Even in lines of work that people in Portland, Oregon, might think of as safe, employees can get severely injured in a lot of ways. These so-called catastrophic work injuries can, in one fell swoop, lead to millions of dollars in workers’ compensation payments in the form of medical bills, rehabilitation expenses and lost wages.
The vast majority of these catastrophic injuries can be grouped into one of five causes. The top two injuries are car accidents and falls, with each of them accounting for 24 percent of catastrophic injuries.
Many Oregonians have to drive as part of their job, and many others have to work from significant heights on a daily basis. With respect to falls, though, it is important to remember that a fall not need not be from a significant height in order to be serious. Many catastrophic workers’ compensation claims have stemmed from someone like an office worker or school teacher just falling and being unlucky enough to land in just the wrong way.
Other common causes of catastrophic injuries include getting burned or getting hit by a sharp, heavy, or fast-moving object, including a car or another vehicle. One out of ten catastrophic injuries happen because of criminal activity. Lest this conjures up images of workplace violence, however, it is important to note that most crime-related injuries have police officers as victims.
The interesting thing about this list is that many of these catastrophic injuries involve a third party, such as a negligent driver or careless property owner. What this means is that in many cases, and as this blog has discussed previously, third party liability may be another means an injured worker can recover additional damages.