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Los Angeles Area Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What are tax considerations of workers' compensation payments?

You are well aware that whenever you make any income, the tax man will want his cut. Not only will the federal government take taxes from your earned money but you also must pay the state of California and your local municipality. This can really add up, but as they say, the only guarantees in life are death and taxes. However, if you receive workers' compensation, you may not have to pay any taxes.

According to The Nest, workers' compensation payments are not taxable. This means whatever money you receive in benefits cannot be taxed, so you do not need to report it as income when filing your taxes. However, do not allow this exemption to get you into trouble. Some area tax codes may vary, so always check to ensure it is not taxable.

How lump sums can settle a worker's comp case

California residents hurt in the workplace have an option under California law to receive quicker compensation for their injuries by settling their claim with their employer and receiving their compensation in a lump sum. Settling workplace claims in this manner offers both benefits and possible disadvantages.

According to California’s Department of Industrial Relations, a worker may decide to settle the case for a lump sum payment under a Compromise and Release agreement. Under a C&R, a worker settles all the aspects of a claim with their employer. Instead of receiving a series of payments, the worker is awarded a single sum. A C&R also offers greater assurance of receiving compensation, as there are no future payments that could still be contested by the employer. A worker may also receive more money than under a Stipulated Findings and Award since the injured party is surrendering claims to future money.

What is a qualified medical evaluator?

What is a qualified medical evaluator?

If you are a California worker who was injured at work but there are questions about what medical benefits you are entitled to receive under workers’ compensation, you may need to be seen by a qualified medical evaluator. The California Department of Industrial Relations explains that a QME is a state-approved doctor who evaluates you to determine if your injury was work-related and help resolve any other disputes pertaining to your injury. Should your workers’ compensation claim be denied, the QME’s written report is a medical opinion that can be entered into evidence if you appeal the denial to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

Emergency medical technicians often face emotional trauma

Emergency medical technicians and paramedics go into work each day knowing that they might see horrible sights on their shift. Despite this fact, they show up for work and do the best they can in some pretty traumatizing situations. Without these individuals, many people likely wouldn't survive accidents or other devastating events.

But, what happens when an EMT or paramedics begin to suffer emotionally from doing their job duties? This is a question that is vitally important because if these individuals aren't in the position to care for themselves, they won't be able to adequately care for others.

Common office injuries

There are many dangerous professions in California. Assuming a job is not risky is one of the biggest mistakes a worker can make. Every job comes with some sort of risk. This includes office jobs, which may seem rather benign. There are many common injuries that office workers suffer from on a regular basis.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the on-the-job injury risks for office workers include everything from falling to repetitive injuries. Because workers are stuck inside a building, they face risks of fire and bad indoor air quality All work areas should have proper ventilation and every employee should be clear of fire exit procedures. Falls are also common and can be due to loose papers on the floor, crowded workspaces or wet floors. Work with a computer can bring about eye strain or ergonomic injuries, such as back strain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Electrical injuries at work

While there are many different types of injuries that can occur while you are at work in California, electrical injuries may be one of the least expected, but also one of the most dangerous. We at Koszdin, Fields, Sherry and Katz understand the risks associated with these injuries and can help you fight for the compensation you deserve if you or a loved one were killed or injured during an electrical accident at work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are some types of electrical accidents that are more likely to occur than others. This type of injury most commonly involves items that you would not expect to be dangerous, such as light fixtures, tools, appliances and certain machines. Other more obvious dangers include electrical components, including transformers and wiring. 

Even office workers could end up needing workers' compensation

When people think about workers' compensation claims, they probably think about dramatic injuries, like truck drivers getting into a crash while working. The truth is that office workers are also at risk for work-related injuries. Sometimes, these can be dramatic events, such as a slip-and-fall accident or even an electric shock from a machine. It is more common, however, for office workers to require coverage because of repetitive stress.

Many office workers engage in the same tasks over and over again throughout the day. The impact of routinely typing for hours or holding a phone for long period can cause repetitive stress to muscles, tendons and joints. Over time, this physical stress can manifest into cumulative trauma that can reduce a worker's quality of life or even impede his or her ability to perform certain tasks at work.

What is a predesignated personal physician?

As a California worker, you are entitled to medical care and benefits for any injury or illness you suffer while at work. However, under California workers’ compensation rules and regulations, you are not entitled to be treated by your own doctor unless you have predesignated him or her as your personal physician.

As the California Department of Industrial Relations explains, you must have a predesignation of personal physician in place at the time of your work-related injury or illness. If you do not, you are required to be treated by a physician in your employer’s Medical Provider Network.

The dangers of trenching and excavations

The dangers of trenching and excavations

California construction and utility workers who are required to work in trenches and excavations are 112 percent more likely to die in a work-related accident than general construction workers. This is according to EHS Today, the occupational safety and health magazine.

Back sprains and strains: More painful than you think

Many professions involve lifting and bending, which can have negative impacts on your back. In fact, you might find that you suffer from back strains and sprains due to your work. When this happens, you may be unable to continue working until the injury is healed.

There are some points that are important to know about strains and sprains. Reviewing these might help you prevent an injury or to cope with one you've had the misfortune to endure.

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Koszdin, Fields, Sherry & Katz
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Van Nuys, CA 91401

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