Are workplace accidents a source of brain injuries?

Brain injuries result from more than just car accidents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a unit of the U.S. Department of Labor, around three million Americans each year are injured in their workplaces. Some of the most common injuries include slip-and falls, collisions with objects or equipment, and falls from heights. Each of those categories could potentially result in brain trauma or injury.

Can a proactive approach to workplace safety minimize the risk of brain injury? Absolutely. To prevent falls from heights, workers can make sure that scaffolding and ladders are properly maintained, and that safety harnesses are used. To prevent slips and falls on areas such as stairwells, proper lighting can ensure that surfaces are clearly visible. When spills occur, prompt cleaning accompanied by “Watch Your Step” signs may minimize injuries.

Our law firm focuses on a variety of personal injury claims, including work-related claims. Far too often, we have seen negligence undermine workplace safety. This brings up an important distinction: workers’ compensation claims are different than personal injury claims.

Specifically, workplace injuries are typically governed by an employer’s insurance policy, whereas personal injury claims are brought in a civil court. The evidence required by each claim is also different because a workers’ compensation inquiry is not dependent on fault. A plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, in contrast, must convince the jury of the defendant’s negligence by a preponderance of the evidence.

Indeed, workers’ compensation coverage may be available regardless of who may have been at fault in the workplace accident. Disputes may still arise over the amount of medical care or treatments authorized under the policy, however. If a third party’s negligence contributed to the accident, a personal injury claim may also be available. An attorney can help protect your rights and maximize your options in each of these scenarios.

Source: Huffington Post, “How to Avoid Workplace Injuries,” Stephanie R. Caulde, May 9, 2016

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