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Los Angeles Area Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Common causes of workplace slip-and-falls

Accidents can happen anywhere, but most employees in California believe that their employer will provide a safe working environment. The truth is that accidents happen at work every day, whether due to negligence or situations beyond the employer's control. We at Koszdin, Fields, Sherry and Katz can represent you if you are injured in a workplace accident and ensure that you get the compensation you need to recover completely.

According to Arbill.com, one of the most common types of accidents that can occur in the workplace is a slip-and-fall. While motor vehicle accidents cause the largest number of accidental fatalities at work, falls come in second at 15 percent. 

Home health care workers face serious risks

There are many things that home health care workers face that other workers do not. While there isn't any way that these workers can predict everything that they will encounter when they go out to someone's home to care for them. It is possible that these workers will face injuries and illnesses due to work.

Even though there are risks that are present, there are ways that the caregivers can try to remain a bit safer. Companies that employ these caregivers should make sure that they have the tools to provide high-quality care without sacrificing personal safety.

Workers' compensation fraud happens on both sides

Workers' compensation fraud always seems to be something in the news in California. It is a huge concern because it costs everyone money, from employers to the state to taxpayers. However, it is rampant. The main reason is because it happens on all sides. Employees, employers and even medical professionals are trying to cheat the system. While most people are honest, the bad apples in the bunch are causing problems for everyone.

Business Insurance notes that there has been plenty of workers' compensation reform measures taken by the state to try to stop fraud. More recent steps have focused on medical providers who have been working the system and lining their pockets. These professionals are often those who have been stopped from taking Medicare and Medicaid cases and now have moved to another government system they see as vulnerable.

All about toxic exposure

Injuries can happen anywhere and in any manner, even in the workplace. Workers in California need to be especially vigilant when avoiding possible toxic exposure, but you may not be aware of what to look for. We at Koszdin, Fields, Sherry and Katz can not only represent you if you suffer injuries after being exposed to dangerous chemicals, but have also prepared this guide to educate you on everything you need to know about toxic exposure.

 

3 points to know about California workers' compensation

Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that is meant to protect workers if they are injured on the job or suffer a work-related illness. The important factor here to remember is that the injury or illness has to be related to your job. For example, if you are in a car accident while you are out with friends, you wouldn't qualify for coverage. If the accident occurred while you were driving as part of your job duties, you would likely be covered.

Here are some other points to know about workers' compensation and how the program works in California:

Seeking medical benefits for a workplace accident

If you have been injured in a workplace accident in California, you may have already attempted to seek medical benefits. This process is often made difficult, though. At Koszdin, Fields, Sherry & Katz, we have seen many cases where people have struggled due to roadblocks. Often, you will not get to choose what doctor you use. You will have to use one appointed by your employer. In addition, you may be denied services or coverage for essential medical treatments or equipment. The process can be harrowing.

However, you do have legal rights to proper medical care after a workplace accident. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, you have the right to have all reasonable, scientific-based medical care and procedures covered by your employer if you are injured due to a workplace accident. Treatment guidelines are found in the medical treatment utilization schedule, but a doctor can prescribe other treatment options outside of the MTUS if they are scientifically based.

Back injuries in the workplace

While any body part can be injured in a workplace accident, one of the most common areas to feel pain is your back. This is because you use your back muscles for many tasks and can strain it with either a sudden movement or slowly over a long period of time. We at Koszdin, Fields, Sherry and Katz can work to get you the help you need if your back has been injured at your job in California.

 

Is your employer failing to accommodate your work injury?

Getting hurt at work can cause a host of issues. In addition to needing to file a report and a claim for workers' compensation coverage, you could find yourself unable to work for some time. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need reasonable accommodations from your employer to continue working and earning a living wage. Under federal law, employers must make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disabilities of those who are otherwise qualified to fulfill a position. Whether you are dealing with a short-term disability while you recover or something permanent, you should get helped.

Your employer should take steps to reduce your pain or potential for worse injury while working. There are hundreds of ways that injuries and disabilities could require accommodation. Issues with your back, neck or shoulders could require special chairs or other support equipment. Those with repetitive stress injuries may need to take frequent breaks and engage in special stretches or exercises to reduce the risk of worsening the injury. Ramps or other accessibility features may need to be added if an employee has a disability that affects his or her mobility or ability to safely access basic facilities, like rest rooms.

Traumatic brain injuries in the workplace

People who work in a wide-range of industries run the risk of receiving a traumatic brain injury while on-the-job. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 30 percent of all injury deaths in the U.S. involve traumatic brain injury. At least 153 people die from TBI every day. Although brain injuries are most common in construction and warehouse settings in California and across the nation, workers who are employed in offices and other settings may be affected as well. It is crucial that people know how to spot the signs of brain damage and receive medical attention as soon as possible in order to minimize the damage caused by these injuries.

While some people can spot the signs of brain injury almost immediately following an accident, others may take days and even weeks to show up. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, common symptoms of traumatic brain injury include the following:

  •          Consistent headaches that increase in intensity.
  •          Nausea and vomiting.
  •          Dizziness and trouble concentrating.
  •          Trouble recalling events.
  •          Difficulty problem solving and organizing.
  •          Sensory deficits, such as problems hearing or seeing.

What steps are taken to report an unsafe working environment?

If you see an unsafe situation or you are exposed to a safety risk where you work in California, you have the right to report it to an authority that can get it fixed. This right is given to you through the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. At its heart, this act ensures you the right to work in a safe environment where your employer has removed or protected you from any preventable risks.

When you notice a risk, you should immediately report it to OSHA. You can do this in several ways. You can file a complaint online at OSHA's website and by mail or fax or you can call your local OSHA office to make a report. Keep in mind that your information is kept confidential so your employer will not know it was you that reported the unsafe working environment.

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Van Nuys, CA 91401

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