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California Board of Legal Specialization | Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
Law Offices of Vincent J. Scotto, III, Attorneys & Lawyers Employment & Workers Compensation, San Mateo, CA

San Mateo Workplace Injury Law Blog

Fighting for individuals after workplace accidents and injuries

The inability to do one's job due to a workplace accident does not preclude a person from staying current on their mortgage, paying their utilities, and somehow coming up with the money to pay for the medical expenses they may incur as a result of their injury. A California resident who is unfortunate enough to suffer such an incident may quickly find themselves struggling to stay ahead of their financial responsibilities.

Workers who do their jobs right and still suffer harm at the hands of their employers should not see themselves and their families suffer because of the loss of their incomes. Getting hurt at work is an unfortunate reality for too many people who are then thrown into the precarious balance of providing for their loved ones and healing from their harms.

California OSHA Plan protects workers from unique harms

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a federal entity that promulgates rules and regulations regarding how workers should be protected from the many forms of harm that they may encounter at their work sites. The various states, including California, may adopt their own protective standards to address the safety needs of the men and women who work within their borders and not surprisingly, the California State Plan under OSHA covers more forms of harm than the federal standards.

For example, California workers who are covered by the State Plan are protected from heat and noise exposure. Both of these issues may cause immediate harm to workers or may create health problems for workers if they are exposed to them over time.

Worker critically hurt in California construction accident

A number of regulations are in place to keep California construction workers safe when they are on the job. Those regulations can involve, for example, the use of safety equipment to ensure workers' protection from worksite dangers and the need for special training to teach construction workers about the hazards they may face while performing their duties. However, despite the presence these and other regulations, construction workers in California still suffer debilitating work-related accidents. A recent incident in the state highlights this fact.

The accident happened in the morning when a worker was standing in a manhole. The manhole was located in a dug-out section of the residential construction site. The victim was allegedly hit by a truck that was traveling through that section of the construction zone and as a result of the crash the victim suffered injuries to his upper body.

A workplace injury may develop over time

A sudden accident may cause a person to suffer a serious and debilitating injury. Such an abrupt occurrence that leads to a long-term recovery may keep a San Mateo resident away from their job as they recuperate. If the accident happened while they were at work or while performing work-related duties for their employer, they may be entitled to workers' compensation.

However, not all work-related injuries happen in moments of carelessness, negligence or mistake. Some workers suffer significant harm from doing exactly what their employers ask of them. When workers perform repetitive actions and do not have the proper tools or equipment to safely undertake those actions, they may develop repetitive stress injuries.

What is an occupational illness?

Any California resident who has suffered from a bout of the common cold may be able to generally describe what an illness is. Most may claim that an illness is a condition that affects a person's body due to the invasion of a bacterial or viral element into them. Different illnesses may cause individuals to suffer different symptoms, but in most cases the illnesses that individuals pick up in their daily lives resolve themselves without significant medical intervention.

An occupational illness has commonalities with and differences from regular illnesses. Whereas an occupational illness is also caused by a person's interaction of a foreign substance or chemical, what makes it unique from other illnesses is that the exposure occurred at the individual's place of work. Encounters with chemical, biological and substances can cause individuals to suffer illnesses and harm.

An employee has rights when it comes to OSHA regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, better known as OSHA, is a governmental regulatory body that maintains standards for the safety measures that employers provide to their workers. Through OSHA a California worker has rights and a mechanism for pursuing help when they suffer a preventable workplace injury or accident.

For example, when a worker is hired into a particular job they have the right to be trained. While often training is considered the imparting of knowledge upon a person so that they can perform a task, under OSHA a worker's training must also impart safety education so that the worker can do their tasks without causing themselves or others injury.

When employers evade liability, get an experienced lawyer

Everyone has an expectation of being safe in their workplace, regardless of where they are working. This means whether they are in the office space owned by a multinational company or on the road as part of a construction crew, employers are responsible for ensuring their employees are in a safe working environment.

Unfortunately, not all employers take this responsibility seriously. This means they either do not remove hazards from the workplace or they do not train and equip their employees to deal with workplace hazards. Either way, workers get injured in workplace and have no legal recourse as they have contracted away their right to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. Workers' compensation insurance is therefore their only option-insurance provided by the employer regardless of fault in the workplace accident that led to the injuries.

Construction site accidents increasing

While driving down California roads in the summer, motorists may commonly come across signs that ask for drivers to slow down their driving speed as they are entering a work zone. Unfortunately, when they don't adhere to those signs, work zone crashes take place and people end up injured, or even worse, dead.

Work zone crashes have increased in the past couple of years, with 2015 seeing a 7.8 percent increase in crashes from the previous year. There were an estimated 96,626 crashes, representing a crash every 5.4 minutes. At least one injury came out of every 70 crashes a day, and every week, 12 crashes resulted in at least one fatality. Data demonstrates that there is a higher rate of fatalities in work-zone crashes than in non-work zone crashes.

How does a decrease in workers' comp inpatient stays affect you?

Many workers who find themselves injured in a workplace accident often end up going to the hospital to get treatment for their injuries. And, this often requires an extended hospital stay. A hospital stay means medical bills and when one is taking time off from work, more bills is the last thing needed. This is where workers' compensation plays an important role, as it ensures workers are compensated for the injuries they have suffered and the treatment they receive.

California workers' compensation inpatient stays fell 31.2 percent between 2008 and 2016, according to the California Workers' Compensation Institute. When compared to other payer systems, workers' comp outpaced programs, such as MediCare and MediCal. In fact, these last two programs saw increases in hospital stays, whereas private plan inpatient stays also fell almost 20 percent.

Spinal cord injuries can result from falls

As mentioned previously on this blog, construction site falls are among the most common type of workplace accidents. This means a common workplace injury is a spinal cord injury as falls account for more than 15 percent of all spinal cord injuries.

California residents may be aware that spinal cord injuries are often caused by a traumatic, sudden blow to the spine that fractures, compresses, dislocates or crushes one or more of a person's vertebrae. However, non-traumatic injuries can be caused by inflammation or infections.

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The Law Offices of Vincent J. Scotto, III
700 South Claremont Street
San Mateo, CA 94402

Telephone: 650-375-2301
Fax: 650-401-6129
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The Law Offices of Vincent J. Scotto, III
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