Falls From Height
Slips, trips, and falls accounted for 18% of non-fatal work injuries that resulted in missed time from work in 2020. Construction workers and others who have to perform their job duties from a significant height are at the most risk of serious injuries. As the second-leading cause of unintentional construction fatalities, employers know the risks of falls, and yet often, they fail to take preventative measures that could save the lives of workers.
California is a no-fault Worker’s Compensation state, so construction employees can receive worker’s comp benefits even if they were responsible for their accident. Your attorney does not have to prove negligence on behalf of your employer for you to receive worker’s comp benefits. However, in exchange for this, employees lose their right to sue their employer. There are exceptions to this rule, however, and in some cases, the victim can be awarded supplemental damages.
These cases can get complicated very quickly, but when you work with Grossman Law Offices, we can make it easier for you. We explain your rights under the law, the exceptions to this remedy rule, and fight to get you all of the supplemental damages that you could be entitled to. Call us now at (866) 982-5094 to talk to an attorney.
Fall Protection Regulations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that fall protection is provided when construction workers in general industry workplaces are elevated 4 feet above the ground. Construction workers must use this specialized equipment when working at an elevation of 6 feet above the ground.
A personal fall arrest system is used to prevent a construction worker from falling from whatever level they are working at, which includes a full body harness, anchorage, and connector. The NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation found that 54% of construction workers killed from falls between 1982 and 2015 had no access to personal fall arrest systems.
Common Injuries Caused By Falls From Height
A fall from as low as six feet could be deadly. It is the second-leading cause of construction site fatalities. The force of the impact affects every part of the body. The most common injuries are:
- Spinal cord injury
- Head and brain injury
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal damage
- Joint and limb injuries
Spinal cord injuries can lead to a host of other problems. The victim may be fully or partially paralyzed, either temporarily or permanently. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that run down the spine that is protected by the vertebrae, but when that cord is ruptured, the victim loses muscle control in one or more parts of their body. They could lose control of their bowels or bladder and may need constant care at home.
There are two types of traumatic brain injuries: penetrating injuries called open TBI and non-penetrating injuries called closed TBI. When the impact fractures the skull, shards of bone can penetrate the brain and cause bleeding. A fall can cause immediate injuries and symptoms like loss of consciousness, concussion, brain swelling, ringing in the ears, headaches, and other concerning signs of serious injury.
Fall victims are also very likely to suffer multiple fractures. The risk of a broken bone impinging on an internal organ is very high, so it’s important to get medical help immediately. Not only will the victim need surgery to repair multiple bone fractures, but several months or years of physical rehabilitation. Broken bones can reduce mobility for a long time.
Damages In A Falls From Height Claim
Economic damages include all of your expenses related to the construction accident. The at-fault party should be held financially liable for the costs you incurred due to your injury. You could receive compensation for your:
- Medical care, including your emergency room visit, any surgeries, lab tests and exams, medications, rehabilitation, and medical equipment like crutches and wheelchairs
- Lost wages or salaries or commissions
- Diminished earning capacity
- In-home nursing or personal care
- Childcare and household service
Noneconomic damages are non-pecuniary damages based on your subjective pain and suffering. Because they are harder to quantify, they are more legally complex to prove. Some of the most common examples of noneconomic damages are humiliation, loss of consortium, inconvenience, grief, mental anguish, emotional distress, and the loss or loss of use of a limb or organ.
Call Our Attorneys Now
When you are planning to file a personal injury claim, it’s a good idea to speak to a construction site accident attorney with many years of experience standing up to large employers and insurance companies. With over $2 million in settlements and personal injury cases, you can rely on our attorneys to help you or a loved one in a falls from height case. Call Grossman Law Offices at (866) 982-5094 today.