According to data from the National Safety Council 595 workers died from workplace falls in 2013 and another 47,120 were injured significantly enough to require time off. Falls are particular hazard in the construction, manufacturing, and industrial sector. This presents a major hazard to Texas and gulf coast workers thanks to the area’s thriving oil and gas sector.
Office workers are also at an increased risk of falls in the workplace compared to outside of the workplace with the National Safety Council estimating that falls are about two and a half times more likely at work for those with a desk job. Perhaps the most distressing aspect of this pervasive problem is that workplace falls are 100% preventable and all too often they occur as a result of negligence on the part of employers and supervisors. To help protect the legal rights of workplace fall victims we have put together the following legal tips.
SEEK PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR YOUR FALL
One of the most important things you can do if you have been injured in a fall accident at the workplace is to seek and receive prompt medical attention for your accident. There are numerous reasons why this is so important. First and foremost it is important to have your injuries treated so that you can begin to recover from them and so that you do not exacerbate them by continuing your daily routine without treatment. Remember that some injuries can take hours or even days to fully manifest, and even if you feel okay immediately following a workplace fall, that does not mean that you aren’t hurt. Your body may be in shock and you may not experience much initial pain. Your injuries may be internal and difficult to see and this could result in serious complications if you do not get treatment.
Being treated for your fall injury is also crucial for protecting your legal rights if you do decide to file a lawsuit for your injuries. Failure to receive medical treatment can seriously undermine your case and may give the impression that your injuries are less severe than they really are. Having a thorough medical exam immediately following your accident is also important for documenting that your injuries are a result of your workplace fall rather than some other type of non-workplace injury.
KEEP COMPREHENSIVE RECORDS OF EXPENSES RELATED TO YOUR WORKPLACE FALL
It is important to keep a comprehensive record of all expenses related to your workplace fall accident because this in turn can help provide a baseline for the amount of financial damages from the injury. Make sure to keep copies of all doctor and hospital bills, expenses related to medical tests, x-rays, and procedures, receipts for any and all medical devices and medical aids like walking canes, crutches, leg braces, wheelchairs etc., and any insurance statements you receive.
In addition to the expenses discussed above, make sure to also consider any costs required to renovate or remodel your home to make it more accessible or safer. Keep an estimate of the amount of lost wages you suffered as a result of your workplace fall as well as any lost wages your spouse or family members may have incurred from taking time off to care for you. Don’t forget expenses like hotel stays and transportation if you had to travel for surgery or rehabilitative therapy.
CONSULT AN ATTORNEY EXPERIENCED IN WORKPLACE FALL LITIGATION
One of the most important things you can do if you are considering pursuing legal action for your workplace fall, or even if you are simply curious about your legal options, is to consult an attorney who is experienced in workplace injuries and fall litigation. A consultation will help you learn more about your rights and what the next steps would be for your case. Your attorney will also be able to gather you through every step of the process and should be someone who makes you feel comfortable about the process. Dugas Law Firm specializes in personal injury cases and is committed to defending the rights of workplace fall victims.