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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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Santa Clara County workers compensation attorney

Construction sites are some of the most dangerous work environments that exist. Workers must often work with hazardous materials, atop scaffolds and rooftops, and among heavy machinery and dangerous equipment. It is for these reasons that construction workers suffer catastrophic injuries and fatalities at much higher rates than workers in other professions. If you or a loved one were injured while working at a construction site in California, it is essential to know your rights. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a workers’ compensation claim as well as through a third-party claim.

Workers’ Compensation for Construction Accidents

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) lists falling, being struck by objects, electrocution, and caught-between accidents as the top four causes of fatal construction site accidents. Traumatic events often lead to severe injuries on construction sites; however, repetitive stress injuries that develop over time are also commonly suffered by construction workers. Back and spine injuries are typically caused by repetitively lifting objects, working in awkward positions, or uneven weight distribution on tool belts. California workers’ compensation covers traumatic injuries in addition to repetitive motion injuries.

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Santa Clara County workers compensation attorney repetitive stress injury

When people think about workers’ compensation injuries, they often imagine sudden injuries that occur in a fall or other traumatic accident. However, accident-related injuries are not the only types of injuries covered by California workers’ compensation. Individuals suffering from repetitive stress injuries or repetitive motion injuries may also be entitled to compensation. Office workers are often vulnerable to injuries caused by typing and other office work. However, it is sometimes difficult for injured office workers to receive the compensation they deserve.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Motion Injuries

The most common office-related repetitive stress injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. Typing on a computer keyboard, filing, and other office tasks require repetitive hand and wrist motions. This can put too much pressure on the median nerve and can cause painful symptoms including numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain. Medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders increase a worker’s chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of workdays missed due to carpal tunnel is 27. Cervical radiculopathy, ganglion cyst, tendonitis, De Quervain's Disease, and bursitis are other repetitive stress injuries that may be caused by office work.

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Hollister workers compensation attorney

Unlike in many other states, workers' compensation is mandatory for all employers in California. It does not matter if an employer has hundreds of employees or only one. It also does not matter if the injured employee was working full-time or part-time. Typically, self-employed individuals are not covered by the hiring entity’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, workers who have been misclassified as independent contractors may actually fall under the category of employee, which means that they would be entitled to coverage through workers’ compensation.

Individuals Who Are Not Covered by Workers Compensation in California

California has wider-reaching workers’ compensation coverage than many other states. However, there are still some individuals who are not covered by workers’ compensation, including:

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Santa Clara County workers compensation attorney death benefits

Losing a relative in an unexpected work accident is a devastating experience to go through. If your spouse has recently passed away due to injuries he or she sustained on the job, you may still be figuring out what to do next. In the midst of your grief, you may also be trying to determine how you will make ends meet without your loved one’s financial support. In California, if a worker is injured in an on-the-job accident, the worker is typically entitled to financial compensation through workers’ compensation. If an employee is killed in a work accident, the worker’s dependents are usually entitled to compensation called death benefits. However, obtaining the compensation you need and deserve after losing a loved one in a work accident is often more complicated than many expect.

Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits in California

The compensation available can be for family members who were totally or partially financially dependent on the deceased worker. Some individuals are considered total dependents of the deceased worker. Minor children, disabled adult children, and surviving spouses with an annual income under $30,000 are automatically considered totally dependent on the worker. Stepchildren, spouses who make above the income threshold, grandchildren, parents, siblings, and other family members may qualify for death benefits. However, they will need to provide evidence that shows that they were partially or totally dependent on the deceased worker.

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California workers' compensation lawyersAlthough accidents do cause workplace injuries, there are other ways that you can be injured while working. For example, sitting for long hours at a desk and looking at a computer monitor for an extended period can cause bodily harm. Soft tissue injuries, back pain and neck issues are just some of the injuries that can occur after spending too much time in uncomfortable work positions. In addition, repetitive motions can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and other painful conditions. Fortunately, there are ways that you can lessen injury in the workplace. If you consistently spend long hours at your desk, then you should consider these work space modifications.

Adjusting Your Chair

It is important for your office chair to accommodate your height and posture. Therefore, you should adjust your chair to help you sit properly with both feet on the floor or on a footrest. Also, keep your thighs parallel to the floor to alleviate back pain.

Moving Your Keyboard

Along with office chairs, many office employees use keyboards on a daily basis. As a result, many people experience pain in their wrists and fingers. To reduce the risk for carpal tunnel, keep your keyboard lying flat always. Also, keep your wrists parallel to the floor and resist the urge to lean forward when typing.

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