Employees in North Carolina have the right to seek work injury benefits if they are injured while doing their job. These benefits include compensation for their medical bills and temporary wage loss benefits while they are recovering. Workers who have a permanent disability may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. Some workers may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the top five industry sectors for fatal accidents are construction, transportation and warehousing, agriculture, government, and manufacturing. There are, however, many other industries that see a significant number of injuries and deaths each year.
The greatest number of fatal accidents happen in the construction industry, per BLS. Construction employees work on roadside projects, office projects, bridges, landscaping, home development, and many other types of projects. Some of the accidents that construction employees may suffer include:
- Falls from scaffolds or ladders
- Exposure to electric currents when working with power tools or near power lines
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals
- Crushing accidents, involving forklifts and other types of machinery and equipment
- Vehicle accidents, including trucking accidents, crane accidents, and other bulldozer accidents
- Accidents when objects from high heights fall on an employee
- Accidents due to stress and overexertion
Employees who work in transportation, or who use a vehicle at work for any reason, are at constant risk of being involved in an accident. Truck drivers are especially at risk. Trucks may roll over or jackknife. The cargo can spill, endangering the truck driver and anyone around the vehicle. Trucks also have blind spots, which are an invitation to accidents.
Truck drivers may cause or be involved in an accident if they are overworked, speeding to get to a destination, or just backing out into traffic. Drivers may also be injured when unloading or loading their trucks.
Per BLS, 340 manufacturing workers died on the job in 2020. Industrial accidents vary depending on the type and use of machines, equipment, and tools. Manufacturing accidents include:
- Accidents that pin, confine, or crush a worker
- Accidents due to fatigue
- Electric accidents whenever any type of power tool
- Repetitive stress injuries often happen to workers who work on an assembly line
- Accidents due to being confined in small spaces
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals
- Fires or explosions due to a loose spark or other causes
- Accidents due to defective products
- Being struck by objects or debris
- Accidents due to improper lifting techniques or just lifting objects that are too heavy
North Carolina is home to a substantial number of auto workers, who face additional risks because of the chemicals they use in the production or repair of vehicles.
Leisure & hospitality
As many as 30 million people visit Charlotte each year. Along with being one of the prettiest cities in the country (though we may be biased here), Charlotte has a lot offer tourists, from world-class restaurants and a thriving art scene to excellent shopping and family entertainment. A significant portion of our population works in leisure and hospitality, from restaurant and retail to hotel staff and activities coordinators. Many of these workers are on their feet all day, which can cause back and spinal injuries. They may also suffer repetitive stress injuries depending on the exact time of work they do.
Some injuries are occupation-specific; a restaurant worker is more likely to sustain a burn injury than a retail clerk, just as an airplane pilot is at greater risk of a plane crash than a hotel concierge. Still, with thousands of workers in the industry – all of them are moving and interacting with the public all day long – it is little wonder that so many workers suffer serious injuries on the job.
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals may be exposed to diseases and to patients who have infections. Many workers, especially nurses, are on their feet all day, which can cause chronic back pain and other injuries. They can sustain injury while moving a patient from a bed to a chair or to an examining room, or suffer assaults from the patients themselves.
Public servants and first responders face risks just by the nature of their jobs. Police officers are at constant risk of being shot or assaulted. A high-speed chase or fast pursuit is a virtual invitation for a car accident or a fall.
Firefighters are, almost by job definition, at risk of serious burn injuries and lung injuries due to smoke inhalation. Firefighters may also suffer falls from ladders or be involved in accidents on their way to or from a fire.
Paramedics can be critically injured in a crash with another vehicle, especially if they are not belted into a seat because they are caring for a patient in the back of the ambulance. Like other healthcare workers, paramedics and EMTs are also at risk for needle sticks, back and neck sprains, and other injuries.
Professional and office work
Business professionals and office workers who spend most of their days on computers may suffer carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive stress injuries, develop vision problems, or suffer from migraines and headaches. They, too, are at risk of back and neck strain as well as injuries from falls.
What should I do if I am injured on the job?
Employees are not required to prove fault if they are hurt or develop a work-related illness. You should be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, provided you are an employee and injured while in the course of your job duties. if you are ineligible for workers’ compensation, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to get the help you need.
The Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers at Price, Petho & Associates understand what to do when accidents happen. We work to show that your accident occurred while you were in the scope of employment. We work with your doctors and other healthcare providers to show what types of injuries you have, why you need extensive time off to treat those injuries, and why you may have a permanent disability. We contest the efforts of any employer to force you back to work before you’re ready.
We’ll help you file your claim correctly. To assert your rights to workers’ compensation benefits, call us at 704-372-2160 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation. Serving Charlotte, Rockingham, Rutherfordton, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Attorney Doug Petho is the owner and founder of Price, Petho & Associates. His primary focus is the litigation of plaintiff’s personal injury suits, and he has successfully tried hundreds of cases to jury verdict involving car accidents, trucking accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, and work-related accidents. Contact his office in Charlotte today.