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Circus workers recovering from catastrophic accident

When a person suffers an injury that prevents them from working for at least a year, he or she may be eligible to collect Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. This financial support is in place for people who have been working and contributing to Social Security, but cannot work either temporarily or permanently due to an injury or illness. 

Seven women may be considering their options after an accident left them unable to walk. The women were part of a "human chandelier" act for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus when they plummeted nearly 40 feet to the ground during their routine. Investigators have tied the accident to a single clip that broke. In all, eight women were injured in the fall and only one of them has been able to walk since the accident.

When the clip snapped, the women fell to the ground and then 350 pounds of equipment fell on top of them. All but one performer remains hospitalized with a number of different injuries. Some are unable to walk, others are not sure if they can walk because they must undergo surgeries first, and others need help to walk. While they are all expected to recover fully, according to the eighth woman who says she only suffered minor injuries, the extent of the damage is not yet confirmed.

People who suffer serious fall-related injuries often have pain and medical needs that last much longer than they expect. Back pain, neck pain, brain trauma and spinal cord injuries can be very upsetting and prove to be disabling. These injuries can make it difficult or impossible for people to return to their normal routine; and even if they can, it may months or even years before that is possible. 

In these cases, it may be appropriate for accident victims in Atlanta to discuss options for financial support with an experienced attorney. Depending on a person's individual condition and other factors, he or she may qualify for SSDI benefits. This money can be crucial in helping a person cover certain expenses if they are unable to work due to a disabling condition. 

Source: NBC News, "Injured Ringling Bros. Acrobat Vows to Return After Accident," May 7, 2014

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