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Workers' compensation: Dropped rebar may leave worker paralyzed

A construction site of California High Speed Rail was recently the site of yet another workplace accident. This time, the victim might have to rely on the state's workers' compensation insurance system to provide disability benefits for long-term financial support. This project saw another HSR construction accident in the same area last November.

Reportedly, the hoisting equipment from which a piece of rebar was suspended malfunctioned. The rebar fell on the worker, fracturing multiple bones and causing spinal column damage. The injured worker was rushed to a hospital where, according to a family member, he is kept flat on his back and wearing a neck brace. At the time of the report, the feeling had not returned to his body below chest level, and doctors feared paralysis.

Further reports indicate that the injured worker's employer has launched an investigation that will be independent of the one carried out by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. Equipment on construction sites must be well maintained, and such equipment is usually subjected to frequent assessments and inspections to identify potential malfunctions before they happen. Cal/OSHA inspectors will want to determine whether this incident involved any safety violations.

California workers who are victims of construction site accidents that cause catastrophic injuries could be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. However, specific steps need to be taken within applicable time limits, and multiple medical reports will be required to accompany a claim for workers' compensation disability benefits. An attorney who is experienced in fighting for the rights of injured workers can take over and handle the claims process with a goal of obtaining maximum benefits.

Source: yourcentralvalley.com, "HSR construction site accident may leave Fresno man permanently paralyzed", Dennis Valera, March 8, 2018

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