If you are unable to work as a result of an injury or illness that occurred on the job in San Fernando Valley, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. When a workplace injury occurs, you may find yourself losing out on paychecks, accumulating medical bills, and being overwhelmed with paperwork. This can be a very difficult and uncertain time.
Fortunately, California law protects workers from negative fallout related to job injuries by requiring employers to carry workers compensation insurance.
What is Workers’ Compensation and How Does It Work?
Workers' compensation is a type 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 recover from an injury. Some jobs can be hazardous, and it shouldn't be the responsibility of the worker to manage all the consequences that come with an injury.
Under the California Workers' Compensation Act, people who are injured at work can get various types of financial support to cover their injury-related expenses. This includes:
Unlike a personal injury claim, workers can receive benefits regardless of being at fault for a job-related accident. However, injured workers can not recover compensation for damages typically awarded in a personal injury lawsuit.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
The top three leading causes of job-related injuries account for 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 becomes hurt. This includes lifting, pushing, turning, holding, carrying, or throwing.
Repetitive motion caused by stress or strain on some part of the body is due to 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 an assembly line.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall accidents are among the most common on-the-job injuries. They make up 25% of annual injury cases, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Falls on the job involve 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 worker is struck by something or bumps into something. This can include a worker being hit by a moving object, bumping into or being pushed in front of an object, being crushed in equipment, or being caught in wire or rope. It may also include incidents like a worker being struck or crushed by collapsing structures, equipment, or materials.
Workers' Comp May Also Cover Occupational Illnesses
In addition to being hurt, workers can also get sick with an illness because of their job. When this happens, workers compensation insurance is designed to help cover some of the costs.
Occupational illnesses include diseases that arise from hazardous work environments or workplace exposures. Some common illnesses that occur on the job include:
Situations involving work-related illness are complex for a few different factors. 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 occurred during your personal time. This is even more complicated by the fact that several illnesses develop gradually, which makes them more difficult to recognize and to determine the origin.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured on the Job?
If you become injured in the course of your employment, you should always report the incident, injury, or condition as soon as possible to your employer. This is necessary 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 example, an injury that may feel like only a strained muscle can turn out to be a sign of permanent nerve damage. Or a sore lower back from lifting a heavy object could be a disc herniation that requires surgery.
Additionally, you should always have a job-related injury examined by a medical professional. This is the only way to figure out the extent of your injury, and what can be done to recover. This is especially important for stress or repetitive motion injuries. Here, making changes in the ergonomic environment might not only treat the injury, but help to prevent injuries to others. Further, to protect the long-term ability of an employee to keep and continue in their job.
Lastly, waiting too long to report an injury at work might foreclose your right to claim any kind of workers' compensation benefits.
Should You Contact a San Fernando Valley Workers' Compensation Attorney?
Consequently, if you suffer an on-the-job injury in San Fernando Valley, speak to the San Fernando Valley personal injury lawyers at Drake Law Firm. Don't go through these tough times alone. We are here to help you with your case. We understand the causes and impacts of job accidents and injuries. Additionally, we understand the laws and regulations associated with workers' compensation in California and will work to make the most of 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.