Your Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for the greater San Francisco Bay Area and California
Under California’s workers’ compensation laws, employees injured at the workplace or while on the job are entitled to compensation for their injuries, and full medical and rehabilitative care, without regard to fault These include federal and state laws, longshoreman’s laws, and the Jones Act which covers sailors. It is important to know your rights to workers’ compensation so that you are fully covered for any workplace injuries, whether temporary or permanent.
If you are injured at work, whether or not working on-site, you should consult with a skilled and experienced workers’ compensation attorney to understand the full extent of the law, what expenses are covered, and what your rights are. Most importantly, a skilled workers’ compensation attorney will know whether you are eligible to sue third parties for your injuries, thus augmenting your financial recovery. While workers’ compensation laws prohibit you from suing your employer for workplace injuries, a third party might be liable for some or all of your distress.
At Arns Davis Law, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are available to review your case and help you to receive all of the benefits you are entitled to, and perhaps expand the reach to include culpable third parties.
Common Workplace Injuries
Workplace injuries can be sudden, due to an exploding machine or dropped materials, or can occur over a period of time, like carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s important to classify a workplace injury so that appropriate medical treatment and rehabilitative therapies can be arranged, and paid for, from the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Remember, you are entitled to compensation even if you were at fault for the injury. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault process to ensure that workers are kept safe while on the job.
Workplace injuries that result from a sudden event are called specific injuries. These might include: broken or dislocated bones, traumatic head injuries, spinal cord injuries, neck and back injuries, lacerations and puncture wounds, internal organ damage, or amputations.
Injuries that occur over time are considered cumulative injuries. These might include: carpal tunnel syndrome, prolonged exposure to hazardous chemicals or conditions that result in respiratory or cardiac illnesses, occupational cancers, hearing and vision loss, or a sudden onset of symptoms to a body part such as the back, neck, or shoulders. Sometimes these conditions do not appear until many years later, which is why the statute of limitations permits filing of suit within one years of the discovery of the injury.
What to Do After Sustaining a Workplace Injury
If you have been hurt while working due to a specific event, there are important steps you need to take to preserve your right to workers’ compensation.
- Report the Accident: Follow the directions in your workplace employee handbook to report the accident to your supervisor or Human Resources Department if you know them. Otherwise, please make sure that you report the injury to a supervisor on site. Avoid making any statements that might provide your employer with a way out of supporting a workers’ compensation claim. Being hurt on a lunch break or while performing a personal task might remove you from eligibility for workers’ compensation.
Make sure that a report is filed and that the information contained in the report is complete, accurate, and true. Correct any mistakes.
If there are workplace cameras, request that any footage be preserved so that the facts surrounding the accident can be established. You might want to bring along a trusted co-worker when making these requests to later establish that these requests were actually made.
- Identify All Witnesses: Even if the accident occurred at the workplace, you should record the names and get the contact information from all of the witnesses who saw the occurrence. If the accident occurred off-site, then gathering these witnesses’ names and contact information becomes even more crucial.
- See a Doctor No Matter What: Even if you feel fine after a workplace accident, see a doctor to establish the time sequence, so that if injuries occur later, they will be connected to the workplace incident. This connection between your injury and the workplace is essential to claim workers’ compensation.
Compensation for Work Injury
Workers’ compensation covers a broad range of resulting expenses, once a connection between your injury and the workplace has been established:
- Medical treatment
- Temporary disability benefits
- Permanent disability benefits
- Vocational retraining
- Death benefits
However, you might be entitled to additional compensation if a personal injury claim can be established against a third party. Here is where an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can really help.
Personal Injury Attorneys and Workers Compensations
Other entities besides your employer might be financially responsible for the injuries and resulting pain and suffering you experienced in a workplace specific or cumulative event. For instance, prolonged exposure to a dangerous chemical might permit a personal injury suit based on a theory of failure to warn against the manufacturer of that chemical. For example, if you are a carpenter working on a scaffolding installed by a company other than your employer and the scaffolding fails and you are injured, the other company could be held liable in a civil lawsuit.
In these instances, along with the benefits of workers’ compensation, you may also be able to collect compensation from the third party for your pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of sexual relations, and other non-economic recovery, as well as punitive damages, if appropriate. Only an experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney can review the record to locate all culpable defendants to maximize your recovery. At Arns Davis Law, our attorneys have skill and experience in both workers’ compensation and personal injury law.
When You Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area, Call Arns Davis LawArns Davis Law guides our clients with dignity and respect throughout the legal process from initial consultation through settlement. Being the victim of a workplace injury requires that you surround yourself with people who will advocate for your best interests. That advocacy needs to be supported by a thorough knowledge of the law, experience with negotiation and litigation, and genuine people skills. Add to the mix a devotion to ethical principles and passion. That’s what we offer to you at Arns Davis Law. Our attorneys will listen, ask the right questions, and use their legal knowledge and experience to forge a strategy to hold defendants accountable for your injury and full compensation for your economic and non-economic losses.
If you are a Spanish speaker, we have attorneys and staff who can communicate fluently with you to address all your concerns and ensure your rights are protected. Call us today or contact us online.