People think when they are injured on the job that workers compensation is going to take care of their needs and replace the paycheck they have been earning. They assume their medical expenses will be covered, and lengthy therapy or long term disabilities will be handled by this program. Maybe in a perfect world — but unfortunately these expectations are way off the mark.
Auger & Auger of South Carolina represents work accident victims of serious work-related injuries, and also families of fatality victims. We know that hazards aren’t only present in ‘high risk’ jobs, and that simple acts of maintenance neglect and inattention to safety standards in almost any industry can impact unsuspecting victims with calamitous effects.
So, what happens if an accident at your workplace causes serious injury and interferes with your ability to continue doing your job? Worse yet, what if death is the end result? What about your family and the income lost, and the pain and suffering?
Workers compensation insurance may appear to be an assurance of job security, but in fact, it is all about protecting the liability of the employers. As personal injury attorneys, Auger & Auger’s involvement in workers compensation cases is all about the victims. BIG difference, and a big reason to have us in your corner from day #1 of the incident.
Workers Compensation is outlined in the South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 42. For the most part, workers in our state are covered — unless they aren’t. If you are only 1 of 3 total employees, a federal employee, a railroad or agricultural worker then workers compensation is not something you are eligible for.
Here are even more exceptions to the coverage requirements:
It happens all too often; that hard-working people are injured on the job and receive nothing. These personal injury victims are left with mounting medical bills, no paychecks, and insurmountable stress.
Fortunately, this is where your rights come in. If your injuries were sustained at work or in the course of your duties, there are several ways you may be covered aside from workers compensation.
Don’t let your employer’s insurance company close the book on you. Call us now at 800-559-5741 for a free attorney consultation to discuss your accident and the best path to take toward proper compensation. These cases may very well involve third-party companies and civil actions to get beyond declined claims and less-than-adequate adequate settlement offers. We’re ready when you are!
Never take a workers compensation denial as the final word. Call our South Carolina workers compensation attorney for a clearer picture and some real answers to your situation.
People across North Carolina go to work every day. Unfortunately, there are numerous work-related Injuries that happen every day. Some of these injuries are minor and require little to no medical attention at all, while other injuries may be very severe resulting in hospitalization and in the most serious cases they may result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
Some industries are inherently more dangerous than others. Construction work and transportation jobs are often hazardous. That doesn’t mean that other occupations don’t have their fair share of dangerous situations because they do. Our office is frequently contacted by injured workers from all different types of industries and occupations.
No matter where you work, being cognizant of workplace safety is an important step in trying to keep yourself safe from work-related or occupational injuries, minor and serious. There is no way to ever make any work environment immune to work accidents, but being mindful of being as safe as you can is a step in the right direction. Here are some examples:
Did you pay close enough attention the last time your employer held a workplace safety meeting or professional development training? You may know of the hazards in your workplace and you may think that you know how to stay safe. That may be true, but knowing how to stay safe and practicing safety are two different things.
There is a reason you are supposed to operate machinery in a certain way or walk down a certain path or pull things off a shelf in an appropriate manner. Pay attention the next time you have an OSHA talk at work. If you have questions about safety in your work place, bring your questions to your supervisor. They want you to be safe too!
Work in an office? If so you probably sit in your office chair without giving it much thought. You may even plop in your office chair. You sink down and get to work. You aren’t thinking about your posture, but you should be. Office workers are just as at risk for injury as those who work on the factory floor.
You may not sustain an acute injury in your office chair, but you could very well sustain an overuse injury or one that occurs due to repetitive movement or, in your case, from poor posture over the long term.
If you sit in an office chair for the majority of your day, pay close attention to your posture. In fact, you may want to invest in an ergonomic chair or see if your boss will. Sit straight, with your hips and shoulders aligned, no matter what type of chair you sit in.
Our eyes weaken as we age. It becomes more difficult to focus to things close to our faces and tough to read the fine print. You could probably ruin your eyes if you stare at a computer all day, every day without ever giving them a break. Try to not stare at your computer screen for longer than 20 minutes. Set a timer if it helps. You don’t have to look away for more than a few minutes, but you do need to give your eyes a break.
Make sure you get an annual eye exam and ask your eye doctor about eyewear options. You may want to invest in glasses that can help reduce eye strain.
Most companies have an emergency plan in place, even if it isn’t clearly outlined. Know where you are expected to go when there is an emergency! If you don’t know where to find your emergency plans, ask a supervisor.
You need to know how to get out of your building should the need arise. Not knowing what to do in an emergency situation is a risk to your safety and perhaps your life.
Safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility. If you see something, say something. Don’t assume that someone else will be brave enough to speak up. If you notice a dangerous or hazardous condition or something else that doesn’t sit right with you, bring it to the attention of a workplace superior or someone that is responsible for keeping your workplace safe.
Never be afraid to say something about a risky work environment. Never assume that your boss is just letting things slide, because it may be something that they are not even aware of. If your boss isn’t alerted to a hazard, how can they fix it?
It’s understandable that workers who don’t have the benefit of sick time show up at work despite not feeling well. The problem is that when you feel under the weather and head to the office anyway, you are putting yourself at greater risk for injury.
Our senses are a bit dulled when we are sick and our reaction time is slower. Not to mention that cold and flu medicine can make us feel loopy and disoriented. If you are sick, take the day off. If you don’t have sick time and can’t afford to take the day off, find out if you can work from home or in another area of the building where you won’t spread your germs.
Our Injury Lawyers are Here for You!
No one wants to be injured at work. No one wants to deal with the aftermath of any type of accident. Medical bills, lost wages, and long-term care needs can be life changing. You have rights when you are hurt!
When you are injured, you should always report any incident to your supervisor immediately and follow the proper procedures. The law often provides for benefits and protections for people injured in work or other accidents.
If you were hurt at work, in a motor vehicle accident or in any other manner please know that you have rights. Please call our office to schedule a free case evaluation and discover how we may be able to help you. We will try to answer your questions and point you in the right direction. Our firm is focused on helping injured people, please reach out to us to see if we can help you. (855) 969-5730 – we answer our phones 24 hours a day every day.
You get up in the morning when your alarm goes off. You swing your feet out of bed and onto the floor and start getting ready for work. You expect to arrive at your workplace, do your job and go home. For many people on most days, that’s exactly what happens. Each day is like the last.
For others, the workday takes a very different and dangerous turn. Workplace assaults are becoming all too common these days. As tensions build and stress boils over, tempers flare. In some cases, fists fly. Whether it is an employee assaulted by an angry customer or two workers who get into a fight, injuries can occur. If you are assaulted at work, what are your options?
Depending on the company, workers’ compensation insurance is typically carried by the owner of the company or business. The policy is there to protect workers who are injured while performing their duties. Some medical costs, lost wages and more may be covered. Workers’ compensation typically protects those who have been injured by machinery or other injuries that occur during the course of their duties. Whether or not an injury caused by an assault is covered is by workers’ compensation is a question that should be answered by an experienced work injury attorney. Every case is different, so one answer does not fit all situations.
Let’s say that you are performing your job when an angry customer approaches you. You do your best to provide excellent customer service, but the person is so agitated that nothing you say is working. The customer lashes out with their fists, striking you in the face, breaking your nose. In such a situation, your injuries may be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
In another example, you are on the job when you are approached by an angry coworker. If you should become injured by that coworker because of workplace violence, you should absolutely consult with an experienced work injury attorney to discover what rights you may have.
In a final example, say you work in a retail store. Your store is very busy and is often receiving new products to sell. Many of those products are delivered by a 3rd party delivery company. If you should be assaulted or injured by a 3rd party such as a delivery person or other vendor, you may be entitled to compensation under workers compensation and additionally there may be a 3rd party claim against the other person or his or her company. Situations like that can be complicated, so please speak to an attorney to find out more about what protections that law allows for such a situation.
Laws vary from state-to-state on what will and won’t be covered under workers’ compensation. In some cases, the laws may be the same, but may apply differently to different situations. If you have been injured as the result of an assault at work or because of an accident, your best option is to consult an experienced work injury attorney that can advise you of the applicable laws in your state.
If you have been injured while doing your job in Charlotte, you may have a valid case. Contact our team today to arrange for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We will discuss your incident with you and help you determine your options for moving forward. Call our office now to schedule your case evaluation or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.
You go to work everyday despite the weather. You brave snow and ice on the roads to get where you need to be. Unfortunately, so does everyone else and that means germs. We are deep into the cold and flu season, meaning people are showing up at work when they would have been better off staying home in bed.
Not only are these people showing up at work, but they are bringing their illness with them and sharing it with those closest to them. You go to work on Tuesday feeling fine and wake up Wednesday with a throat that feels like you’ve swallowed razor blades and muscles that feel like you’ve been run over. You’ve caught the flu from your co-worker. Can you file workers’ compensation?
To be able to file a workers compensation claim and be successful, you must be able to prove that your illness or injury is work related. That means that you’ve got to be able to prove that your flu was directly caused by the conditions at work. This can be difficult.
It’s not to say it’s impossible, but the flu is a common illness that can be contracted almost anywhere. If you leave your house and enter a public building, you can contract the flu. If you go to your parents’ house, you can contract the flu. Defense attorneys know this and will fight hard to cast doubt that you contracted the illness at work.
Let’s say you aren’t dealing with the flu, but frostbite. You work outside for a living and despite wearing all the right protection in the biting cold, you’ve developed frostbite on your face that requires medical attention. Can you file a claim for workers’ compensation?
Here’s the key: You have to prove that your injury was causal and not casual. That means that it was directly related to your job duties. For example, you are required to complete work outside in the scope of your employment. You sustain frostbite. Chances are you will be covered. On the other hand, if you chose to spend your 15-minute break outside in the freezing weather, it’s doubtful that you would be covered under workers’ compensation laws.
Even if you believe that you may not be covered under current workers’ compensation laws, it’s important that you speak with a local attorney should you be injured or become ill at work. State laws can vary greatly and you shouldn’t assume that you will or won’t be covered.
If you have sustained illness or injury on the job in Charlotte, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our office today and let us review the details of your situation. We will help you determine your rights.. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation.
It’s always a good time to remind yourself of safe habits before you need them. This includes winter workplace safety tips. Before the cold weather sets in, it’s important to know how to protect yourself and, if you are a business owner, protect your employees. Read on for the most common winter weather dangers in the workplace, and how to prevent many of the accidents that could result.
Slips and falls during the cold weather can happen quickly. Avoiding slips and falls can be done if people are careful. Employers and employees should both be on the lookout for hazards and remove them when noticed. Keep all walkways and stairways clear, and shovel outdoor areas.
If working outside, wear appropriate footwear and make sure walkways are salted. Make yourself more visible by wearing bright or reflective clothing. Don’t carry loads that are so large that they inhibit your sight or your balance.
Know the warning signs of frostbite. Skin that is hard, pale and numb is a problem. If you notice stiffness setting into joints or muscles or even blisters and swelling, you need medical attention. Keep the affected body parts elevated and move to a warm area. Avoid heating the area too quickly, because this can case permanent damage.
Hypothermia is indicated if there is uncontrollable shivering or shaking. A lack of coordination and confusion can also occur. Slurred speech is also indicative of hypothermia. Again, the victim should be moved to a warm area and additionally covered with blankets. Medical attention is warranted in any case of suspected hypothermia.
Daily inspections should take place in the event of adverse weather. Employers should make sure that work areas are free of snow and ice. Employers should also make sure that employees are dressed properly and have taken precautions for working in cold weather. If an employer does not have time to conduct these safety inspections on their own, a worker should be given the responsibility.
A workplace injury can happen during any season, but winter provides a unique set of hazards, especially in snow and ice and for outdoor workers. Whether you are an employee or in charge of a work force, it is up to each individual to ensure that not only the workplace is safe, but that safety protocols are being followed by everyone.
If you are injured in the workplace in Charlotte, you have rights. Do not assume that an accident is just an accident. You have the right to be heard, and you have the right to compensation. Reach out to our experienced team of workplace injury attorneys today for assistance. We will review your incident with you at no cost and advise you of your legal options. Call today to schedule your case evaluation and let us help you make decisions appropriate for your situation.
It is widely known that construction works face a variety of hazards each time they step onto a work site. Statistics have shown that four out of every 100 workers will be hurt on the job annually. Deaths in this industry account for 18 percent of all work-related fatalities that occur yearly. Some of the most common causes of accident include:
Construction workers often work in high places. They may balance on scaffolding, climb ladders or work on roofs. Falls account for 34 percent of all work-related fatalities among construction workers.
In addition to working in high places, construction workers frequently work with exposed wiring. These men and women also work near power lines and unfinished electrical systems. Coming into contact with any of these things can cause anything from a mild shock to deadly electrocution.
Projects that have multiple levels pose a threat of falling objects. Heavy tools, materials used for building and other debris can fall from above, striking workers who are on the ground.
There is heavy machinery on construction sites. There are also different types of equipment, including vehicles. Getting caught between pieces of equipment and stationery objects can happen quickly. This can cause crushing and other types of injuries.
Working for long hours performing physical labor is taxing on anyone’s body. Working in hot and humid conditions can be deadly. Many workers will push through to get the job done. This can be a risky choice to make.
When construction workers are injured on the job, it affects them and the people they love. When workers are injured, they may be unable to return to the site. This means a loss of paycheck and, in turn, financial hardship. A construction injury can be truly life altering.
If you have been injured on the job in Charlotte, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Reach out to our team of experienced attorneys today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your injury and advise you of your options under current state and local law. Call today for assistance.
OSHA has recently released a warning to workers regarding the dangers of methylene chloride. The warning comes after a worker was killed as a result of exposure to the chemical. Anyone who works with the chemical is urged to take extra precautions.
According to OSHA, the worker was removing a bathtub coating using a paint stripper. The worker was performing the job in a small bathroom in an apartment. The window was open partially in order to provide ventilation. Just a couple of hours after the project was started, the worker was found unconscious. The cause of the worker’s death has been ruled as asphyxiation with acute methylene chloride toxicity.
Most people working with harsh chemicals in small spaces take the time to open windows to let air circulate. Unfortunately, in this incident, that precaution was not enough. OSHA is advising that there are safer alternatives to products that contain methylene chloride. When a safe alternative is not readily available, workers should do the following:
In many cases, like that when methylene chloride is being used, simply opening a window for ventilation is not adequate. Turn on fans for air circulation and use a respirator. If you are unable to do these things, the chemical should not be used. As has been seen in the case mentioned above, the results could be deadly.
If you are not sure if the chemical is in the solution that you are using, read the label or ask someone who should know. Methylene chloride can be found in paint strippers, pesticides and in some solutions that are used in the processing of photographic film.
Working with chemicals should always be considered hazardous. If you have been injured on the job and need assistance with workers’ compensation in Charlotte, reach out to our team of attorneys. We will review the details of your case at no cost to you and advise you of your options. Call now for assistance or browse our website for more information about our firm.
Molds are a type of fungi that can be found virtually anywhere. When molds grow excessively and you breathe in their spores, you can become ill or breathing issues could worsen. If you are exposed to mold on a regular basis at work and become sick as a result, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Here is more information on mold and the health problems it can cause.
Mold can’t grow without moisture and organic material. While many people are familiar with greenish-blue and even black mold, the fungi can come in a variety of colors, including white, brown and orange. Some mold is easily visible, while other outbreaks hide in corners and crevices, never seen by the human eye.
If you are exposed to mold on a regular basis, you may breathe in the pores. You can also be exposed to mycotoxins which grow on mold if you come into contact with it. Exposure to both materials can have a different effect on your health.
People exposed to mold react in different ways, depending on their sensitivity. Typically, you can expect to have an allergic reaction, similar to one you would have if you are allergic to pollen and other outdoor organisms. People who are overly sensitive to mold may experience serious symptoms, including infections of internal organs.
If you have been tasked with removing mold from your workplace, you should take the proper precautions, including the wearing of latex gloves, eye protection and a respirator. Wash hard surfaces with everyday cleaning products. Avoid the use of toxic chemicals to clean mold as they are not necessary.
If you notice mold in carpet or in drywall, do not attempt to remove it on your own. This type of mold growth should be handled by someone with proper training in its removal to ensure the safety of everyone.
If you believe that you have been exposed to mold at work and fallen ill as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our team of attorneys today for assistance with workers’ compensation in Charlotte. We will review the details of your case at no cost and advise you of your options.
If you have a FitBit or similar device, you are familiar with wearable technology. We will soon be moving beyond wearable technology that simply tracks our level of exercise and fitness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Indego exoskeleton, a piece of wearable technology that can help those who have been paralyzed or disabled walk again. It is just one example of how technology could aid in the treatment of people who have been injured on the job.
The devices that are being tested and released are ushering people into a new age of personal health and wellness. The workers’ compensation industry is wrapping its figurative arms around the latest in wearable tech. Doctors are writing prescriptions for it, claims managers are considering using it to help patients deal with injuries, and attorneys will begin to consider the cost of wearable technology into claims and lawsuits.
Wearables, as they are being called, are currently being utilized most often for people that have been injured already. People in the workers’ compensation injury are beginning to look at how these devices can be used to prevent injury. Here are a few examples of how industry leaders believe that they can be put into use:
These are just a few of the ways that industry experts are looking into as a way to prevent illness and injury on the job. Used for prevention and healing, wearable technology could change the face of workers’ compensation as it is known today.
If you have been injured at work and need assistance with workers’ compensation in Charlotte, you need an attorney you can trust will stand up for the rights of you and your family. Call our office today for a free initial consultation and let us offer you our assistance.
People who are physically injured on the job are aware that they can file a workers’ compensation claim to assist them in paying for the costs associated with those injuries. Slips and falls, lacerations and incidents involving machinery are all covered. There are even instances in which telecommuters hurt on the road or at home may be compensated for their injuries. What happens, though, when the injuries you sustain are not physical, but mental?
When it comes to workers’ compensation in Charlotte, you may be compensated for workplace stress or even sexual harassment. Proving workplace stress or harassment due to negligence can be difficult, but not impossible. In many cases, your attorney can argue the point that you would not be suffering with mental distress had your employer taken the proper steps to prevent that distress. Here are some examples.
In 2003, a nurse filed a lawsuit against her employer, claiming that she was suffering with PTSD. The woman presented evidence that she worked with patients that were suicidal, homicidal and otherwise disturbed. The court concluded that she was indeed subjected to stress at her workplace, a psychiatric hospital, and that her PTSD was a direct result of her employment.
Claims of sexual harassment have been denied in most courts across the nation, with judges handing down opinions that sexual harassment is not workplace specific. There has been a case, however, where a plaintiff was awarded compensation due to general harassment. In that case, the worker was able to prove that she had filed complaints according to policy and that, because her complaints were mishandled, her harassment and subsequent stress were the direct result of her employer’s negligence.
Do not assume that because the injuries you have suffered at work are not physical, you do not have a right to compensation. An attorney will be able to advise you of your options depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury.
If you need assistance filing for workers’ compensation in Charlotte or your claim has already been denied, call our team of attorneys. We will offer you a free initial case evaluation and review the details of your case. Call now for assistance or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.