If you are unable to work as a result of an injury or illness that happened on the job in Northridge, you might be qualified for workers' compensation benefits. When a workplace injury happens, you may find yourself missing out on paychecks, accumulating medical bills, and being overwhelmed with paperwork. This can be a very stressful and uncertain time.
Fortunately, California law protects workers from negative fallout related to work injuries by requiring employers to carry workers compensation insurance.
What is Workers’ Compensation and How Does It Work?
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that is purchased by a company to protect their employees from job-related injuries and illness. It provides a safeguard for injured workers to ensure they are not left with no job and no money while trying to recuperate from an injury. Some jobs can be dangerous, and it shouldn't be the responsibility of the worker to manage all the repercussions that come with an injury.
Under the California Workers' Compensation Act, individuals that are injured at work can receive different kinds of financial support to cover their injury-related expenses. This includes:
Unlike a personal injury claim, workers can receive benefits despite being at fault for a work-related incident. However, injured workers can not recover compensation for damages typically granted in a personal injury case.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
The top three leading causes of job-related injuries make up more than 84% of all nonfatal injuries on the job. This includes:
Overexertion and Repetitive Motion Injuries
Overexertion injuries can happen when a worker uses excessive physical effort to do a job and gets hurt. This includes lifting, pushing, turning, holding, carrying, or throwing.
Repetitive motion triggered by stress or strain on some part of the body is because of the repetitive nature of the task. Common repetitive tasks include lifting boxes, typing on a computer, using a ten-key machine, sitting for long hours, and working on a production line.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most frequent on-the-job injuries. They represent 25% of yearly injury claims, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Falls on the job include falling from slippery floors, from tripping, and from heights like ladders, roofs, scaffolding, or various other structures.
Injuries from Contact with Equipment and Objects
Contact with equipment and objects refers to injuries that happen when a person is struck by something or bumps into something. This can include an employee being struck by a moving object, bumping into or being pushed in front of an object, being crushed in equipment, or being caught in cable or rope. It may also include incidents like a worker being struck or crushed by collapsing structures, equipment, or materials.
Workers' Comp Can Also Cover Occupational Illnesses
Along with being hurt, workers can also get sick with an illness due to their job. When this occurs, workers compensation insurance is designed to help cover some of the expenses.
Occupational illnesses include diseases that arise from dangerous work environments or workplace exposures. Some common illnesses that occur on the job include:
Cases involving job-related illness are complicated for a few different reasons. One of the main reasons is that you will need to prove that your illness was caused by your job, and not from any other factor like genetics or something that happened during your personal time. This is even more complicated by the fact that many illnesses develop gradually, which makes them more difficult to notice and to determine the origin.
What Should I Do if I Am Hurt at Work?
If you become hurt during your employment, you need to always report the accident, injury, or illness as soon as possible to your employer. This is important even if an injury appears minor. This, because injuries that appear small at first can become much more severe in the coming days or weeks.
For instance, an injury that may seem like just a strained muscle can end up being a sign of permanent nerve damage. Or a sore low back from lifting a heavy object could be a disc herniation that needs surgery.
Additionally, you should always have a job-related injury evaluated by a doctor. This is the only way to figure out the extent of your injury, and what can be done to recover. This is particularly important for stress or repetitive motion injuries. In this case, making changes in the ergonomic environment may not only heal the injury, but help to prevent injuries to others. Further, to preserve the long-term ability of a worker to maintain and carry on in their job.
Finally, waiting too long to report an injury on the job may seize your right to claim any workers' compensation benefits.
Should You Get In Touch with a Northridge Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
Consequently, if you suffer an on-the-job injury in Northridge, contact the Northridge personal injury attorneys at Drake Law Firm. Don't go through these difficult times alone. We are here to assist you with your claim. We understand the causes and effects of work accidents and injuries. Also, we understand the laws and regulations associated with workers' compensation in California and will work to maximize the compensation you receive.
Contact Drake Law Firm so I can answer any questions you may have and let you know what I can do to help. If you’re unable to visit our firm, we can come to your home or hospital room.