Charlotte Work Equipment Injury Lawyer

Charlotte Work Equipment Injury Lawyer

Charlotte Work Equipment Injury Attorney

Operating machinery or even just working around heavy machinery carries inherent risks. Even when strict safety protocols are followed, machine malfunctions or human error can cause a serious or even fatal injury. When an employee is injured by work equipment, they are eligible to receive medical expense coverage and a portion of lost income through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. A Charlotte work equipment injury lawyer can guide them through the process.


Common Work Equipment Incidents

There are many types of injuries that can lead an employee to have to file a claim with their employer’s workers’ compensation program. Slip-and-fall accidents are one type of accident that can happen in any workplace. Another class of injury that can lead to a workers’ compensation claim is a work equipment injury. This refers to any injury that is caused by equipment, whether due to human error or equipment malfunction. Here are some common examples:

  • Faulty Machinery
    Malfunctioning equipment can cause injuries. These types of injuries can be particularly dangerous because the worker has no advanced warning that their equipment will break or shut down in the middle of an important task. One example would be a hydraulic press that slams shut unexpectedly, crushing or severing the limbs of a worker. One way to reduce the chances of faulty machinery is to perform inspections regularly and replace old equipment with newer versions.
  • Inadequate Training
    Work equipment injuries can result from inadequate training in how to use the equipment. Workers who are less familiar with certain types of equipment, like hydraulic lifts and heavy machinery, are more likely to misuse that equipment. One way to lower the risk of this type of accident is to train employees properly and have supervisors nearby when someone new is operating a piece of equipment.
  • Slippery Surfaces
    If someone is using or carrying heavy equipment, they may be more susceptible to slips on wet or uneven surfaces. Sometimes, the equipment may leak oil or another slippery liquid that makes the nearby floor slippery. Wearing proper boots can reduce the risk of these types of equipment-related injuries, and wet floors should be marked and appropriately cleaned so workers are not exposed to these dangerous circumstances.
  • Lack of Maintenance
    When equipment isn’t properly maintained, wear and tear can eventually lead to an increased risk of accidents. One example would be a forklift driver transporting a heavy load and causing an accident when the brakes fail due to poor maintenance. Hitting an object or another person could cause severe injury. Routine maintenance and inspections can ensure that equipment remains in proper working order.
  • Lack of Safeguards
    Missing or defective guards on machinery can expose workers to hazards. If someone works in a metal fabrication shop and operates a metal-cutting saw, that equipment would likely have safety guards to prevent the blade or shrapnel from coming into contact with the operator. If the safety guard becomes loose over time and falls off, anyone who continues to use the saw would be in grave danger of becoming injured.
  • Improper Lifting Techniques
    Anyone who has to work with heavy equipment should understand proper lifting techniques. Someone working on a construction site, for example, who has to lift heavy tools, could injure their back if they do not use proper lifting techniques. Back injuries are a common reason workers have to file a workers’ compensation claim.
  • Distraction While Operating Equipment
    To operate safely, employees must focus fully on the task at hand. Any lapse in attention, whether due to actions like daydreaming or texting, could lead to a serious injury. Even when someone’s negligence leads to an injury, they may still be able to file a workers’ compensation claim.
  • Vehicle-Related Injuries
    Many jobs require the use of a company car during business hours. Like any machine, cars require maintenance and proper operation. If a company car is in an accident, the resulting injury can require the injured party to file a worker’s compensation claim.

What Types of Injuries Can Result from Work Equipment Injuries?

Work equipment accidents can result in serious injuries. In extreme cases, the equipment can cause a death that leads to a wrongful death claim.

  • Traumatic Injuries
    Traumatic injuries like fractures, crush injuries, lacerations, and amputations can be caused when a worker is struck or caught by equipment or machinery or equipment. Traumatic injuries require immediate medical treatment. People who experience a traumatic injury due to workplace equipment may suffer disabilities that require short or long-term disability payments through workers’ compensation.
  • Repetitive Strain Injury
    Another type of injury that can result from equipment at work is repetitive strain injury or RSI. Common types of repetitive strain injuries include tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and bursitis. While traumatic injuries are sudden, symptoms of RSIs often develop over time.There are no quick fixes for strain injuries. Doctors often recommend that workers immediately cut back or eliminate the task that led to the RSI. In some cases, an injured worker can fully recover with rest, therapy, and treatments. Other workers may be left partially disabled. In those cases, employers are usually required to make reasonable accommodations for the partially disabled worker.
  • Burns
    Workplace equipment can cause burns. Often, this is due to contact with chemicals, electrical equipment, and hot surfaces. Burns are painful injuries that often leave scars. This type of equipment injury can require multiple rounds of surgery to treat.
  • Eye Injuries
    Malfunctioning equipment can cause flying debris that can injure or blind an employee. Chemicals released from equipment can also lead to facial burns and eye damage. Bright lights can damage the sensitive areas of the eyes and cause temporary or longer-term vision impairment.
  • Respiratory Problems
    When equipment emits dust, fumes, and harmful substances, the resulting respiratory problems can be significant. The lungs can take long periods of time to heal, and doctors will often advise the injured worker to stay away from the environment that caused the respiratory problem.
  • Hearing Loss
    Continual exposure to loud noises can have a profound impact on our hearing, leading to both temporary and permanent impairments. Hearing loss often occurs gradually and may not be immediately noticeable. One of the common signs of hearing damage is tinnitus, a persistent ringing or buzzing sound in the ears. This high-pitched noise is a warning sign that the delicate structures of the inner ear may have been damaged by exposure to loud noises.In some cases, the hearing loss can be temporary, with the ears recovering over time if given adequate rest from the noise. However, repeated exposure to loud sounds without protection can lead to permanent damage. This permanent hearing loss can range from mild to severe and may require the use of hearing aids or other assistive devices to manage.
  • Head and Brain Injuries
    When equipment leads to a brain injury, the impact on your life can be profound. These types of head injuries can result from falling equipment parts or being thrown from equipment. Traumatic brain injuries often cause life-changing consequences for individuals who are harmed, and the full extent of the brain injury may not be noticed until days or weeks after the initial injury.
  • Electrocution
    Any job that requires working with electrical equipment carries a high risk of electrocution. Electricians aren’t the only people who are at risk of being electrocuted. Faulty wiring or faulty electrical equipment can send an electrical current that electrocutes an unsuspecting employee.
  • Crush Injuries
    When body parts become trapped or caught between moving parts of equipment or machinery, the resulting injuries can be incredibly severe, leading to significant physical, emotional, and financial consequences. These injuries often include severe lacerations, crushed bones, or even the loss of limbs.

The aftermath of work accidents extends beyond physical injuries, affecting the mental well-being of the injured worker and their families. The trauma, pain, and loss of livelihood can be overwhelming, leading to long-term psychological distress and financial strain.

The rehabilitation process following any of these injuries can be lengthy and arduous. It is not uncommon to require multiple surgeries, extensive physical therapy, lengthy recovery plans, and sometimes the need for prosthetic devices or other assistive technologies.

How Can I File for Workers’ Compensation?

If you are an employee at a business in Charlotte, North Carolina, that has three or more workers, you likely have access to workers’ compensation benefits. Employees are given these benefits while independent contractors generally are not, although many construction contractors do have workers’ comp benefits.

In North Carolina, you are likely covered by workers’ compensation insurance if:

  • Your employer has at least three employees
  • You were an employee when the heavy machinery accident occurred
  • You were not trying to hurt yourself or someone else
  • You were sober when the accident occurred

Employees who intentionally harm themselves are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. As long as the injury was unintentional, you may qualify for benefits. If someone is at fault, or even if you are partly at fault for your own injury, you can still file a claim following an injury that results from workplace equipment.

Our accident attorney can verify that you are eligible. They can help you file your claim before the statute of limitations expires, and other important deadlines pass. You must report the injury soon after the incident. Waiting too long can result in your benefits being denied.

When the injuries sustained from a heavy machinery accident are fatal, the family members of the deceased individual may seek death benefits on behalf of their lost loved one.


Q: Can I Sue for Work-Related Injuries in North Carolina?

A: North Carolina law generally prohibits workers from suing their employer as long as the employer maintains workers’ compensation insurance. There are rare exceptions, though. If a third party caused your injury, you may be able to sue that individual. Suing may be an option when the owner fails to acquire a workers’ compensation plan as required by state law.

Q: How Is Workers’ Comp Settlement Calculated in NC?

A: The two main parts of your workers’ compensation settlement will be based on medical expenses and resulting disability. One of the primary purposes of workers’ compensation insurance is to cover all medical treatment costs following a work-related injury.

Missed time from work is reimbursed at two-thirds of the average weekly wage of an employee. Significant injuries can require that a worker seek temporary or long-term disability payments from their workers’ compensation plan. Together, these account for the majority of expenses that can be considered in any settlement offer.

Q: What Is the Workers Compensation Act in NC?

A: The Workers’ Compensation Act in North Carolina, passed in 1929, provides medical benefits and wage replacement for employees who are injured or become ill due to their work. It also offers death benefits to dependents of workers who die as a result of a work-related injury or illness. Under the act, any business with three or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance.

Q: Does Surgery Increase Workers’ Comp Settlement in NC?

A: In general, the severity of your injury is a significant factor that determines your workers’ compensation settlement amount. Injuries that require surgery are considered more serious than a minor injury that does not require medical intervention. If you suffered an injury at work that requires surgery, your workers’ compensation attorney can negotiate a fair settlement that covers your medical bills and missed time from work.

Q: Can I Still File a Workers’ Compensation Claim If I Was Partly at Fault for My Injury?

A: Yes, as long as you did not intentionally cause the injury, you can still file a workers’ compensation claim. Injuries can be partly the fault of the injured worker. One example would be a worker running across a slippery surface and falling. Or an injury could be the result of a colleague’s negligence. Any accidental injury can be grounds for a workers’ compensation claim.

Schedule Your Workers’ Compensation Consultation Today

If you have questions about your North Carolina workers’ compensation claim, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our attorneys. Consultations are always complimentary. We’re committed to assisting clients facing challenges from large insurance companies or employers. Reach out to us for a complimentary strategy session.

Contact our office to discover more about The Bollinger Law Firm, PC, team, and the measures we’ll take to ensure your workers’ comp claim is fully and promptly paid.

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