In our last post, we discussed how important it can be to hire an attorney when you have a particularly severe or complex workers’ compensation claim. It is critical to ensure that your claim is approved and that you receive the appropriate financial support and medical care during what is a vulnerable and difficult time. An attorney can also help you explore additional avenues for compensation, such as a lawsuit against a third party that may have contributed to your injuries.

An example of a particularly horrendous workplace accident occurred earlier this summer in Maine. A construction worker was critically injured and may suffer from permanent disabilities after he was struck by and trapped under approximately 10,000 pounds of steel sheet pilings that had fallen off of a truck.

The 50-year-old man was part of a crew replacing a highway bridge. One morning in July, some very large and very heavy steel sheet pilings came loose from the back of a truck and fell on top of the man, pinning him to the ground. The accident left him with a broken shoulder, a broken pelvis, and facial injuries. An attorney acting as a spokesman for his family says that the man may be permanently blind as a result of the accident.

This accident very well could have been fatal. News reports note that the man’s breathing stopped “for some time” just after the accident. Thankfully, he was quickly rushed to the hospital and given emergency treatment. He is now going through the difficult process of physical therapy.

Without first-hand knowledge of the details of this case, it is impossible to know what the man’s options are for workers’ compensation benefits, third-party liability claims or any other legal remedies. But the case nonetheless serves as an important reminder that seriously injured workers need an advocate working in their best interests after a life-altering accident like this one.

In construction work especially, the employment structure of contractors and subcontractors working on a job site can lead to confusion about whether workers have coverage for injuries, who else may be considered liable and what their legal options are following a workplace injury. Judging from news reports, this worker (thankfully) appears to have an experienced attorney advocating for him and his family.

If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, please don’t feel like you need to take care of things all by yourself. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can make the claims process far less stressful and improve your chances of a successful outcome.