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Work injury alters dreams after forklift tragedy

Most people understand the dangers of working with heavy machinery but even those who have worked with it most of their life can find themselves making one fatal mistake. That's why some Wisconsin residents may be shocked to hear about one forklift accident that changed a young man's life. What started out as just a summer job for one 20-year-old boy became a life altering work injury.

Like many his age, he was spending the summer working for the company of his family in order to make some extra money. He was also spending the summer preparing to head into the Army. But delivering some lumber for his aunt resulted in a wrong turn that sent his forklift over the side of the road and right on top of him. He sustained multiple injuries to his legs and arms and well as a head injury that "scalped him," in addition to multiple broken bones plus a number of scrapes and cuts.

And like many farm and even factory employees, he was not insured with his grandfather's Virginia company who was not required to have workers' compensation insurance because they only had two employees. Besides ruining his body, the accident also meant that he would have to put aside his plans for the Army because of all of the metal that would remain in him. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in of medical bills now pile up for him and his mother.

Like this individual, some farm hands and factory workers never receive official training with the equipment that they spend their day working with and injuries to the head, back, and limbs can result. Throughout Wisconsin, a work injury like this can happen almost every day due to workplace negligence and a lack of workplace safety. Work injuries like these can result in life-long disability for many and appropriate compensation for few. Fortunately, most jobs come with workers' compensation insurance to provide vital benefits when this type of situation occurs, thus insuring that covered medical bills will be paid as well as lost income for missed time from work. However, in such circumstances where workers' comp coverage is not available, a personal injury claim can be pursued.

Source:, "Forklift accident alters a young man's future plans," Latala Payne, May 15, 2012

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