When a Catastrophic Injury Happens in the Workplace
Life as you know it can change in a moment. Although you and your employer may practice safety in the workplace, accidents happen. As a result, you could suffer a catastrophic injury that may leave you feeling helpless. At the very least, you may wonder how you will survive in your current living space.
In a prior article, we provided some basic information concerning the lifetime impact of catastrophic injuries as a whole. Unfortunately, a great number of devastating injuries occur on the job. In many cases, the injuries are due to the nature of the employment. Here are some examples:
• Spinal Cord Injuries: Construction workers from any of the trades are at risk for spinal cord injuries. The Mayo Clinic classifies spinal cord injuries as any damage to the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spine that causes a permanent loss of strength, sensation and other body functions. In many cases, spinal cord injury victims suffer paralysis and become quadriplegics or paraplegics.
All things considered, it does not necessarily take an unsafe work environment to cause a spinal cord injury. For example, you could lose your footing on a scaffold or ladder and fall. Meanwhile, you could be a delivery person and suffer a spinal cord injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
• Amputation of Major Members: Without question, loss of any part of your body is a traumatic event. Notwithstanding, amputation of a hand, foot, arm or leg are considered catastrophic. In some workplace accidents, factory workers are particularly susceptible to amputation injuries. For example, their hand or foot could get caught in a machine if guards were not in place.
These are just two examples of catastrophic injuries in the workplace. You should know that part of the claims process for such severe injuries may include a life plan.
Catastrophic Work Injuries: Claims Evaluation
In New Jersey, catastrophic injuries in the workplace are taken quite seriously. Of course, the first issue is ensuring that you receive medical care to bring you to the best possible place. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will advocate on your behalf.
Of course, there’s a good chance that a catastrophic injury will result in the need for permanent and total disability. Some of the questions that may be crucial to this determination include the following:
▪ What type of work were you doing at the time of the accident?
▪ What is your level of education?
▪ Will rehabilitative services or training enable you to return to employment?
▪ What are the medical providers saying about your condition?
In many cases, you will need more than medical care to move forward. For example, your home may need specific accommodations. Likewise, you could need a special van for transportation services. Your attorney will submit a proposed Life Plan requesting those accommodations.
Life Plan for Work Injuries
At some point during your claim, your attorney will submit a proposed Life Plan to the court requesting that the workers’ compensation carrier supply you with assistance. The proposal will include the extent of your handicaps and your needs.
Meanwhile, the request for accommodations will not just cover your physical disabilities. Attention will also be given to the fact that you have suffered emotionally as well. Some example of items to be included in a life plan proposal are:
▪ Wheelchair or other appliances
▪ Vehicle accommodations
▪ Home care needs
▪ Architectural renovations
These are just the basics. A Life Care Plan proposal is tailored according to the needs of the injured worker. An attorney with experience in handling workplace catastrophic injuries will work with you to determine what to include in your proposal.
The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo has nearly eighty years of combined experience handling workers’ compensation claims. Give us a call to see how we can advocate on your behalf. There is no cost for meeting with us or during our representation. Fees are court ordered and deducted at the end of the case.