If you are unable to work because of an injury or illness that occurred on the job in Sherman Oaks, you may be qualified for workers' compensation benefits. When a workplace injury occurs, 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 job injuries by requiring companies 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 workers from job-related injuries and illness. It provides a safety net for injured employees so that they are not left with no job and no money while trying to recover from an injury. Some jobs can be hazardous, and it should not be the responsibility of the worker to handle all the repercussions that come with an injury.
Under the California Workers' Compensation Act, people that are injured on the job can receive various types 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 employees can not recover compensation for damages normally granted in a personal injury claim.
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 task and gets injured. 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 account for 25% of annual injury cases, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Falls at work involve falling from slippery floors, from tripping, and from heights like ladders, roofs, scaffolding, or other structures.
Injuries from Contact with Equipment and Objects
Contact with equipment and objects refers to injuries that happen when an individual is struck by something or runs into something. This can include an employee being hit by a moving object, running into or being pushed in front of an object, being crushed in equipment, or being caught in wire or rope. It may also include accidents like a worker being struck or crushed by collapsing structures, equipment, or materials.
Workers' Comp May Also Cover Occupational Illnesses
Along with being injured, workers can also get sick with an illness due to their job. When this happens, workers compensation insurance is designed to help cover some of the expenses.
Work-related illnesses include diseases that develop from dangerous work environments or workplace exposures. Some common illnesses that happen at work include:
Situations involving work-related illness are complicated for a number of different factors. One of the main reasons is that you will have 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 over time, which makes them more difficult to notice and to pinpoint the origin.
What Should I Do if I Am Hurt on the Job?
If you become injured during your employment, you need to always report the incident, injury, or illness as soon as possible to your employer. This is necessary even if an injury appears minor. This, because injuries that seem small at first can end up being much more severe in the coming days or weeks.
For example, an injury that might seem like only a strained muscle can end up being a symptom of permanent nerve damage. Or a sore low back from lifting a heavy object could be a disc herniation that requires surgery.
Further, you should always have a job-related injury assessed by a medical professional. This is the only way to find out the extent of your injury, and what can be done to recuperate. This is particularly important for stress or repetitive motion injuries. Here, making changes in the ergonomic environment may not only heal the injury, but help to prevent injuries to others. Furthermore, to preserve the long-term ability of an employee to maintain and continue in his or her job.
Finally, waiting too long to report an injury on the job might seize your right to claim any workers' compensation benefits.
Should You Consult With a Sherman Oaks Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
Consequently, if sustain an on-the-job injury in Sherman Oaks, speak to the Sherman Oaks personal injury attorneys at Drake Law Firm. Do not go through these tough times alone. We are here to help you with your case. We understand the causes and impacts of work accidents and injuries. Also, we know the laws and regulations related to 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.