Worker Nearly Killed by Chainsaw Kickback

Worker Nearly Killed by Chainsaw Kickback | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

A tree service worker in Pennsylvania is alive to tell a horrifying tale. The 21-year-old was just released from the hospital after his own chainsaw tore into his shoulder and neck, missing vital arteries by mere centimeters. Workers’ compensation attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are happy to report that he will make a full recovery, and are here to help anyone injured in a similar accident.

The 21-year-old, Jason Valentine, is employed by Adler Tree Service just north of Pittsburgh. On that March day, he was in a pine tree cutting at an unusual angle to avoid hitting active power lines. In the blink of an eye, the chainsaw kicked back and entered his left shoulder and sliced into his neck still running.

Fortunately, several of his Adler co-workers saw the terrible accident and rushed to his assist him, calling an ambulance to the scene. It was critically important, his doctors note, that his co-workers did not try to remove the chainsaw from his neck whatsoever. They were able to detach the blade from its motor – to ensure the saw did not start running again – but left the blade and chain precisely where it landed in his neck.

First responders arrived at the scene and brought him to a nearby hospital. According to CNN, he was awake and alert the entire ten minute ambulance ride. After an hour of surgery and 30 stitches, doctors told his family that the blade was just a quarter of an inch away from his carotid artery, which carries blood to the brain.

His trauma surgeon stated that this type of injury typically causes extraordinary damage, severing the spinal cord, airway or esophagus and causing paralysis or death. In Valentine’s case, the saw missed all major organs and arteries, slicing through muscle and soft tissue instead. He will take a few days to recover but hopes to get back to his job as a “tree climber” as soon as possible.

The Aftermath – How to Help your Workers’ Comp Case

If you or someone you love was injured while on the job, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim to help you pay for any medical bills or lost wages. How you go about filing such a claim is very important. Here are a few tips:

• First, report the precise injury to your employer as soon as possible. If your employer does not respond, write out a report and send it to them.

• Call a lawyer who deals with these types of cases. Whatever you tell your attorney is confidential, so be sure to tell them exactly what happened in detail.

• Make sure to go to all follow-up doctor and physical therapy appointments. Having documentation of your injury and its severity is very important, and will do more to prove your case than anything else.

• Lastly, do not speak to anyone except your doctor and attorney about the accident. Your employer’s insurance company will do everything in its power to try to minimize your injury and pay as little as possible to you and your family. If you post about the injury on any social media sites – even if they are listed as “private,” – they will know. 

Every state has different rules and stipulations for workers’ compensation claims and lawsuits. If you are unsure about how to pursue your claim, be sure to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.

Our team of workers’ comp lawyers has been fighting on behalf of injured employees for nearly three decades, and has extensive experience dealing with difficult insurance companies and employers. We handle cases nationwide, and can fly out to meet with you and your family. Our case reviews are always free, no-obligation, and confidential, so contact our firm today.