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Workers' Compensation And Personal Injury Law Blog

Hurt on the job? Get the compensation you need from your employer

Working as a police officer means that you're exposed to a number of risks every day. Every traffic stop has the potential to go wrong. You have the potential to be attacked by someone unexpectedly. You could be called to the scene of a dangerous situation. The possibilities are endless.

That's why it's so important for people working in this field to know their rights and to have the correct protections in place if they're injured. If you're hurt on the job, then you should be entitled to compensation for those injuries and be able to focus on your recovery without concerns about your income.

Why are nurses at such high risk for injuries and illnesses?

Registered nurses (RNs) are critical to the health care system in the United States. These medical professionals bridge the gap between patients and doctors. They're the individuals who provide dedicated care to sick individuals when they most need help. This is why it's no wonder that these workers have some of the highest rates of illness and injury among all medical professionals.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that there were over three million RNs in this country in 2016. That same year, there were nearly 20,000 nurses who suffered nonfatal illnesses or injuries that led to them miss a day or more from work.

Disability benefits are a critical part of workers' compensation

Most people think of medical coverage when they think of workers' compensation benefits. It is true that the health coverage available through workers' compensation can be incredibly beneficial for workers dealing with a workplace illness or injury.

Unlike private or government insurance programs, workers' compensation coverage does not have any kind of deductible, co-pay or co-insurance. That means that you incur no financial obligation for the treatment you need after a workplace injury or illness. The importance of medical coverage is significant for injured or sickened workers, especially because you will likely experience a period of time where you are unable to work.

What happens after you're hurt on the job in California

California Labor Code Section 3700 requires all employers to take out workers' compensation coverage. It doesn't matter if a company has a single worker or multiple ones either. Individuals who own and run a business as a sole proprietor should even take out this type of insurance. This coverage covers most workers who may become ill or injured while on the job.

The employees that are covered by workers' compensation coverage are described in California Labor Code Section 3351. Benefits are generally extended to any individuals classified as employees whether they're part-time or full-time ones. Independent contractors may be exempt from such coverage.

What are common injuries that firefighters suffer?

Data published by the National Fire Protection Association in 2017 showed how a staggering 58,835 firefighters were injured on the job that year. More than half of these injuries occurred while these individuals were fighting fires. That same report highlights many other surprising occupational hazards that these community service workers face.

At least 44,530 firefighters reported having been exposed to hazardous conditions including fumes, asbestos, radioactive materials and chemicals in 2017. Another 7,345 of these community workers were exposed to infectious diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), meningitis and hepatitis that same year. Many firefighters were injured in the 15,430 automobile accidents in 2017 as well.

There are trends when it comes to manufacturing worker injuries

Data compiled by the National Safety Council (NSC) shows that as many as 100,000 manufacturing workers are injured each year on the job here in the United States. What's concerning about this is that many of the employees in this field have specialized expertise. This means that employers can't replace their workers with just anyone. This loss of labor adversely affects both productivity and profitability. There are some primary causes of manufacturing worker injuries.

Statistics compiled by The Travelers Indemnity Company, the U.S. Department of Labor and the NSC all show that one of the biggest injury threats that manufacturing workers face is getting hurt when making contact with an object. At least 40% of all employees who work in this sector are injured in such incidents each year.

There are many workplace hazards that health care workers face

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) data shows that at least 18 million Americans are employed in the health care sector in the United States. At least 80% of the individuals who work in this ever-growing industry are women. NIOSH data shows that workers in the health care field face one of the highest nonfatal occupational illness and injury rates of all industries.

There are a variety of occupational dangers that put health care workers at risk of getting sick or hurt. There's been an uptick in workplace violence at medical facilities in recent years.

Highlighting the Fatal Four

As most in California already know, workers’ compensation benefits are meant to provide financial assistance to those who have been injured on the job. Those working in industries where employee injuries are common should thus have an understanding of how to secure such benefits if and when they are needed. One such industry is construction, which (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has 10.3 million practitioners as of 2016. The popularity of this profession remains high even though it is routinely ranked amongst the most dangerous.

Indeed, severe injuries happen often enough in the construction industry that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has compiled enough information to identify a handful of causes determined to be the most common. Dubbed “the Fatal Four,” these include:

  • Falls
  • Being struck by objects
  • Electrocutions
  • Crush injuries

The holiday season is also road trip season

The good times of the holiday season can instantly turn sour if you run into trouble on the road. It doesn't matter if you're traveling locally, across California or to a different part of the country, your safety and well-being should take precedence over everything else.

Here are four common holiday driving hazards you may contend with in the weeks to come:

  • Distracted driving: This is a problem any time you're on the road, and it's even more so the case during the holidays when people are likely to be in constant contact with family and friends. Do your part to prevent distracted driving, while keeping a close eye out for others who are violating the law.
  • Drinking and driving: Many people enjoy drinking alcohol when celebrating the holidays. While it's okay to do so in moderation, it's not okay to get behind the wheel.
  • Drowsy driving: If you're taking a longer road trip, such as to another state, be sure to bank as much sleep as possible before embarking on your journey. Also, regular breaks can help avoid a situation in which you fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Increased traffic: You're not the only one hitting the road during the holidays. Depending on when you're traveling, such as the days around Christmas, you may experience heavy traffic during peak hours. The more vehicles that are on the road, the more difficult it is to remain safe. The best way to protect against trouble is to follow the rules of the road, and, if possible, travel during off-peak hours, such as early in the morning.

Accident during training leaves Marine dead

Many in California no doubt feel a strong sense of security when they are at work. These secure feelings likely come from the assumption that given the control that one has over the tasks related to their job, they should then be able to control the situations that they encounter at work. Yet what about those whose work places them in positions where they could encounter danger (such as those whose jobs involve being outdoors or dealing with tense situations). While one can certainly feel secure in their ability to do their job, they cannot anticipate accidents or threats that might arise during the course of actually doing them. 

One need only look at the case of a Marine who was recently killed during a training exercise in Bridgeport. The man's unit was going through logistical support training when the Humvee he was in was involved in an accident. Specific details regarding were not released; it is only known that the young man was reportedly manning the vehicle's rooftop turret when the accident occurred. No other injuries were reported. Two fellow soldiers from his unit (which the man had only been in since May) attempted to provide him with, yet first reconsiders pronounced him dead at the scene. 

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