When you go to work, the last thing you want or expect to happen is an on-the-job injury. However, workplace injuries occur all the time in Los Angeles and throughout California. Fortunately, workplace injury victims should nearly always be entitled to workers’ competition coverage. At Koszdin, Fields, Sherry & Katz, our team is here to help if you need a Los Angeles on-the-job accident attorney by your side. If you are struggling to receive the compensation you need from your employer or insurance carrier, we are going to help you.
One thing we want to make clear is that injuries can occur in any type of workplace. Sure, there are some industries that are more dangerous than others for workers. This includes construction industries, transportation industries, manufacturing and warehouse industries, etc. However, even a person who has a relatively safe office job can still suffer an injury caused by a slip and fall incident, premises defect, and more.
Some of the most common causes of workplace accidents include the following:
According to data available from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, we can see that there were approximately 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries or illnesses reported during the latest year across the country. When we closely examine this data, we can see that 15% of all non-fatal injuries and illnesses occurred in the manufacturing industry. Overall, ten occupations accounted for 33.2% of all cases involving days away from work. Out of those industries, the highest number of days away from work occurred in the:
In nearly all circumstances, an injured employee in Los Angeles will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ comp system in California is designed to be “no-fault,” which means that a worker should be able to receive coverage regardless of who caused the incident.
This system is designed to pay for an injured employee’s medical bills, replacement of most of their lost wages, and even temporary or permanent disability benefits, depending on the severity of the injury.
Additionally, if the Los Angeles on-the-job injury occurred due to the careless or negligent actions of a third party other than the employer, then the injured worker may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against that party in order to recover additional types of compensation, including pain and suffering losses.
It is not uncommon for individuals to confuse workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims. The reality is that these are two separate actions. In most work injury situations, the injury victim will be unable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person who caused the injury or their employer. Workers’ compensation insurance is considered “no-fault.” This means that the employee will be entitled to recover compensation regardless of who caused the injury. This also shields the employer from major personal injury lawsuits from the employees who sustain injuries.
However, an injured worker may be able to file a third-party lawsuit if the injury is caused by a party other than a coworker or the employer. For example, if an on-the-job injury is caused by a contractor or subcontractor or a defective product, this could open the door to the employee filing a third-party lawsuit against the at-fault party.
When a third-party personal injury lawsuit is an option, this means that the injured worker could recover additional types of compensation beyond what is typically available through the workers’ compensation system. This includes possible full wage replacement as well as various types of pain and suffering damages.
It is crucial for injury victims to understand that they have a limited amount of time to file lawsuits in these cases. For work injury claims that are handled through the workers’ compensation system, please understand that victims have 30 days to report the work-related injury to their employer or supervisor. Failing to report an injury within this timeframe could result in the worker losing their right to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
After a claim is made within 30 days, the injured employee still has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim up to one year after the day the injury occurred.
In the event a third-party lawsuit is viable for a work injury, the injured employee has to file their claim within two years from the date an injury occurs, per the California personal injury statute of limitations.
If your workers compensation claim is denied by an employer or the insurance carrier, there are various steps you can take to reverse this decision. In California, you have the right to appeal the denial of a workers’ comp claim by requesting a hearing in front of the local Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board judge. This is like an informal trial, and the judge will hear from both sides in the case they make a decision about whether or not the insurance carrier has to accept the claim.
However, if the judge has made a decision not to force the insurance company to accept the claim, the injured worker can appeal the judge’s decision. There are various steps involved in the appeals process, and we strongly encourage you to work with a skilled work injury lawyer in Los Angeles who can help you through this process.
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an on-the-job injury in or around the Los Angeles area, reach out to the team at Koszdin, Fields, Sherry & Katz for help as soon as possible. We have extensive experience handling complex workplace injury claims, and we know what it takes to stand up to aggressive insurance carriers and employers in these situations. Let us work to obtain the medical benefits and lost wage replacement that you are entitled to. When you need a Los Angeles on-the-job accident attorney, you can reach out to us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 800-747-3447.