Accidents Causing Paralysis
When at work, we expect our health and safety to be protected. Unfortunately, accidents do happen but when the injured party is not at fault, it can make the situation all the more distressing. One of the most serious consequences of a workplace accident is an injury which results in the paralysis of the individual involved.
Paralysis is one of the most life-changing injuries that can happen to someone. It not only affects the life of the individual involved but also that of their families. Home alterations will often be needed and it will affect the individual’s mobility and ease of doing the things which made life normal pre-accident. In many cases, the individual is unable to return to work and may suffer from loss of earnings, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and social isolation to name just a few of the consequences which may occur as the result of a paralysing injury.
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Types of Paralysis
Paralysis is defined as the inability to move or feel part or most of the body as a result of injury or illness.
Paralysis can vary between individuals depending on the severity of their injury. Some individuals go on to make a full recovery whereas for others the damage is permanent.
Terms associated with paralysis include:
- Localised – affecting a specific body part
- Generalised – affects large areas
- Paraplegia – full or partial loss of mobility in the legs
- Quadriplegia – all four limbs are affected
Main Causes of Paralysing Injuries
There are several accidents which unfortunately could result in a paralysing injury. Some of the most common types are:
- Falls from a height
- Being hit by a heavy object (including vehicles)
- An accident whilst operating heavy machinery
Usually, paralysis occurs if the accident results in:
- A head injury
- A spinal injury
Accidents can occur in any workplace. However, those at a higher risk of a head or spinal injury due to the manual nature of their jobs and the dangerous machinery, vehicles and materials involved are those who work on:
- Construction sites
- Production plants
- Industrial industries e.g. steelworks
Employees are expected to look after their health and safety at work by following any procedures that have been implemented and ensuring any training they receive is adhered to. Warning signs and hazard signs should be noted and any concerns escalated to an appropriate staff member. Common sense should always be applied – always avoiding unnecessary risk where possible and not knowingly putting themselves or other in harm’s way.
Employers are bound by law to uphold the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 which protects employees’ welfare in the workplace within practical reason.
Whilst paralysis injuries can occur from various accidents involving several sets of legal regulations, some of the most relevant responsibilities for employers are:
1. Risk assessments
- Regular risk assessments should be conducted by trained personnel
- Identified risks should be eliminated and highlighted immediately where possible
- An action plan should be put in place to reduce any risks
2. Providing suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- An employee exposed to potential danger should be wearing PPE suitable for the task in hand
- This includes the use of harnesses, hard hats and high visibility jackets where necessary
3. A safe working environment
- An environment should be provided that allows employees to remain as safe as possible. This includes good lighting and visible warning signs in unsafe areas
- Safety guards to avoid contact with dangerous machinery parts
- Emergency stop devices
- Any devices which could stop a vehicle or equipment become dangerous e.g. protection against machinery rolling over such as restraints and a rollover protection system
3. Providing appropriate training
- Appropriate training should be given for all aspects of health and safety in a job. This includes manual handling, working from heights, and what PPE should be worn
- Only those trained to use dangerous machinery should use it
- There should be emergency procedures in place should an accident occur
Can I Make a Claim?
If you have suffered a paralysing accident at work that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible to claim compensation. The accident needs to have occurred in the last 3 years for your claim to be eligible.
Any claim does not only factor into consideration the paralysis you have suffered but also the pain, emotional trauma, loss of past and future earnings, alterations to your home, surgeries, rehabilitation and any other ways your life has changed.
How Can Injury Lawyers UK Help?
Injury Lawyers UK is a team of qualified lawyers with over 20 years of experience dealing with claims against employers who are at fault. We take the stress out of claiming compensation at what is already a traumatic time for you and your family. We will initially assess your claim and advise whether we think you have an eligible case and then take you through the process every step of the way.
We operate a no win, no fee policy so there are no costs unless we win your case. We speak in jargon-free, clear English so you are never left feeling overwhelmed by legal jargon. At Injury Lawyers UK, we put our clients at the heart of what we do meaning we will fight to get you the justice you deserve for the life changing injury you have suffered.
TALK TO INJURY LAWYERS UK TODAY
If you want to know if you’re in a position to make a claim contact Injury Lawyers UK on 0800 285 1411 today or fill out an online enquiry form. We’ll be happy to provide you with the advice you need to pursue any action, and work with you to secure the compensation you deserve.