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Another construction worker dies in another fall

Late last week, a North Carolina construction worker died on-the-job after falling from a 30-foot ladder. The same thing will happen next month and, statistically, the month after that. And the month after that.   

In our state, construction accidents account for more than 20 percent of all work-related fatalities. And falls - from ladders, from buildings, from bridges, from roofs - account for roughly 30 percent of these deaths. Additionally, construction falls lead to thousands of injuries every year.

The question often raised by victims, or their surviving family members, is what can be done to rectify the situation? 

Victims and their families can get compensation for injuries

Employers have an obligation to provide safe work spaces for their workers. This can get confusing in the construction industry, where work is often subcontracted - or sub-subcontracted - to third parties. Nevertheless, even subcontractors are often able to secure financial relief for any injuries they endure.

As many individuals in the construction sector know, it is possible to receive restitution for injuries by filing for workers' compensation. At least in theory, workers' comp will provide relief for a wide range of concerns, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Prescription costs
  • Professional training
  • And more

As many also know, filing a successful workers' compensation claim is not a straightforward process--especially in the construction sector. Employers will deny responsibility for subcontractors, and dispute injuries as they arise. Insurance companies will go to great lengths to question an injury's severity. Simply put, there are parties involved who want to pay as little as possible to injured workers.

This is why it's important to work with an attorney in such matters; a qualified lawyer knows how to fight back against employers, general contractors, and insurers that try to dispute claims. What is perhaps most important to keep in mind is that it is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for submitting a workers' compensation claim - so don't let fear prevent you from moving forward with your case.

When will the next fatality be?

The fatality last week occurred on Oak Island. The laborer was doing gutter work on a home that was almost complete. Another worker died recently after falling from a bridge he was repairing in Asheboro. It doesn't take much Googling to learn about other such tragedies. And it won't be long until another is added to the roll call. As such, workers should understand how to protect themselves in the event of an injury, and (of course) remain alert while on site. 

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