Friday, May 26, 2017

Falls Can Happen in Any Workplace

Many people spend 40 hours or more per week working, and many jobs require that you go to an office or work-site to perform your duties. Since accidents can happen anywhere and because people spend so much time at work, it only makes sense that there is a risk of accidents and injuries during your work hours. One of the most common workplace accidents occurs when someone suffers a fall.

When you think of falling at work, you may first think about window-washers, roofers, utility repairmen, and other jobs that require you to be high off the ground. While falls are certainly a risk in those types of jobs, they are also surprisingly common in workplaces that normally would be considered low-risk.

At Dolman Law Group, our Clearwater workplace injury lawyers help victims of falls at work receive workers’ compensation coverage for all of their necessary medical treatments and the income they may lose while they recover from their injuries. If you’ve suffered injuries from a fall, please discuss what happened with a member of our highly experienced legal team as soon as possible.

Falls from Heights

Many work-related falls do happen from high places, and, as you may imagine, the injuries that result are often severe. Some high places from which people may fall at work include:

  • Scaffolding
  • Roofs
  • Stairs
  • Ladders
  • Platforms
  • Landings
  • Cranes or similar equipment
  • Bridge beams
  • Stepladders

While many falls happen because proper safety precautions were not taken - including necessary safety equipment and training - many others can happen even if all necessary precautions were taken. The good news is that workers' compensation benefits are available whether or not your employer was negligent or the fall was purely accidental.

Even a fall from a few feet off the ground can result in traumatic injuries that require extensive medical attention. Some of the most common injuries can include:

-Traumatic brain injury (TBI) - Many people who fall from heights hit their heads on either the ground or an object on the ground. Anytime someone hits his or her head, there is the potential to suffer a TBI, which can range from a concussion to a catastrophic brain injury that leaves that person in a coma and/or with permanent disabilities.

-Spinal cord injury - When fall victims hit the ground, the spinal cord can easily be damaged. Any damage to the spine can disrupt the functioning of the body below the point of injury, including movement abilities, sensation, bladder and bowel functioning, or even lung functioning if the injury is near the neck.

-Broken bones - Some broken bones are relatively straightforward to treat, though they require medical treatment and time for the bone to heal. More serious falls can result in compound fractures that may require surgery and the insertion of pins, screws, and other hardware to support the bone. The recovery time for such fractures can be months, and there may be permanent impairments.

-Back and neck injuries - Another common injury from a fall is damage to the soft tissue of the back or neck. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons can all be torn, sprained, or strained and can significantly restrict movement and can cause chronic pain. Most back and neck injuries require dedicated physical therapy and may continue to be an issue for years to come.

Slips, trips, and falls may happen on level ground, but that does not necessarily mean the injuries are not serious. Many slip and fall victims hit their heads, break a bone, or suffer damage to the tissue in their neck, back, or spinal cord, all of which need to be evaluated and properly treated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Slip and falls commonly result in medical bills and lost wages from missed work, which workers' compensation should reimburse. 

While falls from heights often happen in higher-risk work environments, slips and trips can happen absolutely anywhere. An office worker may not expect to be injured at work until they suddenly slip on a wet floor at work and find themselves on the ground and in pain. These injuries should be covered just as thoroughly as injuries from falls that appears to be more serious.

Your Rights as a Workplace Fall Victim

The law in Florida protects workers who sustain injuries at work that require medical treatment and/or cause them to miss work. Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance that should provide coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and any short-term or long-term disabilities stemming from the fall. Following a workplace fall, it is imperative that you notify your supervisor and seek medical attention to stabilize and diagnose your injuries as soon as possible.

Your employer should make a claim with its insurer, and if it does not, you may pursue a claim yourself. In too many situations, valid claims are partially or completely denied for a variety of reasons. If you experience any difficulty with your workers' comp claim, you should not hesitate to call an experienced lawyer who can help you with this process to help you receive the benefits you need.

Contact a Clearwater, Florida, Workers' Compensation Attorney for Help Today

Whether you have fallen off scaffolding or slipped and fell in an office building, you deserve to recover the full benefits to which you are entitled under Florida's workers' compensation laws. All too often, the severity of injuries from falls can be questioned and a workers' comp insurer will try to limit your claim. To make sure all of your medical bills and lost wages are properly covered, you should not delay in calling Dolman Law Group for assistance.

At Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, our workers’ compensation lawyers have helped clients with a wide range of work-related injuries, from sprains and strains to life-changing spinal cord injuries, among many others. We can protect your rights following a workplace accident, so please contact our office online or call 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900