No matter where you work or what industry it is, there is always the risk that you may be injured on the job. While some injuries are sustained suddenly in workplace accidents, others are the result of repetitive motion. Any type of workplace injury can be painful, confusing, and emotional, especially when you need to get your bills paid and put food on the table.
If a workplace injury leaves you out of work or unable to perform the job you did prior to becoming injured, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. At Shegerian & Associates, our team, including work accident lawyers and workplace injury lawyers, can assist you in filing a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance company so you receive the compensation and treatment you deserve.
Common Types of Workplace Injuries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), one worker died every 99 minutes because of a work-related injury in 2019. In total, there were 5,333 fatal workplace injuries that year, and 2.8 million more workers that were injured or became ill as a result of dangerous or unsafe workplaces. The most common type of workplace accidents, handled by job injury lawyers and workplace accident attorneys, include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Machinery-related accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Slip and falls
- Falls from heights
- Struck by objects
- Struck against objects
- Repetitive motion
Injuries that can arise from workplace accidents include:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Eye injuries
- Hearing damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel
- Occupational disease or illness due to long-term exposure
- Catastrophic injuries
- Fatal injuries
What To Do After a Workplace Accident
Taking the right steps after a workplace accident is crucial when it comes to protecting your health and safety and rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Every employer in California is mandated to have workers’ compensation insurance to pay for medical treatment and disability payments of injured workers.
Right after the accident or when you are aware of your injury, you should:
- Notify Your Employer. It is vital that you notify your supervisor or employer as soon as you are injured. If you sustain a repetitive motion injury, make the report as soon as you begin to feel the injury manifest. Your employer will provide important paperwork you need to fill out and provide guidance on your rights and steps to take moving forward.
- Seek Medical Attention, If Necessary. Even if you believe you were not seriously injured, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Note that your employer may require you to visit a certain doctor, but just make sure that you tell the doctor exactly how you were injured and where.
- Gather Evidence. If you can, return to the scene of the workplace accident as soon as you can. Someone may have cleaned up where you were injured, but you will want to gather as much evidence as you can, including camera footage, witness statements, and details you remember about the accident. You will also want to have a way to prove that you notified your employer.
- Submit the Claim Form. After you are injured, you will want to file your workers’ compensation claim right away. Your employer should provide you with a copy of the DWC-1 form after you have reported your injury. Be sure that you make a copy of the form you fill out before submitting it to your employer.
- Contact an Attorney Right Away. It is always recommended that you hire a workers’ compensation attorney after a workplace accident to ensure that all paperwork is submitted properly and within the statute of limitations, and that the insurance company pays you rightful benefits.
- Follow Your Medical Treatment Plan. It is vital that you follow the treatment plan from your doctor in order to show that you are taking the necessary steps to heal. If you don’t agree with your doctor’s assessment, but may be entitled to a second opinion under workers’ compensation laws. However, it is not guaranteed to be covered by insurance.
Knowing Your Rights After Being Injured at Work in California
Under workers’ compensation laws, you have rights after being injured in California due to work-related duties. These rights, protected by work-related injury lawyers, include:
- The right to file a workers’ compensation claim
- The right to medical treatment
- The right to return to your job
- The right to reasonable workplace accommodations
- The right to temporary or permanent disability benefits
- The right to be evaluated by an independent, neutral doctor
- The right to appeal decisions about your treatment, health, or workers’ comp benefits
- The right to settle your workers’ comp case
- The right to directly sue at-fault third parties in civil court for damages
- The right to choose and hire a workers’ compensation attorney, such as a workplace accident attorney.
In California, employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. The tradeoff for this coverage is that employees cannot sue their employers for work injuries. In fact, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that it does not matter who was at fault for the accident or your injuries. You don’t have to prove that your employer was at fault. Likewise, you are still eligible for benefits even if you were found to be at fault, with some exceptions.
On the other hand, personal injury claims are pursued on the basis of negligence. If a party acted with negligence and caused injury to another individual, the negligent party is considered to be at fault and is liable for the subsequent damages. While one may pursue damages for pain and suffering in personal injury cases, injured workers are not eligible for these damages.
Let Our Attorneys Stand Up for You
At Shegerian & Associates, our primary concern is that you are physically, emotionally, and financially taken care of after a workplace injury. Whatever the circumstances of your injury, please know that our workers’ compensation attorneys, including work-related injury lawyers and job injury lawyers, are standing by ready to review your case for free and advocate on your behalf.