New York “hardhats,” a.k.a, construction workers, get their name for a reason. It’s because, if they’re not wearing a hardhat on the job, they’re probably violating safety regulations. A hardhat is perhaps one of the most important pieces of equipment that any construction worker can don. It might not save your life in all situations, but it can certainly save your life when a flying object is headed in your direction.

All that said, getting hit on the head is no small event, even when you’re wearing a hardhat. Many workers suffer from whiplash injuries after a heavy object hits their hardhats, which forces their heads and necks to jerk and results in strained, torn and bruised muscles and ligaments in the neck area. In most cases of whiplash, the symptoms will resolve themselves in several weeks or months, but some workers complain of enduring and serious neck, back pain and headaches after developing whiplash.

An injured worker with whiplash may even need to pay for expensive medical visits, rehabilitation therapy, x-rays, MRIs, chiropractic visits, massage therapy sessions and other expenses — not to mention the time they spend at home, unable to work while recovering from their injuries. Fortunately, workers who get whiplash after an object falls on them — or after they take a serious tumble to the ground — may qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

If you were injured at work, no matter the circumstances, you may want to learn about your legal rights under New York workers’ compensation laws. The benefits you receive through a successfully navigated workers’ compensation claim may be just the financial lifeline you require to continue supporting yourself and your family, while healing from your injuries.