A spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal column, the vertebra, ligaments, disks, or the spinal cord itself are damaged. People can experience non-traumatic spinal cord injuries and traumatic spinal cord injuries. For example, one can experience a non-traumatic spinal cord injury because they develop arthritis, disk degeneration, or due to inflammation or infection.
A traumatic spinal cord injury involves a sudden blow to the spine. In the event of a traumatic spinal cord injury, the blow is so hard that it dislocates, fractures, crushes, or compresses the person’s vertebrae. Often, traumatic spinal cord injuries are caused by car accidents, falls from ladders and roofs, domestic violence (e.g. being pushed down stairs) and other acts of violence (e.g. gunshots and knife wounds).
SPINAL CORD INJURIES IN THE WORKPLACE
Workers frequently suffer from traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injuries, especially those who work in construction, roofing, shipping, and manufacturing. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the following are some of the recent trends in the causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States:
- Auto accidents accounted for 26.9%
- Falls accounted for 5.73%
- Falls from or through a building structure accounted for 4.55%
- Falls involving stairs or steps accounted for 4.48%
- Falls from a ladder accounted for 2.47%
- Falls from an upper level to a lower level accounted for 1.55%
If you recently suffered a spinal cord injury because you fell off a roof, scaffolding, or ladder, or because so much heavy lifting at your job over the years has permanently damaged your back, please know that you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Even if you have loyalty to your employer, or you feel that the fall was somewhat or entirely your fault, that does not mean you shouldn’t file a claim.
Most workers in New York are covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, so there is no reason to avoid filing a claim if you are truly injured because of your employment. At Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman, we frequently handle spinal cord injury cases, many of which involve falls from heights, we can help you. To see our case results, click here.
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