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Injured on the job...can you sue the person or company who caused your injuries?

A sheet metal worker who suffered an unimaginable injury while working on Long Island last month got some relief that was even more unbelievable. A machine severed both of Kenneth Klapak’s hands at the wrist while working at a North Babylon factory in mid-May. But surgeons at Stony Brook University Hospital were able to reattach them during an eight hour surgery that had two teams of doctors working on each hand simultaneously, according to CBS News.

When Kenneth was first airlifted in by county paramedics, the Stony Brook doctors thought they would have to completely amputate both hands – they were hanging only by his the flexor tendons, which bend the fingers. But they were able to repair the two major arteries to his hands within the critical six-hour window for re-establishing blood flow, according to an SBU press release, and then repaired two veins in each arm and all the nerves and tendons. Doctors believe he can recover well enough to return to his favorite hobby, playing the guitar. But they believe the rehabilitation will be long and depend on his dedication.

“To see that my hands are attached – I hit the lotto, Kenneth said. “I’m a rich man,” CBS reported. Kenneth was able to wiggle his fingers and give a thumbs up sign just two weeks after the accident. He also feels pain in his hands, which is a good sign, meaning his nerves are regenerating.

In a case of such a miraculous recovery, just regaining your health is often rewarding enough. But workplace injuries have many potential causes for which you might not be at fault, such as unsafe conditions or defective machinery. When you suffer an injury on the job, you may have no choice but to file for worker's compensation benefits.

 however, if the harms and injuries you suffered were caused by someone else's carelessness, it may be possible to bring a lawsuit against the wrongdoer who caused or contributed your injuries. The only way to know for sure is to speak to an experienced attorney and ask those important questions.


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer