Workplace injuries vary significantly in type and severity. Some accidents cause only minor cuts, bruises, and scrapes. Other incidents, however, cost lives or leave employees in need of lifesaving emergency care. These unfortunate events leave irreversible damage and loss in their wake. We crowdsourced fellow injury attorneys to find out about the worst workplaces injuries they have encountered. Read on to learn more.
Facial and dental fractures
Our client had been a US postal carrier for seven years. In 2014, while driving her postal route, she was “T-boned” by the at-fault driver, who had been distracted by his cell phone. Because there is no door or restraint on the drivers’ side of the postal vehicle, our client was thrown from her vehicle and landed at some distance on her face. Witnesses reported that she was actually airborne. Among other severe injuries, she suffered several facial fractures, a fracture to the roof of her mouth, and she lost several front teeth.
She underwent three surgeries to correct her facial and dental fractures. She was out of work for 20 weeks. Her unpaid medical and dental bills exceeded $57,000, and she lost over $20,000 in wages. Thankfully, our client had health insurance and workers’ compensation insurance through her employer, the US Department of Labor. In addition, we were able to obtain a six-figure settlement for our client from the auto insurer for the at-fault driver.
Major crush injury to his hand
He worked as a contractor of an industrial clean-up company and was onsite at a power plant doing a vacuum of the coal mills. Power had been cut, and all systems were down and off. Suddenly, the machines jumped to life and pulled his hand in, crushing it. He was airlifted to the hospital. He suffered a major crush injury to his hand, degloved, multiple broken bones, and it looked like he’d lose his thumb. Even worse, the safety investigator found out that another power plant had a similar issue, and the plant had been warned about it beforehand.
Jared Staver is the founding attorney of Staver Law Group, a law firm that specializes in accident injury. He’s an ally to those who’ve been injured and will fight to make things right for every client.
Anderson Franco is a San Francisco trial attorney who has successfully represented clients throughout California in personal injury matters, including motorcycle collisions, construction accidents, and premises liability.
The worst workplace injury I have encountered involved a truck driver who was dismembered after driving while districted. The employee was driving on a highway when she dropped a bag of chips. She leaned over to pick up the bag of chips while still driving on the freeway, and in those few seconds, she collided with another vehicle at full speed. She was thrown out of the vehicle and had to be airlifted via an ambulance helicopter. As she was airlifted, she noticed her amputated limb lying on the highway.
Slipped off the roof, and fell over 45 feet
The most horrible one I have come across, I will never forget. It was a construction accident at a ritzy subdivision. A remodeling company was hired to perform work on a beautiful two-story home. The remodeling company’s practice was to hire day laborers based on the company’s needs. The remodeling company promised to pay Fidencio $75 a day. Because Fidencio was undocumented and unemployed, he agreed to the $75, as he needed to find work to feed his family.
Fidencio was excited to start his new job to provide a better future for his loved ones. Upon arriving at the construction site, Fidencio climbed onto a long ladder alongside the outside of the home and onto the roof of the home. Fidencio’s job that day was to paint the siding of the home by accessing the roof. Fidencio had only spent a short amount of time on the roof before he lost his footing, slipped off the roof, and fell over 45 feet. Fidencio did not survive the fall. He left behind a wife and a child. Fidencio was not latched or secured in any way. He did not have a hard hat on. He was not provided with proper footwear.
Fidencio was not given any training, guidance, or safety gear before he was asked to perform the job. He lost his life for $75. His surviving family members brought a lawsuit against the construction for damages based on the remodeling company’s negligence.
Rafael De La Garza
Rafael De La Garza is committed to providing hope and financial remedy to those who suffered severe injuries and other damages after an accident caused by a negligent party. Find him at Dlgarzalaw.com
David F. Stern
David F. Stern has concentrated his practice on workers’ compensation law for 20 years. He has garnered recognition for his advocacy skills from his opponents, the judiciary, and most importantly, the thousands of clients he has successfully represented.
Severe spinal cord injury
Our firm represents an injured worker involved in a catastrophic accident on the tarmac at the airport. The collision caused him to lose an eye. He had facial surgery to reconstruct the appearance of his face. He has significant disfigurement to his face and neck. Our valued client has completely lost the use of his entire left arm and right hand. He sustained severe spinal cord injury requiring extensive surgery and scarring. The tragic aftermath of this accident has resulted in the need for psychological treatment. He requires extensive in-home nursing for his daily needs.
Killed by an 18-wheeler
When someone thinks of workplace injuries, a picture naturally comes to mind, maybe of a person with a back injury grabbing their back or with a sling around their arm. These happen, but they are not nearly the depth of what can and does happen.
A gas leak around new construction explodes and burns a workman so badly that he begs his family to shoot him or let him shoot himself. An overturned 18-wheeler is hit by another 18-wheeler, causing brain injury, permanent non-surgical neck pain and [damage] to the second driver’s ankles, knee, and back. A fall off of a building resulting in brain injuries and lifelong injuries to the feet and ankles. And, of course, death, whether from a truck wreck, a fall, an explosion, a fire, or an oilfield injury. If I never see another case where a pilot truck driver with signs, flashing lights, and reflective tape all over his vehicle is killed by an 18-wheeler who fell asleep at the wheel, it will be too soon.
The truth is many of the crippling work injuries we see are simply a matter of when it will occur and not if it will occur. A personal injury lawyer sees a lot of pain over a career. It is one of the reasons that most of us are sticklers when it comes to accountability and enforcing safety rules. We know that when no one is accountable, no one is safe. Most of us are trying to build a safer world for folks at work, drivers on the road, and families at play.
Maia Tomljanovic received her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business in 2008 and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2012. Maia joined Cuming & Gillespie as an articling student in 2012 and was named Partner in June 2020.
From spinal cord injuries to psychological injuries
We receive calls and work with people who have suffered all manner of workplace injuries, from spinal cord injuries to psychological injuries to injuries resulting in lifelong, debilitating chronic pain. We also act for the family members of those who have passed away as a result of a workplace injury. The difficulty with many of these claims is that in circumstances where both the injured party and the negligent person or company are covered by workers’ compensation benefits (WCB), a lawsuit for damages beyond what the no-fault WCB system covers is statute-barred.
When speaking with a surviving partner who has just lost not only their life partner but also their primary source of household income, or when speaking with someone who has been catastrophically injured, it is extremely difficult to explain to them and attempt to help them come to terms with the fact that there is no ability to hold anyone else accountable for what happened, regardless of how egregious the negligence was.
This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.