Spinal Cord Injuries in Construction Accidents
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous professions in the United States with over 5,000 fatalities reported each year. That is an average of 14 construction workers being dying on the job every day. Catastrophic injuries leave many survivors with life-altering disabilities. Spinal cord injuries are the most devastating of all construction accident injuries.
Falls from elevated surfaces, struck-by accidents, electrocution, and caught-in or -between accidents cause the majority of deaths and catastrophic injuries to construction workers. Known as the “Fatal Four,” these situations lead to serious and often a debilitating spinal cord injury. When the spinal cord is severed, broken, or crushed, victims are left with lifelong pain and debilitating disabilities.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Construction Accidents
A spinal cord injury can occur when the neck, shoulders, back, or legs are injured. The most common types of construction accidents causing these injuries include:
- Falls: Falls from elevated surfaces are the leading cause of serious and fatal construction accidents. Scaffolds, ladders, and high rise surfaces such as roofs and multi-storied buildings are common work areas for construction workers. Falls from these elevated surfaces often result in spinal cord injuries when workers slip, trip, or lose their balance while working. The impact of hitting the hard surface below can easily cause spinal fractures, crushed vertebrate, and head and neck injuries.
- Struck-By Accidents: Cranes transporting heavy steel beams, long wooden planks on forklifts, large construction vehicles, front loaders, and dump trucks moving large items from place to place put construction workers in serious danger of being struck by heavy objects. When this happens, spinal cord injuries are common. Head, neck, shoulder, and back injuries can result when these massive objects strike unsuspecting workers.
- Caught-Between Objects: When construction workers are caught between heavy equipment, concrete surfaces, and steel beams, spinal cord injuries often happen. When bones in the neck, shoulders, back, and chest area are crushed or fractured, injuries to the spinal cord can result, causing significant damage to nerves and vertebrate.
- Electrocution: Electrical accidents can happen anytime workers are exposed to live electrical circuits and wires. Working high above the ground close to overhead wires cause many construction workers to suffer electrocution. To add to the devastating injuries that come with electrocution, spinal cord injuries often result when workers fall from elevated surfaces when the accident occurs.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries and Disabilities
Spinal cord injuries can affect the neck, shoulders, nerves, and vertebrates in the spinal column. When these types of injuries occur, victims suffer a multitude of disabilities, which include:
- Nerve damage resulting in extreme pain and limited mobility
- Herniated discs
- Reduced or lost use of movement in the extremities
- Respiratory distress
- Urinary and bowel incontinence
- Immune disorders
- Autonomic function impairment such as blood pressure and body temperature regulation
- Sexual dysfunction
- Depression and anxiety
A spinal cord injury is never a minor condition. Temporary and often permanent disabilities are common with this type of injury, causing victims to have limited mobility that can significantly affect their ability to work and live independently.
Piscataway Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Represent Those Suffering With Spinal Cord Injuries
If you have been injured in a construction accident, call the Piscataway construction accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 877-249-4600, or 732-537-8570, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Highland Park, New Jersey offices serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.