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No fault workers' comp might help man with brain injury

Workers in Arizona enjoy a no-fault workers' compensation system. This means that whenever an employee is hurt at work, even if the injury is partially or mostly the employee's own fault, the employee should receive appropriate workers' compensation benefits.

This no-fault benefit program is particular to workers who risk the consequences of construction accidents at their jobs because construction accidents can result in very serious brain injuries that will affect the worker and his or her family for life.

In one recent case, a construction worker was carrying a long pole near his construction site. While he was several feet from nearby traffic, for some reason he turned the pole so that it abutted out toward the path of a city bus. The bus clipped the pole, which propelled the worker into a crane. The man sustained brain injuries.

Although the man was wearing a helmet for his own safety, the gear was simply not designed to account for the unusual circumstances of this accident. It is not clear whether the employer needed to provide its workers additional safety training or whether it would have been possible to have the man work further from traffic when carrying the pole.

The worker may bear most of the responsibility for this construction site accident; however, under Arizona workers' compensation laws, his family still would receive some payments to compensate for both his medical bills and his lost wages. No fault workers' compensation puts the burden squarely on the shoulders of employers to take all reasonable steps to prevent workplace injuries. And that includes providing the proper training so that accidents like this don't happen more than once.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Construction worker clipped by SMART bus, thrown into crane," Megha Satyanararana, Sept. 28, 2012

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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C., provides experienced representation for workers' compensation cases in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and Yuma, and throughout Maricopa County, Pima County, Pinal County and Yavapai County, and all of Arizona.

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