Wilmington Work Injury Lawyers
Work Accidents, Disability, Workers' Comp, & More
Workplace accidents and injuries can take many different forms, with some of them involving a one-time event and others involving a condition that develops over time from stress or from exposure to another harmful factor. The defining feature, of course, is that a work injury or illness is suffered on the job or as a result of the job.
If you were hurt on the job or as a result of your work, your employer or its insurance company may challenge the validity of your injury claim - the company may assert that the injury actually happened off the job or say that a condition was really a pre-existing one. If you are facing this type of opposition or if you are just starting to consider your options, consulting an experienced lawyer can help you decide what to do next. Contact us for guidance with your case.
Handling a Wide Variety of Workplace Injuries in NC
Our Wilmington attorneys are experienced with a wide variety of workplace injuries, including:
- Construction accidents
- Shipping accidents or exposure to biohazards in the shipping industry
- Premises injuries, including those involving dangerous work environments
- Accidents or exposure at nuclear plants and other energy facilities
- Injuries on movie and TV sets
- Manufacturing accidents or repetitive stress injuries
- Trucking accidents or stress injuries
Wilmington Fatal Injury Cases and Benefits
No one goes to work expecting to be killed. But nationally, several thousand workers every year are killed on the job in accidents or due to workplace illnesses. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5,147 such deaths in 2017.
Many of those deaths occur in the construction industry. Indeed, about 1 in 5 of the workplace fatalities in private industry is the result of a construction accident. Many of these accidents involve falls on construction sites. Other causes of death at work include electrocutions, motor vehicle accidents, and acts of violence.
When a close relative dies in a work accident, the emotional and financial shocks are like an earthquake. You no doubt remember vividly the last time you saw the person you have lost - and may be haunted by that memory.
Emotional healing can only come with time. In the short term, however, it makes sense to focus on what you need to do to move forward. And one useful step is to get a better understanding of your legal options for seeking financial compensation from the party or parties responsible for the workplace death.
Within North Carolina, Workers’ Compensation Rule 409 extends death benefits to close family members if the employer accepts liability for a fatal injury or occupational disease. This can include scenarios where an employee was directly killed due to a construction accident or if the employee has a heart attack at work that was caused by extreme conditions and stress. In the case of occupational diseases, an employee’s family can receive benefits if the disease has caused a disability that will ultimately lead to death.
When filing for workers’ compensation for a fatal injury or occupational disease, it is important to understand how long you have to make a claim. The death must have occurred 6 years after the work injury or when the disease has caused a disability, or 2 years after a worker has developed a disability and has settled a workers’ compensation claim for the disability.
Even if an employee refuses to accept liability and denies workers’ compensation for death benefits, family members may still file a wrongful death claim. This claim may cover all aspects related to the employee’s death, including:
- Medical costs and treatments after a workplace injury and leading up to the death
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of income
- Compensation for the family’s pain and suffering
- Compensation for any assistance the worker provided the family
Within North Carolina, all wrongful death claims must be filed within 2 years of the employee’s death. While it may be difficult emotionally to move forward with a claim, it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Filing the claim early can ensure that critical evidence is found and preserved immediately, and witness statements are recorded while the event is still fresh in their minds. This evidence will be paramount to establishing negligence and ensuring you receive a fair deal.
Third-Party Personal Injury Claims
In some situations, liability may not be with an employer, but a separate individual or corporation, and we pursue claims against third parties who are also at fault. This can include incidents where you are driving a work vehicle and are hit by another driver or construction equipment malfunctions as a result of faulty manufacturing.
These claims are complicated and even when you recover, you will have to deal with a claim from the workers' compensation carrier and your employer for amounts that they have paid for your medical treatment and other benefits.
In these instances, North Carolina has a statutory procedure to limit this reimbursement, and in some instances completely defeat the lien. In order to accomplish a full recovery, we help our clients deal with the liens and claims for reimbursement and go to court to enforce their rights.
National Practice with a Local Presence
Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Won
Over 30 Years of Experience
Experienced, Thorough & Dedicated Attorneys
Spanish-Speaking Services Available
Evening & Weekend Appointments Available Upon Request
In some situations, workers' compensation insurance will (or should) cover an injury or illness, providing for lost income and medical treatment on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the situation. If you have a legitimate workers' compensation claim or if you have had a claim denied, our attorneys can help you plan your next steps.
“Joel Rhine and his staff did everything possible to help us in a very dark period of our lives.”- John
“We were blessed to have them fighting for us and never giving up.”- Stewart
“Rhine Law Firm has a friendly, caring, professional staff and they worked hard for me.”- Becky
“I couldn't have asked for a better firm to handle my injury claim. If you do not have confidence with your attorney, you need to contact Rhine Law Firm immediately.”- Will
“Rhine Law Firm went out of their way to make sure that my mother-in-law obtains everything she is entitled to in an injury case.”- Lee