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Charlotte Construction Accident Attorneys

Working at a construction site comes with certain unavoidable risks, even if all safety protocols are stringently followed. Typically, when an employee is hurt at work, they may be covered by workers’ compensation insurance and can get monetary benefits for medical expenses and a portion of their lost income. Unfortunately, the construction industry frequently relies on independent contractors thanks to the lack of employer-paid benefits that come with that employment classification, including a lack of workers’ compensation insurance. Construction professionals classified as contractors should still get legal advice when they suffer an injury at work, as, under certain circumstances, they may still be entitled to benefits.

Assisting North Carolina Construction Professionals With Workers’ Compensation Claims

Our team at Stewart Law Offices understands that workers’ compensation cases involving construction professionals can be especially complicated. You should not have to worry about how you will cover injury-related costs when you should be focused on getting better. Our Charlotte worker’s compensation lawyers aim to relieve your burden, which starts with visiting you at your home or in the hospital if you cannot come to us. We will determine whether you have a claim and review your legal options so that you can make the best choice for you and your family. Our legal professionals will be here to provide compassionate support throughout the process and will be available 24/7 to answer questions or address concerns. Maximizing what you recover is our top priority, and we will fight to protect and enforce your rights.

Can Construction Workers Get Workers’ Compensation Insurance in North Carolina?

The construction industry’s pervasive use of independent contractors can make it difficult to determine who is and is not covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Generally, independent contractors are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when they are hurt at work.

As a construction professional working in North Carolina, you are likely able to get workers’ compensation if:

  • You are an employee (not an independent contractor)
  • Your employer has at least three employees
  • You were not intoxicated or trying to injure yourself or someone else when you became injured
  • Your injuries are work-related

Employers are not required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance for independent contractors or general contractors. This means independent contractors and general contractors working in the construction industry will generally be responsible for covering their own losses, including medical costs and missed wages, when they are hurt on the job.

There is an important exception to this rule that applies to subcontractors. When a general contractor subcontracts construction work to a subcontractor, they are responsible for ensuring the subcontractor has insurance. If the subcontractor is uninsured, the general contractor is required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance that covers the subcontractor. This is also true when a subcontractor hires a lower-tier subcontractor: If the lower-tier subcontractor is uninsured, the higher-tier subcontractor must get workers’ compensation insurance to cover them.

Put another way, whenever construction work is subcontracted to an uninsured party, the higher-tier contractor must pay for workers’ compensation insurance for the subcontractor. Therefore, if you are subcontractor who is not self-insured who agreed to take work from another contractor, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when you are hurt. It does not matter how many employees the higher-tier contractor has for this rule to apply. Even a general contractor with a single employee must get workers’ compensation to cover uninsured subcontractors.

Our Charlotte construction accident attorneys can help determine whether you qualify for benefits if you have been hired as an independent contractor or subcontractor. Keep in mind that employers will sometimes intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying benefits, including workers’ compensation. If it can proven you meet the legal definition of an employee, you still have a right to benefits, so do not assume your employer is acting in your best interest.

If we establish that you are not eligible for workers’ compensation, our team at Stewart Law Offices can also help you explore other recovery options. This may include filing a personal injury claim against a person or organization whose negligence caused your injuries.

How an Attorney Can Help With Your North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Claim

Some employers will misclassify employees as independent contractors as a pretext to deny them workers’ compensation benefits. Contractors may claim they had no obligation to get coverage for uninsured subcontractors. Even if your right to workers’ compensation benefits is theoretically acknowledged, your employer and their insurer will likely look for any reason to deny your claim or limit what you recover. This can make getting what you deserve in the aftermath of a construction accident or onset of a construction-related illness a dispiriting struggle. When you hire our Charlotte construction accident lawyers, you get advocates who are committed to protecting your interests and will do everything in our power to enforce your rights.

Our firm’s team can provide aggressive legal support if:

  • Your claim was denied
  • You were offered an insufficient settlement
  • You have reason to believe you were misclassified as an independent contractor
  • Your employer is claiming you are not entitled to benefits
  • Your employer is claiming your injuries are not work-related
  • Your employer’s insurer becomes unresponsive
  • Your employer does not report your injury
  • You are struggling to get necessary medical care through your employer or their insurer’s chosen doctor
We have been representing injury victims for over 25 years. Call 866-783-9278 or contact us online to learn more about what we can do for you.

How Long Do I Have To File A Workers’ Compensation Claim In North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims is two years from the date you were injured. If your injuries were not immediately detectable, such as in cases where you develop an occupational illness after toxic exposure, you will generally have two years from the date you discovered the possible connection between your injuries and your job to file a claim.

Before you can file a workers’ compensation claim, you must report your work-related injury to your employer within 30 days of discovering the injury. If you are a subcontractor covered by a higher-tier contractor’s workers’ compensation insurance, you should report your injuries to the higher-tier contractor. You can be denied benefits if you wait too long to report, so you should submit a written report to your employer as soon as possible.