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Injuries from falls create high disability costs

Slips, trips and falls can produce severe injuries that inflict long-term costs on people. In Louisiana and across the country, these accidents occur frequently at workplaces and in homes. When Liberty Mutual analyzed data about disability claims related to falls, the insurance company found that the injuries cost $15.57 billion annually.

Costs from falls accounted for 25.1 percent of the $61 billion spent every year on disability claims. Falls happen so often that they are separated into categories by researchers. Falls that occur on a single level represented 16.4 percent of these injuries. Accidents that involved a person falling to a lower level accounted for 8.7 percent of the injuries. Slips and trips create their own separate category that produces disability costs of an additional $2.35 billion every year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics determined that falls are the second most common source of worker deaths after transportation accidents. Citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration most often include violations of fall protection regulations for workers. Many tactics exist that employers can use to reduce fall hazards in the workplace. For example, rails, ramps, better lighting and high contrast colors can all be used to alert workers to the presence of a fall or trip hazard.

When an individual is hurt on the job, payment for medical care and lost wages could be provided by workers' compensation insurance. To obtain the benefits, a worker must meet strict requirements for reporting the injury and making a timely insurance claim. The representation of an attorney might be an appropriate measure for a worker who is having troubling gaining access to benefits. An attorney could gather documentation about an injury and negotiate with an insurance company. If necessary, a lawyer might prepare a lawsuit to obtain compensation for medical and therapy bills.

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