Injuries to the brain and spinal cord are among the most devastating a person can suffer. One 25-year-old Montana man knows this all too well. A construction accident last fall that almost killed him has left the father of two a paraplegic, paralyzed from the chest down. Recently he returned to his home town of Ronan for the first time since the accident.
The man was part of a crew that was installing barriers in the median of Interstate 90, in the Billings area. A strap broke, causing a 10-foot long steel I-beam to fall. It hit the man on the head. His skull was fractured and he suffered a serious brain injury. His back was broken and his spinal cord crushed. Among multiple other injuries, he is now blind in one eye. He spent months in hospitals and underwent multiple surgeries.
The medical bills resulting from such an injury can be horrendous. Months and even years of rehabilitation and therapy may be necessary. In addition, the costs of accommodations to adjust for the injury can mount quickly. Before the young man returned home, doors had to be widened to accommodate his wheelchair, ramps had to be installed, and a bedroom and bathroom had to be made handicap-accessible.
When an accident like this takes place on the job, workers’ compensation benefits are available to cover much of the resulting expenses. If the accident was caused by the negligence of a third party other than the employer, it may be possible to recover additional damages in a civil lawsuit against that party.
Source: Billings Gazette,”25-year-old nearly killed in construction accident goes home to continue rehabilitation,” March 31, 2014