In California, workers’ compensation law is a no-fault system. This means that benefits are available for the employee regardless of whether the injury was the fault of the employee or the fault of the employer. The injured worker however must prove that the injury arose out of and occurred in the course and scope of employment. Once that is determined, the type of injury and type of benefits will be decided. Workers’ compensation law can be tricky and nuanced. Therefore, it is never too early to consult with the experienced workers’ compensation law attorneys at Allegiance Law. We have the knowledge, experience and determination needed to successfully represent our clients in all types of work related injury claims, including occupational disease claims, cumulative injury claims, total disability claims and work related death claims.
A San Francisco workers’ compensation attorney will have a thorough understanding of the laws related to these cases. Importantly, an attorney is going to have the resources and legal experience necessary to conduct a full investigation into your case to prove the injury was work-related. An attorney will be able to:
At Allegiance Law, we are not afraid to stand up to other parties involved in these cases, and we will not back down. Our San Francisco workers’ compensation lawyers have no problem appealing your case if necessary.
Determining whether your injury happened on the job can be tricky in some situations. There are several circumstances that may be unclear as to whether your injury is work related. Being injured on a lunch break, while commuting, or at a company event can sometimes fall into gray areas. As such, it is important to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to avoid your claim being denied.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are usually around 2.8 million non-fatal injuries or illnesses each year across the country. Populated areas like San Francisco tend to have more workplace injuries than other areas around California.
Once it is determined that you were injured on the job, it will be decided what type of injury you have. An injury does not need to be the result of a sudden accident such as a fall. Injuries that result due to repeated physical motions while performing your job are also covered by workers’ compensation. The types of injuries you can sustain are:
A specific injury is an injury that has a definite time and place of occurrence. As an example, hurting yourself falling off a ladder or lifting a heavy box are examples of a specific injury. These injuries can include:
These injuries are also known as “repetitive” injuries. Injuries that occur over time and are due to repetitive action or exposure are cumulative injuries. One of the most common repetitive stress injuries is carpal tunnel syndrome, though there are many others that victims can sustain at work. When considering cumulative injuries, we must also take into account that many workers are exposed to hazardous conditions and elements in the workplace. This can lead to an occurrence of respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular illnesses, occupational cancers, hearing and vision loss, and more. These injuries, much like repetitive stress injuries, often do not appear until years or decades after workplace exposure.
Whether or not an injury is specific or cumulative, a San Francisco workers’ compensation attorney will fight to ensure that you secure the compensation needed. At Allegiance Law, our team regularly helps clients who have been denied workers’ compensation coverage or see their benefits delayed due to a dispute with an employer or insurance carrier.
There are no steps to take in the “immediate” aftermath of a cumulative work injury because no such moment exists. If an injury develops over time, there isn’t one single moment when it can be said to have been sustained. You must simply monitor your health and seek medical care when you feel doing so is necessary.
However, if you are involved in a workplace accident that even has the potential to have caused a specific work injury, there are certain steps you should take right away, as long as you are in proper physical condition to do so. They include the following:
REPORT THE ACCIDENT
Report the accident to your supervisor or the highest-ranking member of the company available to you at the time. Avoid making any statements that could indicate you were not technically “on the job” when the accident occurred, such as statements that might suggest you were out on your lunch break at the time of the accident.
Ensure that an official report will be filed on your behalf if it can’t be filed immediately. For example, if you are out at a work site, it might not be possible for your supervisor to file an official report until they return to the office. At the very least, your supervisor or the other individual to whom you report the accident should officially mark down that you informed them of what happened.
Take this opportunity to formally request that, if applicable, any potential footage of the accident that might have been caught by onsite cameras is not deleted, and make sure your supervisor officially makes note of your request. You may want to have another trustworthy coworker or manager present to ensure someone can confirm you made such requests if your supervisor later attempts to claim you did not.
COORDINATE WITH WITNESSES
Accidents that occur in the workplace often have witnesses. Identify who any witnesses to your accident may be, and if necessary, get their contact information. This might not be a step you need to take if all your witnesses are coworkers, but if an accident occurred at a work site, business event, or other such location, not every single witness may have been someone with whom you work.
During this step, it’s also wise to document the scene by taking pictures.
SEE A DOCTOR
This is critical. Don’t assume you can skip going to the doctor after a workplace accident if you “feel fine” and don’t notice any signs of injury. Some types of injuries (such as concussions) may not present any symptoms until hours or even days after the injury has been sustained.
You may need treatment without realizing it yet. It’s best to err on the side of caution and have a doctor confirm you are in good health.
If you are injured, seeing a doctor right away will also help you establish a clear timeline linking your accident to your injuries. This is key to securing workers’ compensation benefits.
After determining whether an injury occurred on the job and depending on what type of injury occurred, you may begin receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Some of the types of benefits are as follows:
Our knowledgeable and skilled workers’ compensation attorneys will help you determine if you have a claim, the type of injury, and what benefits are available to you. The total amount of compensation available for these claims will vary depending on the factors related to each particular situation. This includes the severity of the injury, whether or not a victim is able to return to work, their earning capacity upon returning to work, and more.
Please contact us today for a FREE 30-minute consultation with our worker’s compensation attorneys. Our worker compensation attorneys are available to meet with you during business hours, evenings, and weekends. Allegiance Law is located in San Francisco, but we will be happy to drive and meet you. You may contact Allegiance Law, experienced attorneys and workers’ compensation attorneys, at 415-404-6395. Or you may contact us by filling out the client inquiry form on this page.