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California workers' compensation lawyerRadiation is a form of energy that travels through space in waves. The sun, for example, produces massive amounts of radiation in the form of heat and light upon which we rely for our very existence. Similarly, a microwave oven uses radiation to agitate water molecules in food, which, in turn, heats the food, leaving it perfectly safe to eat. Even the music you hear coming from the speakers in your car is being transmitted to your ear as radio waves—yet another form of radiation. Some kinds of radiation, however, are not quite so benign, and they have the power to cause injury and even death.

Every day, thousands of workers in hundreds of different jobs are exposed to various types of radiation in the course of their work. If you have been exposed to unsafe levels of radiation and you have suffered illness or injury as a result, you may be entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

Recognizing Harmful Forms of Radiation

When most people think of harmful radiation, they tend to think of “ionizing” radiation. Ionizing radiation is a type of radiation that carries enough energy to ionize atoms, which can destabilize molecules within the body’s cells and cause tissue damage. Beta particle radiation, x-rays, and gamma rays are particularly dangerous types of ionizing radiation.

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Gilroy workers' compensation lawyerIt almost goes without saying that workplace injuries can happen in any industry. However, some professionals are more likely to experience an injury than others. For example, the construction industry is well known for its high rate of work injuries and fatalities. There is also another high-risk industry – the healthcare field—but it does not receive the same amount of attention as it should. Perhaps this is due, in part, to the reduced risk of immediate fatality from an injury. Whatever the reason for the lack of discussion may be, injuries in the healthcare field deserve to be talked about.

Nurses Are Especially Prone to Back Injuries

On any given day, a nurse can cumulatively lift thousands of pounds. They must move patients and may even be required to help a person up that has passed out or fallen. Rarely is there equipment nearby to help – and even when there is, the situation may be too emergent to wait for the machinery to do its job. So, nurses lift. They bend. They lift and bend, all at the same time. Good body mechanics can help, but it is far from fail-proof.

Long-term work as a nurse, and years of lifting and transferring patients, can take a toll on the muscles and structures of the back. A sudden slip of a patient while transferring can suddenly pull a nurse in the wrong direction. Add all of that to several hours (often 12 or more) of walking and standing, and it is no wonder that back injuries are among the most common injuries for nurses.

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Gilroy workers' compensation lawyerEvery year, nearly three million American workers are hurt on the job. These injuries cost U.S. companies tens of billions of dollars in reduced productivity, to say nothing of the costs related to treating the injured workers and helping them recover. With this in mind, the workers’ compensation system was developed to help ensure that injured employees receive financial benefits to cover their medical expenses, the costs associated with retraining for new jobs, and a percentage of their lost wages. While workers’ compensation benefits are available and suitable for most work injury cases, you might be wondering if you have the ability to sue your employer for additional compensation.

Fault Is Not a Consideration

In California, as in other states, the workers’ compensation program is set up as a no-fault system that affords certain protections for employees in the event that they get hurt at work. As a no-fault system, workers’ compensation benefits are meant to be available without regard to whether an injury is caused by the negligence or actions of the injured employee or the employer. If an injured employee had to prove negligence on the part of the employer in order to collect benefits, far fewer workers’ compensation claims would ever be paid, and thousands of injured employees would be left without much hope of collecting anything. 

Consider this example: Your job requires you to reach an item on a high shelf, so you find a ladder that is well-maintained and in good condition. While you are on the ladder, you twist your body to reach the item. You fall off the ladder and are injured. Your employer did not do anything or allow anything to happen that would be considered negligent. But under the California workers’ compensation system, fault is not a factor, so you could still file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

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Santa Clara County workers compensation attorneyWhen you think of Workers’ Compensation, you are likely to picture people who work on construction sites or in the oil fields, not at a desk. Certainly, those who are working around dangerous machinery, heavy equipment, or dangerous chemicals are more likely to get hurt on the job. However, it is not just blue-collar tradesmen and manual laborers who sustain workplace injuries. Office employees can also be injured at work, and they just as eligible for Workers’ Compensation as any other type of worker. 

While you may be statistically much safer sitting behind a desk in an office, white-collar professionals can and do get injured at work. If you have been injured while working in an office building, you may want to speak to a lawyer for help with the process of getting Workers’ Compensation. 

Injuries Office Workers Are at Risk For

While the types of accidents that happen on riskier job sites can vary dramatically in nature, the types of accidents that happen in offices often fall into one of just a few simple categories. Office workers may be injured at work in accidents like: 

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California workers comp lawyerEvidence is everything in a Workers’ Compensation claim. In order to prove your case, you will need to show not only that your injury is genuine, but that it is work-related and prevents you from performing your job duties. One way that some employers will try to wriggle out of paying Workers’ Compensation is by arguing that an employee’s injury could have happened elsewhere or been caused by something other than your work. Gathering the right evidence, and quickly, can make or break a Workers’ Compensation case. It is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after getting hurt on the job so that they can advise you on what type of proof to gather, both right away, and while you are away from work recovering. 

Types of Evidence You May Need for Workers’ Compensation

The path to getting compensation for a routine work injury is meant to be a bit more streamlined than the path to getting compensation for say, a car accident or a slip-and-fall. However, this is not always the case. Some employers are quite cooperative and will readily help an injured worker recover these payments. Others will fight back and try anything to get out of paying. 

Whether you think your employer will be fairly cooperative or more inclined to resist, you should gather proof like: 

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