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Gilroy workers' compensation attorneyOn Friday, August 13, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued updated guidance for employers in order to help protect workers from COVID-19. The updated guidance was issued due to recent developments with the virus, as well as the latest information and guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in July.

Updated Guidance and the Delta Variant

During the first six months of this year, as the COVID-19 vaccines became available to more people, the number of COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims in California began to decrease. In June, the number of claims hit a 16-month low with just over 670 claims filed. However, in July, the number of claims spiked again, with more than 2,500 COVID-19 claims filed. This was almost equal to the total amount of claims filed in the state during the prior three months. It is estimated that when all valid claims for July are finally processed and approved, the total number will be closer to 4,000 claims for the month.

The spike in COVID-19 cases here in California and around the country is being attributed to the Delta variant, which is now the predominant strain of the coronavirus in the U.S. The CDC has stated that this variant is more infectious and more transmissible than other variants, even for people who are fully vaccinated, which is why they issued updated guidance for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.


Morgan Hill CA workers compensation lawyerIn California, there have been 4,000 wildfire incidents so far this year. One of those fires, the Dixie fire, has been classified as the largest single wildfire in California’s history, burning for the past 26 days and already destroying almost 500,000 acres of property. As of this writing, the fire has been only 22 percent contained.

These wildfires put firefighters and other emergency workers at high risk of being seriously injured or killed, but the effects on California workers may be even more widespread. The state recently issued a warning to all California employers of the risk any employees who work outdoors may also be facing. If you develop an injury due to exposure to smoke, fire, or poor air quality in the course of your work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation.

Dangers of Wildfire Smoke to Outdoor Workers

The smoke that is produced in wildfires contains fine particles, chemicals, and gases that can cause injury or illness to anyone working outdoors. One of the most dangerous hazards is known as particulate matter, or PM2.5, which can impair a worker’s lung functioning, worsen asthma and other respiratory conditions, and worsen heart conditions. Workers exposed to these particles can suffer from wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing.


Gilroy CA workers' compensation attorneyWhile the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines was looked at with relief by many in the U.S., almost as many voiced their opposition to getting the vaccine. Like many issues, the debate has caused a significant divide between the two groups. As the vaccines became more widely available, many people who wanted the vaccine got it. Recently, however, there has been a slowdown in the number of people who are getting vaccinated, and this has led some employers to issue mandatory vaccine policies. One question raised by these mandates is whether employees will qualify for workers' compensation benefits if they have adverse reactions to the shot.

Side-Effects of the Vaccine

There are currently three different COVID-19 vaccines being offered to the public. The Moderna vaccine is a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine and can be given to adults 18 years and older. Two shots are given, spaced 28 days apart. The Pfizer-BioNTech is also an mRNA vaccine and is available to anyone 12 years old and up. Two shots are given, 21 days apart. The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine is a viral vector one-shot vaccine and is available to adults 18 years and older.

Many people who get the vaccine have mild side effects, more so after the second dose. These side effects occur within three days of receiving the vaccine and usually last one to two days. The more common side effects include:


Hollister, CA workers comp lawyerWork injuries and illnesses can happen to anyone. Traumatic accidents like an equipment malfunction, fall, or trench collapse can lead to sudden, catastrophic injuries. Repetitive motions like bending, twisting, or typing can lead to repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Illnesses and diseases such as contact dermatitis and even cancer may also be a result of work environments. If you have suffered a work-related medical concern, you may be thinking of filing a workers’ compensation claim and recovering financial compensation. If so, make sure to avoid the following mistakes.

Common Mistakes When Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Any employer with one or more employees is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance is used to compensate an injured worker for medical bills and part of their lost income. Unfortunately, getting an adequate workers’ comp payout is not always easy. The following mistakes can make it even harder to get the compensation you need:

  • Not following your company’s policies for reporting an accident or injury - Some injured workers do not realize how badly injured they are until hours or days after the accident. If you are hurt at work, always report the injury right away – even if you think your injuries are minor.


Gilroy workers comp lawyerWhen you have been injured while on the job, workers’ compensation can help to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other related expenses. Many work injuries result in temporary or even permanent disability. But what happens when someone who already had a disability is injured on the job? Millions of people who suffer from disabilities are still able to work. Are they also entitled to workers’ compensation benefits? If you or a loved one believes that you have a workers’ compensation claim in California, it’s imperative that you understand your rights.


The good news is that those who had a pre-existing disability prior to their work injury are generally still eligible to receive compensation benefits. However, these benefits come from an alternate source: the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF). The SIBTF helps to compensate those workers who already had an impairment or disability at the time of their workplace injury. However, there are some requirements.

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