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CA work injury lawyerFortunately, employees who are hurt on the job in California typically have access to reimbursement through workers’ compensation. While the law entitles most injured workers to compensation for medical expenses and a portion of their lost income, successfully obtaining this compensation is not always easy. There are specific steps an injured worker must take to get compensation after a work injury. Additionally, some mistakes can derail the process of obtaining compensation.

Mistakes That Can Impair Your Ability to Get Workers’ Compensation After a Work Injury

Work injuries can occur during a sudden accident such as falling, or slowly over time due to repetitive motions like bending or twisting. Whatever the cause, a work injury can damage your ability to earn a living. These injuries may also lead to steep medical expenses. Ideally, getting the compensation you need for these financial losses would be straightforward. Unfortunately, obtaining workers’ compensation is sometimes quite challenging. To give yourself the best chances of getting adequate compensation after a work injury, avoid these mistakes:

  • Incorrectly reporting the injury – If you are hurt at work, tell your supervisor immediately. Fill out the appropriate incident forms or other paperwork. If you wait too long to report the injury or do not have a paper trail to show that you reported the injury, it can be hard to prove the timeline of the injury.
  • Not following the doctor’s orders – For many people, going to the doctor is something that they avoid at all costs. However, not getting proper medical care after a work injury can significantly damage your ability to get compensation. The insurance company may claim that neglecting to get appropriate medical care proves that your work injury is not as severe as you claim.
  • Accepting an inadequate settlement – Save for very specific exceptions, injured workers have a right to workers’ compensation per California law. Do not accept an unreasonably low payment. Speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer for help if you feel that you are being offered an inadequate workers’ compensation settlement. Your lawyer can help you negotiate the settlement or file an appeal if your workers’ compensation claim is denied.

Contact a Hollister Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

At Cramer & Martinez, LLP, we understand the obstacles that many workers run into when trying to get workers’ compensation. Our team of skilled San Benito County workers’ compensation attorneys can help you with filing a claim, negotiating a settlement, appealing a denied claim, and much more. Call us at 408-848-1113 for a confidential consultation today.

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CA workers comp lawyerBeing a firefighter is one of the most dangerous jobs a person can have. However, traumatic injuries like burns or broken bones are not the only type of medical concern that may afflict a firefighter. Firefighters are also exposed to toxic fumes and carcinogenic substances in the course of their work that can cause cancer. If you are a firefighter who has been diagnosed with cancer, you may be entitled to financial compensation through workers’ compensation.

How Do I Prove My Cancer is a Work-Related Illness?

Workers’ compensation only covers injuries and illnesses that were acquired during the course of employment. Illnesses like cancer can take months, years, or even decades to show up on medical tests. You may wonder how you can prove that your cancer is a work-related illness. Fortunately, firefighters, peace officers, and the Department of Forestry workers are specifically addressed by California workers’ compensation laws.

Per the William Dallas Jones Cancer Presumption Act of 2010, cancer suffered by firefighters and other designated workers is presumed to be work-related. Unless sufficient evidence to the contrary can be shown, cancer is automatically considered a work-related illness for the purposes of workers’ compensation claims. This presumption extends to former firefighters for a period of three months per year of service for a maximum of ten years.

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Santa Clara County workers compensation attorney

It is hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner in Santa Clara. While many welcome the warmer weather, it is important to consider the effect that the heat can have on workers. Heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, and heat cramps can affect both outdoor workers and indoor workers in high-risk occupations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 700 heat-related deaths occur in the United States each year. Heat illness also leads to thousands of non-fatal injuries including injuries sustained because of fainting. Those who are hurt may be able to recover damages through a workers compensation or personal injury claim depending on the details of their case.

OSHA Guidelines for Safe Work Environments

California is known for its warm, sunny weather. Unfortunately, working in hot environments can lead to serious and even fatal injuries. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) states that 50 – 70 percent of heat-related fatalities occur during the initial days of working in warm conditions when the body has not yet acclimatized to the hot environment. OSHA has established guidelines for employers with workers in outdoor or indoor environments that involve hot environments, heavy physical activity, or heavy clothing. Workers in certain industries are often at particularly high risk of heat-related illnesses and injuries, including those who work in:

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San Benito County workers compensation attorney

This year has been unprecedented, to say the least, especially when it comes to safety in the workplace. As COVID-19 hit the United States, most businesses went fully remote, and almost one year later, many are still working from home. Those considered essential workers, however, were not given this option. Essential workers have been placed at a much higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than those who have been granted the benefit of keeping their job while also working remotely. The state of California recognized this and granted additional protective measures to those on the frontlines. With the vaccine now being administered, many workplaces are requiring their employees to get the vaccine before returning to work. Getting the vaccine may protect against COVID-19, but it has also left many with serious side effects and wondering if workers’ compensation is an option.

Senate Bill 1159

California legislature released Senate Bill 1159 back in September 2020, which states that COVID-19 may be considered a work-related illness, making employees eligible for workers’ comp, if the following conditions are met:

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Santa Clara County workers compensation attorney

Those who are injured at their workplace have certain rights outlined by the state of California, regardless of the nature of their position. There are a number of misconceptions about California’s workers’ compensation policy, including the assumption that this financial assistance is solely reserved for those in especially dangerous fields such as construction. It is important to have an understanding of your rights as you join the California workforce since a single injury can leave you in physical and financial disarray. 

1. What Should I Do If I Have a Work Injury?

After any type of injury, it is common to “wait it out” to see if reporting the injury or seeking medical treatment is truly necessary. Perhaps you slipped on wet floors or have a gash on your arm from improperly stowed tools and believe that your injuries are fairly minor. Regardless of the nature of your injury, you should immediately report the injury to your employer and seek medical treatment. This report will ensure that the nature of your injuries is recorded from the onset and prevent you from problems and delays in receiving benefits.

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