Charlotte Auto Workers Injury Attorney
Experienced workers’ compensation lawyers serving auto workers in North Carolina
North Carolina is home to a variety of automotive manufacturers and industries. Among others, these include Daimler, Takata, Freightliner, Caterpillar, MGM Brakes, and CooperStandard. We also have the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research, and the NC Motorsports and Automotive Research Center. Automotive and trucking companies like these employ thousands of workers across the state.
For decades, Price, Petho & Associates has represented auto workers injured on the job. Our Charlotte workers compensation lawyers are passionate about helping clients pursue financial relief, and we stay up to date on federal and state laws. If you have been injured while working in the automotive industry, our firm can help analyze your situation, assist in filing a claim, and aggressively represent you throughout the legal process.
What would you like to know?
What are the risks of working in the automotive industry?
Working in the automotive industry is dangerous. Car mechanics, painters, glass installers, body repair workers, and auto shop employees handle toxic chemicals, dangerous machinery, and heavy car parts on a daily basis. With all of this activity and moving parts, lack of adequate safety equipment and training could lead to serious injuries.
Injuries auto workers may experience on the job include:
Lifting heavy equipment, bending down to reach for tools, and working with your arms above your head could lead to a serious repetitive stress injury, or RSI. Rotator cuff tears, back and neck strain, disc herniations, and other injuries could occur from unnatural posture and overexertion. Using ergonomic equipment, such as lifting machines and back braces, could help prevent a repetitive stress injury.
Automotive and auto shop workers also risk exposure to occupational illnesses from chemicals or dangerous materials, including:
- Hearing loss
- Sulfuric, hydrochloric, or hydrofluoric acid poisoning
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Lead poisoning
- Diseases caused by exposure to chemicals and gasses
Auto workers have a very hands-on job. They must operate complex machines and handle harsh chemicals on a daily basis. Using breathing masks and other safety equipment is necessary to prevent serious injuries. Faulty or improperly maintained equipment could malfunction and cause an accident, and loose cords or unsecured machine parts, tools, or vehicles also put workers at risk. If you have been injured while working with automotive equipment, you have the right to file a Charlotte workers’ compensation claim.
What are my rights following a Charlotte auto work injury?
As an employee in North Carolina, you have many rights, and one of those rights is to workers’ compensation benefits. Provided through your employer, workers’ compensation entitles you to medical and wage benefits when you sustain an injury or illness on the job. This compensation can include temporary or permanent disability benefits and medical treatment, like hospitalization, doctor’s care, prescription medication, and vocational rehabilitation services.
Workers’ compensation is an agreement between you and your employer – they provide you these benefits regardless of who or what caused the injury, and in return you don’t sue them for your injuries. For your injury to qualify for these benefits, it must meet three simple criteria:
- The injury resulted from an accident
- The accident was job-related
- The accident occurred during the course of your employment
The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) oversees workers’ compensation in our state, and is the agency with which you will file your paperwork.
What should I do when I am injured on the job as an auto worker?
In order to build a strong Charlotte workers’ compensation claim, you need to take the proper steps after an illness or injury caused by your job:
- Report your injury or illness to your supervisor and employer as soon as possible. If you are unable to do so because of the extent of your injuries, have a family member or your medical provider give notification. Make sure it is in writing and done within 30 days; however, sooner is better.
- Seek medical attention. You may see your own physician, but your employer may also require you see a company-approved doctor. Follow your employer’s instructions, and if you choose to see your personal physician, you can be reimbursed if he or she is located more than 20 miles away round trip. Remember to inform your doctor your injury/illness resulted from the workplace.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions. This part is important – follow doctor’s orders. Rest, attend follow-up appointments, physical therapy, take medication, or whatever your physician’s course of treatment dictates. This shows that you are actively trying to get well and return to work.
- Document everything. Make a copy of everything related to your injury. This includes all of your medical records, receipts, insurance paperwork, photographs, and expenses. Get the name and number of any representatives with whom you speak on the phone.
Can I be fired for filing a Charlotte workers’ compensation claim?
Some employees are hesitant to file a workers’ compensation claim. You might think it’s not worth it, or that by filing a claim, you might put your job in jeopardy. However, under state Retaliatory Employment Discrimination law, North Carolina employers are barred from firing employees who, in good faith, engage in protected activities. The Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Bureau helps handle these complaints, under which workplace injuries are covered.
North Carolina is a “right to work” state, which means an employer can fire you for almost any reason at all, or for no reason at all. This is why protective laws are in place. If you feel you were wrongly terminated over a workplace accident or injury, the Charlotte attorneys at Price, Petho & Associates can help.
Is there an auto worker injury attorney near me?
Price, Petho & Associates is located at 1420 Elizabeth Ave in Charlotte, NC. We also have offices in Rockingham and Rutherfordton for your convenience. If you are unable to come to us, we can make arrangements to visit you at home or in the hospital.
Talk to our experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers today
At Price, Petho & Associates, we provide aggressive representation on behalf of injured auto workers. Whatever your situation, we will discuss your options for pursuing financial relief. With our Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyers, we provide attentive legal services every step of the way. Call 704-372-2160 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our team. We serve clients in Charlotte, Rockingham, Rutherfordton, North Carolina, and South Carolina.