Whether at a construction site or a corporate office, workplace fall accidents can result in significant injuries. Construction site falls from heights often result in spine fractures with or without paralysis. Slip and falls or trip and falls in an office setting, especially on hard floors like marble, can result in broken legs and arms. Head injuries are also common in any workplace fall accident. These types of injuries can lead to significant time lost from work and medical bills for surgery, physical therapy, pain management, etc.
What many injured workers do not know is that workers’ compensation is not the only legal remedy available in workplace accident cases. While workers’ compensation provides medical benefits and a portion of wage loss benefits, it does not provide for pain and suffering damages. A third party liability case against people or businesses which negligently contributed to the accident may provide an injured worker with full recovery for his or her injuries.
The following are the types of claims for damages available to someone who is injured in a fall accident at work in Pennsylvania or New Jersey:
Past and Future Lost Wages
Pennsylvania and New Jersey laws allow claims for past and future lost wages or what is called “future earning capacity.” Past lost wages compensate the injured worker for what he or she has already lost. A future earning capacity claim compensates the injured for a change in his or her future earning ability as a direct result of the accident and injuries. For example, if a worker cannot return to work full time and instead, can only work a few hours a week, he or she can make a claim for past and future lost wages. Proving future lost wages requires using appropriate experts such as a medical expert and a forensic economist. The medical expert would be able to opine that the worker suffered a career-changing injury and the economist would crunch numbers based on pay rates, fringe benefits, average life span, etc.
Past and Future Medical Treatment Costs
Claims for past medical expenses can be presented through a calculation of what was has already been paid out for medical treatment. This usually includes what medical insurance has paid, what workers’ compensation has paid, and any out of pocket expenses. Future medical costs are projected using experts and medical cost projection calculations. These calculations account for every detail of the future picture, which could include future surgeries, home care, nursing home care, etc.
Past and Future Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are available to any worker injured due to the negligence of another person or business. While there is no way to provide a calculation of what pain and suffering amounts to, this claim compensates the injured for the accident, the injuries, any scarring or disfigurement, life changes, etc.
Loss of Consortium
This is a special type of damage claim available to the spouse of the injured worker. A spouse can make this claim for the hardships and changes a serious injury causes in the relationship.
Punitive damages serve to punish a party for outrageous conduct which led to the accident. This special claim is only made in cases where the liable party showed a reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of others. For example, a company with a history of safety violations which prevents workers from using fall protection gear would probably be liable for punitive damages in a case where a worker fell from a roof as a result of not using a fall protection harness.
To submit your case for review by our Pennsylvania and New Jersey workplace fall accident lawyers, call Click To Call. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.
Our accident attorneys serve accident victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; Kent County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.
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