Articles Posted in Fall Accidents

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Construction projects both large and small are often the site for serious and potentially deadly workplace accidents in the Greater Boston area.  Some of these accidents are the fault of employers (typically a general contractor or a subcontractor), while others are due to the possible negligent actions of the employee. Finally, some accidents are accidents in the colloquial sense of the word and are not really anyone’s fault. The good news for the injured worker and his or her family is that fault is not generally relevant in Boston workers’ compensation cases. This is due mainly to how and why workers’ compensation law was drafted in Massachusetts.

Boston workplace injury Interestingly, it was employers who first pushed for what we know today as the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. While the name implies it was designed to compensate workers, it was the employers who wanted to limit their exposure to personal injury lawsuits from employees who claimed they were injured on the job or suffered a work-related illness. This is because they are additional damages (financial compensation) available in a personal injury lawsuit that are not available in a workers’ compensation case.  Continue reading

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When an employee is on the job in Boston and is assaulted by a co-worker, the injured worker is generally prohibited by the Workers’ Compensation Act codified in Chapter 152 of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.) from filing a civil lawsuit.  This is because an injured employee has the remedy of filing for workers’ compensation and this what is known as an exclusive remedy.  There are some cases where an injured employee can file a claim for workers’ compensation and then file a lawsuit against a negligent or intentional tortfeasor, but these cases involved a tortfeasor who is not an employer of coworker.  In these cases, the tortfeasor must be a bona fide third party such as customer or a vendor.

Boston Workers' Compensation According to a recent news article from NECN, a constructor has been arrested after assaulting a coworker in Boston.  Authorities say the defendant assaulted his coworker on a construction project and then allegedly tried to cover up the attack.  The specific charges included witness intimidation, obstruction of justice, and aggravated assault and battery.  He was arraigned along with a co-defendant who was charged with being an accessory after the fact and the same charges as the alleged assailant. Continue reading

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When a worker is injured on-the-job in Boston, he or she should immediately report the injury to a supervisor or the employer.  And if that worker desires to be compensated for medical bills, the cost of rehabilitation including physical or occupational therapy, and to recover for lost wages due to time away from work, the only course of action in most to cases is to promptly file a workers’ compensation claim.

One issue that often arises is when the claimant has a pre-existing condition aggravated by a work-related injury.

Categories of Workplace Injuries in Boston

workers' compensation lawyerThere are two main categories of workplace injuries in Boston workers’ compensation cases. One category of workplace injuries involves damage caused by a single traumatic event.  For example, if an employee is working in the stockroom of a big box store, there is a good chance someone else will be be moving around with a pallet jack or forklift.  If the employee is working in the back and a pallet jack runs over his foot, the heavy metal casters with a heavy pallet sitting on top could easily break a toe or other bones in the foot if the worker is not wearing a steel-toed shoe or boot.  This type of accident happens all the time.  The United States Department of Labor (DOL) keeps detailed statistics on pallet jack injuries in the U.S., and as we can see from the data, some of these resulted in amputations. Continue reading

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In some of the worst types of on the job accidents, claimants are killed or suffer a severe personal injury.  A severe personal injury in a Boston workplace accident can include the amputation or loss of function in a hand, arm, leg, foot, finger, or toe.

shoulder injury lawyerIn addition to the standard workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages and medical bills, the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Section 152, Chapter 36 provides for a single lump sum award for specific injuries.  This can include various types of injuries such as loss of limbs or extremities. Continue reading

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In Baker v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board, a case from the California Court of Appeal, claimant was initially injured while working as a construction laborer. While this case deals with a lump sum payment of benefits and his disability rating, this would be a good time to discuss a major issue that often comes up in cases in Boston in which construction workers are injured.

Employee v. Independent Contractor

Boston workers' CompensationIn order to collect workers’ compensation benefits, you must be an employee, and you must have suffered an on-the-job injury or suffered from a work-related illness. However, as we have said in various other posts on this Boston workers’ compensation blog, while you can get workers’ compensation for an illness that is due to your occupation, the vast majority of workers’ compensation cases involve accidents that occur on the job. This is not to say that there are never any workers’ compensation benefits paid for work-related illness. Continue reading

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When you are injured on the job in Boston, if you wish to be compensated for your time, you cannot work, and, to pay for your past and future medical bills, you will need to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer.

workers' compensation lawyer BostonThere is a process established in Chapter 152 of the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL), which makes up the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA).  Pursuant to the various sections of Chapter 152 of the MGL, you must first report the injury to your employer and make sure it generates an accident report. If you are in need of medical attention or missing work as a result of the workplace accident, or both, you must file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. Continue reading

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Working on ladders, especially tall ladders that lead to a roof, is extremely dangerous work.  While many people who do this type of work take safety for granted and do not worry too much about falling, it happens all the time.  Not only do workers fall off ladders and roofs all the time, these fall accidents often result in serious injury or death.

scaffoldAs for serious injury, there are not only cases with broken arms and legs, but also many cases where a worker will suffer a spinal cord injury that results in permanent paralysis.  There are also many cases where a worker who falls of a ladder or roof will suffer a serious head injury that results in permanent brain damage.  Any of these accidents can seriously affect a worker’s quality of life in a negative manner and can also have devastating and life-changing consequences for family members.  There are also many cases where falling from a high ladder or roof results in death. Continue reading

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In a recent case from the South Carolina Court of Appeals, claimant was working at an employer’s big box hardware store when he was injured on the job. His injury occurred in September 2010 when he slipped and fell.  This resulted in a serious injury to his back.

stethascopeFollowing initial treatment for his back injury, claimant went to a neurologist who specialized in spinal cord injuries, and he was diagnosed with herniated disc that was compressing his spinal column, and this caused the serious pain from which he was suffering. Continue reading

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According to a recent news article from Wicked Local Weymouth, a worker in Weymouth was seriously injured in a work accident that occurred when the scaffolding on which he was standing collapsed.

scaffoldAuthorities say the injured worker was installing vinyl siding on a home in the town just south of Boston when the accident occurred. He was working on scaffolding that had been erected for the purpose of doing this siding project when something went wrong. This type of scaffolding was built using wooden boards that were held in place by a device known as a pump jack. Continue reading

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Any type of job that requires a worker to climb a ladder or get on a roof can be a very a dangerous job.  The potential for falling in either of these scenarios is always a concern, and work-related fall injuries can result in long-term disability and even death.

workerThere are many cases each year where workers fall from a significant height and are killed instantly.  On the other hand, some who suffer injuries in a fall will experience an open or even closed head wound and will die hours or days later at hospital.  In many cases, workers who fall from roofs survive but are left with lifelong physical injuries, mental injuries, or both.  In some cases, we have psychological damage, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and in some cases we are dealing with workers who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.  For these workers and their families, life will never be the same. Continue reading