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5 Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Workers’ Comp in California

 Posted on February 22,2021 in Workers' Compensation

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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Legal Options After Suffering an Injury Working at a Construction Site

 Posted on February 17,2021 in Workers' Compensation

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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Seeking Workers' Compensation for Repetitive Injuries from Office Work

 Posted on February 03,2021 in Workers Compensation

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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Are the Self-Employed Exempt from Workers’ Compensation in California?

 Posted on January 20,2021 in Workers' Compensation

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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What Are My Rights if My Family Member Was Killed in a Work Accident?

 Posted on January 06,2021 in Workers' Compensation

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.

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Do You Have a Commonly Overlooked Work Injury

 Posted on December 30,2020 in Workers' Compensation

Photo of a Woman Returning to Work After an InjuryNot every workplace injury is sudden or caused by a specific event. Sometimes, injuries sneak up on workers gradually and develop over time. Repetitive exposures or activities on the job often lead to these conditions.Though many workers do not realize it, some are still entitled to workers' compensation benefits due to these injuries. A Santa Clara County or Gilroy, California workers' comp attorney can help you determine if you qualify. But first, you need to determine if you have one of these often overlooked workplace injuries.

Do I Have a Commonly Overlooked Workplace Injury

When an injury develops over time, workers and employers often overlook them. A few commonly overlooked work injuries include:

If I Catch the Coronavirus, Can I File a Workers Compensation Claim

 Posted on December 30,2020 in Workers' Compensation

Coronavirus Patient Wearing a MaskThe COVID-19 pandemic impacted the majority of California workers significantly. Millions of people lost their jobs. Millions more worked from home during the statewide stay-at-home order. However, the government classified many employers as essential businesses. This forced many people to continue working despite the coronavirus pandemic. Examples of essential workers include:

  • Nurses
  • First responders
  • Maintenance workers
  • Warehouse employees
  • Farm workers
  • Grocery store workers
  • And more

Were you one of these essential workers employed in Santa Clara County, San Benito County, Santa Cruz County or Monterey County If so, then you may have many coronavirus-related questions. For example, can you recover workers' compensation benefits after contracting COVID-19 on the job A recent Executive Order by Governor Newsome makes it easier for you to do so.

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How Do I File a California Workers Compensation Claim for a Self-Inflicted Injury

 Posted on December 30,2020 in The Workers' Compensation Process in Calfornia

Photo of Gilroy Workplace Accident InjuryIf there is a job-related incident that results in an injury to an employee, the event has to be logged under one of the code titles in the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System, or OIICS. The OIICS is part of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it is designed to code the case characteristics of a job-related injury to an employee. Self-inflicted injuries, in relation to workers' compensation, is an injury that a worker does to himself or herself. This injury can be intentional or accidental, but it has its own claim process under workers' compensation regulations.

What Types of Jobs Result in High Amounts of Self-Inflicted Injuries

There are certain types of jobs that have a high risk for self-inflicted injuries. Some of these include:

  • Law enforcement
  • Medical employees
  • Farmers
  • Teachers
  • Salespeople

Some common self-inflicted injuries that can occur from these jobs include cuts, scrapes, broken bones, internal injuries and serious head injuries.

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How Do I Return to Work After an Injury

 Posted on December 30,2020 in Workers' Compensation

Photo of a Woman Returning to Work After an InjuryMany individuals want to return to work after being injured because they enjoy the work they do what they love. Others want to return to work because they e seeking higher wages than provided by workers' compensation. Going back to work after a workplace accident is a process that includes your physician, employer, and claims administrator. It important that you receive approval from these parties to return to work promptly and safely.

What Determines My Ability to Work Again

It important to open lines of communication with the parties stated above for returning to work. Close contact throughout the proceedings will help you to get back to work quicker and easier. You must relay detailed information about the following to doctors, claims officials, and your employer:

  • The workload you had before your injury
  • Your medical condition and what work is possible now

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What Not to Say to a Workers' Comp Doctor

 Posted on December 30,2020 in Workers' Compensation

Photo of a Doctor and Patient talking about a workers Comp InjuryAfter suffering a workplace injury, you should visit your primary physician. If you need to file a workers' comp claim, your physician's notes will serve as documentation of your injuries. Sometimes, however, an independent medical examination is also required. An IME is usually requested by your employer's insurance company to confirm your primary physician's diagnosis. In either case, what you say to your workers' comp doctor can make or break your claim. Your statements will make it into the doctor's notes that will be later assessed as part of your claim. Our Hollister workers' compensation attorneys outline common mistakes to avoid below.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Speaking With a Workers Comp Doctor

  • Exaggerating your injuries. Your doctor needs to know the nature and extent of your injuries in order to treat them effectively. This cannot happen if you exaggerate, or even downplay, your condition. Further, if your doctor has doubts about the severity of your condition, they may not sign off on your workers' comp forms. Not only will an exaggeration affect the medical treatment you need, it may also seriously hurt your benefits claim. The best policy in this case should be honesty.

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