this rule that could make legal action against the employer possible.

If a third party (a supplier, a vehicle operator, a parts manufacturer, etc.) acted negligently, an employee could file a lawsuit against that party. In such instances, a personal injury lawyer will have to provide clear evidence that the third party’s negligence either caused the accident or contributed to it.

An employer may also be sued in the case of:

  • Causing intentional harm to an employee (putting you in harm’s way when they were aware of the outcome)
  • Gross negligence (the employer displayed a reckless disregard for the safety of employees)
  • A failure to provide workers’ compensation coverage because of the lack of insurance

Reach Out to a Concord Workers Comp Lawyer Immediately

As you can see, things can become more complicated in some instances. That’s why you need to consult a Concord workers compensation attorney immediately after sustaining an injury.

Call our team of experienced workers compensation lawyers at 704-706-2689. We will review your case for free and suggest the best course of action.