Articles Tagged with work injury lawyer

The start of bring brings a host of lawn care and tree maintenance workers out in full force. But tree care is an especially perilous industry, as illustrated by a recent incident in Massachusetts. tree

According to the Boston Herald, a government employee for the public works department in Ipswich suffered severe injuries as he was struck by a falling tree while cleaning up debris following a brush fire. The worker was helping the state’s forestry division control a brush fire by finding and tamping down hot spots when a tree fell on top of him. He was flown by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. In Minnesota last month, a worker was seriously injured while trying to remove a tree in St. Louis County. He and his crew were trying to remove another tree when high-powered winds knocked over one nearby, landing on the worker. And in another case, a 20-year-old contract worker for the federal parks service in California was crushed to death by a tree at Yosemite that came crashing down during a powerful storm.

As OSHA notes, there are many serious hazards in tree care work. The two primary dangers are:

  • Falling trees/ objects.
  • Falls from trees.

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A nursing home food worker suffered an injury in a slip-and-fall accident at work. Although she was initially granted workers’ compensation benefits for medical treatment and time off work, she was later able to return to work without restrictions. But when the nursing home was bought by another company, it switched food service contractors – and the plaintiff couldn’t get a job with the new company due to her criminal background. kitchen

Following the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s denial of workers’ compensation benefits for disability and the treatment of certain medical conditions, the plaintiff in Reece v. Sodexo, Inc. appealed to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. But the appellate panel found that competent medical evidence in the record supported the findings of fact made by the commission.

The evidence weighed by the commission generally showed that the plaintiff started working for the food service employer in 2006. She worked there for seven years before the work accident. Her job title required her to cook and serve food, wash dishes, and help with other kitchen duties. Her job required her to sometimes lift up to 50 pounds, and she often had to remove or replace heavy items on shelves or above her head.

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It’s been nearly 55 years since two crashes resulted in a total of 59 farmworker deaths. That was in 1963, and it spurred Congress to declare that this serious risk to migrant workers was inexcusable, prompting the passage of the Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act.bus

But today, even still, migrant workers and farmworkers continue to be at heightened risk of crashes and transportation-related injuries and fatalities.

Take, for example, the bus that crashed in November 2015 on a highway near Little Rock, Arkansas, when 18 Mexican guest workers were being transported from the citrus groves of Florida to the pumpkin and beet fields of Michigan. The motorcoach in which they were traveling sideswiped a barrier and a concrete bridge support. Five workers were killed and seven more severely injured.

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It’s not uncommon in workers’ compensation claims for the insurance carrier to resist the payment of benefits. It’s important in these cases for employees to know their rights – and consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. fence

In Bockus v. First Student Services, a school bus driver injured his back at work while moving a gate. As a result of this injury, he needed to undergo two spinal surgeries and later needed a third surgery.

The issue was that while the third surgery was pending, his employer, which had paid for his medical coverage up until then, requested a medical evaluation. The doctor wouldn’t go forward with the surgery while the evaluation was pending. At that point, the employee filed a workers’ compensation claim.

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Often when we talk about a work-related injury, we think about a physical injury to a worker’s body. For example, someone falls and injures their back. waterpuddle03

However, one can also legitimately suffer a mental injury as a result of an extraordinary circumstance at work. In those situations, both in North Carolina and South Carolina, the Workers’ Compensation Act does provide an avenue for recovery of benefits.

In South Carolina, the law allows employees who suffer mental injuries that are “induced by physical injury… or by unusual or extraordinary conditions of employment.” In North Carolina, psychological injuries may be compensable if they are a byproduct or result of a physical injury by accident or occupational disease. There have also been some cases in which a psychological injury resulting in a disabling physical condition may be compensable (i.e., a sudden traumatic event at work causes an immediate physical reaction). Continue reading

A new study published by Canadian researchers in the journal Thorax revealed workers who suffer obstructive sleep apnea have a heightened risk of suffering a work injury.sleep

The condition, which results in a person waking up multiple times each night when their airways become blocked, is likely to lessen a person’s senses and dull their reflexes as they are carrying out their daytime duties.

The fact of a pre-existing condition does not mean that a person cannot recover damages for injuries suffered at work. Nonetheless, both workers and employers should be aware of heightened risk factors and take steps to help reduce the impact these conditions can have.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver analyzed data from more than 1,200 sleep clinic patients and discovered that those who suffered from sleep apnea were twice as likely as their peers to suffer some type of workplace injury. What’s more, they were three times as likely to suffer form an injury that directly resulted from failed vigilance. These would be things like tripping, getting burned or falling.  Continue reading

Construction workers are often at serious risk of injury and even death, particularly when industry safety practices are not followed. steeltube

Claims for compensation in these matters – whether through the workers’ compensation system or by third party liability lawsuit – are often complicated by the fact that many construction sites have a number of entities and employers and contractors involved.

In the recent North Carolina Court of Appeals case of Bullard v. Peak Steel, plaintiff sought compensation via a third-party liability lawsuit against the construction company on whose site her husband was fatally injured. Trial court had dismissed the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because it concluded the worker was in fact an employee of the defendant, meaning the Industrial Commission had jurisdiction over the claim. The appellate court ultimately affirmed this conclusion, meaning workers’ compensation death benefits would be her only recourse at this point.  Continue reading

The South Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued a ruling in favor of a school district worker who suffered a repetitive motion injury. Previously, the workers’ compensation commission ruled the statute of limitations had run out on his case, but the appellate court reversed.acfan

In Rhame v. Charleston County School District, plaintiff had worked as a heating and air conditioning technician for the district for more than 20 years, from 1987 to 2009. His work often required that he lift equipment that weighed as much as 100 pounds.

Starting in 1994, he began to experience on-and-off back pain. He also developed problems with his neck and had to undergo cervical fusion surgery. After talking about his health issues with someone at the district, he was told the district would not provide benefits for these problems – even though they were work related. The district later sent a formal denial letter for neck injury benefits.  Continue reading

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