I got a call the other day from a man who was very upset.  He was at work two weeks ago and apparently a large steel beam fell and missed crushing him by about two feet.
He wanted to bring a work comp case because he almost died and he feels that someone should be responsible for this.
Keep in mind that he hasn’t seen a doctor nor has he missed any time from work.  I asked him if he was afraid to return to work or felt the need to see a psychologist and he gave me an emphatic no.
So the reality is that this was a close call, but no harm was suffered at all.  As a result, he has no case.
What he can do is file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) but all that will do is fine the company and hopefully create a safer work environment.
He’s really a lucky guy.  I understand why he’s mad and wants to hire a lawyer, but I’d be lying to him if I said there was anything we can do.   I assure you though that he’s happier to be injury free and have no case than to be crushed by steel and have a claim.  The only one that loses in this situation is me as a lawyer and that’s a good thing.  I’ll take a healthy caller over a big pay day any day of the week.

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By Michael Helfand