People in Illinois who have been to the circus likely have strong memories of their experiences. These memories generally relate to the sights, smells and food they experience there. However, most members of the circus audience do not realize the serious danger performers place themselves in everyday. For example, eight performers were injured in a recent circus performance, two of them suffering a serious spine injury.
The accident occurred at a Ringling Bros. circus in early May. Several performers were suspended over 30 feet in the air when a carabiner broke, causing the women to plunge to the floor. In all, eight women and one male who was on the floor at the time of the fall were injured.
Doctors treating the women have reportedly performed over 17 surgeries as a result of their injuries. Two of the women suffered serious spinal injuries, and their general prognosis is unknown at this time. Doctors indicate that the patients have made some improvement. Rhode Island officials continue their investigation into the accident.
People who suffer a spine injury often have a long path to recovery. Unfortunately, some of these women may never be able to return to their position as performers. All of the workers injured in this accident will likely face medical bills and lost wages as they recover. However, they likely qualify for workers' compensation, a type of insurance employers are required by state law to provide in the event of a workplace accident. Workers in Illinois have found that knowledge of state laws and procedures governing compensation can help them through the process and ensure they receive the appropriate compensation in a timely manner.
Source: NBC News, "Circus Accident Leaves Two Acrobats With Spinal Cord Injuries", Tracy Connor, May 7, 2014