Hurricane Dorian and Workers’ Comp

North Carolinians yet again are reeling from the effects of a hurricane. The high winds and flooding have wreaked havoc on homes, schools, and businesses. Were you injured while preparing for Dorian or from cleaning up afterwards? If you got hurt while doing hurricane work for your employer, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Preparing for Dorian

In North Carolina, when folks are in trouble, people pitch in. So in the chaotic days leading up to Dorian, many North Carolina workers dropped their normal job duties to help their employer prepare for coming disaster. Hurricane preparations at work may have included the following tasks, all of which put workers at risk for injury:

  • Shopping for and transporting hurricane supplies
  • Hauling lumber, sandbags, ladders, and equipment
  • Boarding up businesses using ladders and scaffolding
  • Driving to and from job sites to assess possible risk
  • Moving furniture and business equipment to avoid water damage

In North Carolina, injured workers may collect workers’ compensation benefits, including medical treatment and disability benefits, if their injury arose from the employment…even if the injury occurred while they were performing an unusual job outside their normal routine. Hurricane preparation work can be physically demanding and risky, especially for workers not accustomed to performing heavy manual labor. If you were injured while helping your employer prepare for Hurricane Dorian, a workers’ compensation specialist at Ricci Law Firm may be able to help.

Manning the Fort During Dorian

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act rewards those who participate in acts of bravery. In order to safeguard your office or worksite, did you stay at or near your place of business during Hurricane Dorian? If so, and you suffered injuries either on or off the work premises, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits on the basis that your employment placed you at an increased risk of injury. Because of the unusual nature of this type of claim, it is important to seek legal advice. Contact an attorney at Ricci Law Firm if you believe you have a claim.

Cleaning Up After Dorian

If we learned anything from Hurricane Florence, it is that, after a hurricane, good help is hard to find. Because hurricanes create too much work with too few people to help, employers often rely on their workers to get things up and running. Dorian’s path of destruction likely will force ordinary workers in North Carolina to handle hurricane reparation work over the next few months. This work includes removing storm panels and plywood, cutting up fallen limbs, moving and discarding damaged material, moving debris, cleaning and disinfecting worksites, traveling to and from dumpsters and waste facilities, and repairing broken windows. If you get hurt while performing this type of task – even if the job is far outside your normal routine – you may be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

If you suffered an injury during Hurricane Dorian – or during preparations or repairs – the workers’ compensation attorneys at Ricci Law Firm may be able to help get you medical treatment and disability benefits. Contact one of our workers’ compensation specialists today.

Workers’ Compensation Lawyer serving Greenville and Raleigh

I’m Brian Ricci, a workers’ compensation lawyer serving Greenville and Raleigh. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury at work, please call me at (252) 777-2222 for free, friendly advice.

I am a longtime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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