The top-rated California job injury lawyers at Bisnar Chase have an outstanding track record when it comes to finding and pursuing compensation for employees who have experienced serious injuries in the workplace.
Employers have the duty to make sure their employees are physically safe when performing their occupational duties. When an employer fails to maintain a secure work environment they need to be held accountable for their carelessness.
We understand the serious repercussions of job-related injuries – that they can impose severe emotional and financial burdens on workers and their families. We work diligently to help you obtain maximum compensation for your significant losses. Our work injury attorneys have a 99% success rate and have the skill and experience to help those injured at work in California.
When you contact us today at (800) 561-4887, you will receive a free consultation on your job injury case.
Call today to learn more about California’s work injury laws and obtain information on your rights as an injured employee.
California Work Accident Statistics
Data has indicated that annually over 375-400 employees have lost their lives due to work accidents.
Injuries and fatalities are more widely prevalent in some industries such as construction and manufacturing where workers tend to operate heavy machinery and perform their jobs in a highly volatile environment. The predominant cause of death for workers over recent years was transportation accidents. Transportation accidents led to 691 workers dying within four years. Occupational fatalities and injuries associated with transportation, occur amongst drivers who are carrying cargo and usually take place on highways or highway shoulders.
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that workers have a safe environment to do their jobs. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists safety measures for each industry to help prevent tragic or catastrophic accidents in the workplace. Several job-related accidents occur as a result of safety violations in the workplace. When workers are injured on the job, there are ways and means in which they can seek compensation for their significant losses.
California Employment Development Department
The U.S. Employment Development Department offers a variety of services to aid job applicants, employees and organizations. It also provides benefits for workers such as disability insurance, paid time off, and unemployment.
Workers who have been let go can file for unemployment through EDD. To qualify for unemployment you can not quit your job. There are situations where a worker became injured and was pressured to quit by a superior. In these circumstances, you need to prove that you were forced by an employer to resign. Documentation that can prove you were forced to resign can be emails giving a warning of termination and if possible, documentation stating the reason why you were being pressured to end your employment with the company. A timeline of events that can be collected by your California job injury lawyer can reveal the reason in which you were let go.
California is an at-will state which means that your employer does not have to tell you why they terminated your employment, but this does not mean you do not have the potential to win a work injury case.
Workers' Compensation Laws
Unfortunately, many workers have their claims denied and are forced to return to work before they have fully recovered from their injuries. There are a number of reasons why a claim could be denied. Insurance providers will often look for any excuse to save money. Even individuals who clearly suffered an injury while conducting business can have their claim denied if they make mistakes while filling out the forms.
Many victims of California job injuries are not aware of their legal rights and options and fail to get the support they need. You are allowed to refuse an inadequate settlement and you can appeal the decision of an insurance provider if it is unsatisfactory to you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Job Injury Claims
Employees who are hurt in the workplace suffer from injuries that can put them out of work for months or the injury can even remove their ability to provide for themselves completely. Common types of injuries accident victims endure are back injuries, broken bones, or amputated limbs.
Family members may be left wondering what medical and legal steps to take after the incident. First off, the best step to take is to obtain as much information as you can. The better informed you and your loved ones are the greater the chances are of winning compensation for your job injury.
What do I do when I am injured on the job?
Report the accident right away. Regardless of the nature of the injury or illness, your supervisor should be notified immediately. Next, you need to fill out an employee’s claim form for workers’ compensation benefits and request your supervisor to fill out the “employer” section. When you have obtained medical attention, accurately describe to the doctor exactly how the accident occurred and which parts of your body have been affected or hurt. Remember to keep copies of documents such as medical slips, notes, and bills. You should also keep copies of all documents from your employer and the insurance carrier regarding your injury. If you feel as though you need more information on what to do after a work-related injury, contact a California job injury lawyer.
Can I sue my employer for a work injury in California?
When you have experienced an injury at work, you are able to collect workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation law, which applies to each state except Texas, was set in place to financially aid employees who have suffered from work-related injuries. This system was also enacted to protect your employer. In lames terms, you can not directly sue your employer, especially if you already agreed to receive workers’ compensation. The only way you can file a claim against your employer is if he/she deliberately harmed you. An example of this would be your employer actually hitting you. You can also file a lawsuit directly against your employer if they do not have ample workers’ compensation insurance. In California, it is illegal for a company to not have a sufficient amount of workers’ compensation insurance or not have any workers’ compensation insurance at all. According to the National Federation of Independent Business employers in California can obtain insurance “from a commercial provider or through California’s state-administered fund.”
What qualifies as a job injury?
To begin with, the workplace injuries that you may not be able to receive compensation for are injuries that occurred once you clocked out of the shift, injuries that were self-inflicted, horse playing injuries with another co-worker, or injuries you experienced while commuting to and from work. You can receive compensation though if you clocked out and then were harmed on company property like a parking lot. Any injury that has disabled you from providing for yourself that happened during work hours or on an employer’s property can constitute a work injury. Factors that will support your claim would be documentation confirming your injuries from a medical professional. In many states, employers require that a medical evaluation be thoroughly performed. Before your medical evaluation speak to a California work injury attorney. They may be able to refer you to a doctor or may want to be present during your appointment.
How much time do I have to report a work injury in California?
Each state differs in deadlines for accident victims who are seeking to file a work injury claim. Before you file a claim though, you need to inform your employer of the harm that you endured immediately. You need to notify your employer within 30 days after your accident. Be direct and state that you experienced bodily harm while performing your duties at work. After you have notified your employer, according to California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1 the employee has” Within two years: An action for assault, battery, or injury to, or for the death of, an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect of another.” After the claim has been filed, §10404. Labor Code Section 4906(g) states that “The employee, insurer, employer and the attorneys for each party shall comply with Labor Code Section 4906(g) by filing a statement under penalty of perjury…” If you choose to file a claim against a council, city, or local government in California the time window you have is much shorter. As a work injury victim, you have six months to file a claim.
What is the average settlement in an employment lawsuit?
There is not a set amount that you will receive from an employment injury lawsuit. Various factors come into play and many legal experts stress to not depend on an online calculator for the amount you “could” win for your lawsuit. Elements that are included in your lawsuit would be your health before the injury occurred, past wages, future income that may be affected by your injury, vacation and sick time that was used due to your injury, employee benefits, the number of medical bills that you have acquired and the emotional stress that you have endured. Remember to collect any information that you can when the incident occurred. Evidence to gather you have been injured can be witness accounts, medical professional documentation, and photos of your injury. The duration of the employment lawsuit is also unpredictable. Job Injury cases can take from 6-12 months to settle. In terms of collecting the actual settlement, that can take even longer.
Can you sue your employer for emotional distress?
Some employees face an extensive amount of stress at their job. Workers such as truck drivers are pressured to meet certain deadlines to transport goods or event coordinators need to work overtime in order to fulfill the clients’ demands. At times, laborers can take to unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with the stress and anxiety of their occupation. Yes, you can file a claim against your employer for emotional and mental anguish. Even though you can file a claim for these types of injuries, they are difficult to prove. The way in which you can prove emotional distress is by making a formal report to management. Keep the report on file, this can be beneficial to your case later on in the trial. Also if your co-workers have observed that you were put under immense pressure and have witnessed the effects that it had on you keep notes on these testimonies. If you are seeking legal representation or are not sure if you have a case for your work injuries speak to a legal professional for better insight.
Do I get full pay if I'm injured at work?
The amount you will get in workers’ compensation or for your California job injury claim will depend on how serious the injury was. If you are temporarily disabled but can later recuperate from the injury you can qualify for “time-loss compensation”. This type of compensation will potentially be less than the amount you earned at work. If the injury was severe and you are not able to work completely for the rest of your life, you may be able to earn what is known as a life pension. A life pension is given to someone as a result of them being disabled for the rest of their lives. The amount that a person would be provided by a life pension would be a percentage of the earnings that were made at the previous place of employment. A life pension is spread out periodically and depending on the claimant, the amount can be given over a weekly or monthly period. As far as the medical bills for your injuries, the doctor will charge the workers’ compensation insurance of the company.
Is an employer liable for an employee's car accident during work hours?
When an employee is involved in a car accident during work hours, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. An employer also can be liable for your injuries if you were driving a company vehicle. The circumstances where you may not file for an injury claim is when you clock out for lunch and are in a motor vehicle crash during that time. The incident needed to be work-related meaning that if you were on the clock and were performing duties for the company such as delivering merchandise, running errands for your supervisor, traveling for work, or transferring an employee to a new location you can file a claim against your superior. Employers and employees have what is known in legal terms as a “respondent superior” which means that your employer will be held legally accountable for the harm that you have faced while performing your work duties.
I hurt my back at work, do I get paid still if I take time off to recover?
Over a million workers each year suffer from a back injury. Back injuries on the job may occur when the employee is lifting a heavy object, had a lack of strength while carrying an object, or were performing tasks in unsafe working conditions. Legal experts say when you have suffered a spinal cord injury seek medical attention immediately. From there, your doctor will notify you of how much time you need to recover from the back injury. If you do not have enough vacation or sick time your boss does have the right to terminate your employment. There are laws that can protect you and give you the ability to support yourself financially if you have experienced serious injuries from a work accident. Contact a job injury lawyer in California to receive more information on your claim and rights as a worker who has been wrongfully terminated.
What if the accident was my fault?
Most of the time it is not a topic of discussion if an employee was the one at fault for a work injury. The sole factor which qualifies you for a workers’ compensation claim or a job injury lawsuit is if you were injured on the clock at work. It does not make a difference whether you were liable for your own injury or if an employer was negligent and caused your injury. Workers’ compensation cases, where you would not be able to receive workers’ compensation, is if you were under the influence of alcohol or marijuana and the usage resulted in you being injured.
Common Work Site Fatalities in California
According to OSHA, the most common job fatalities reported are related to construction and OSHA has named them the “Fatal Four”. We have listed them from highest to lowest percent:
- 35%- Falls are the leading type of construction fatality.
- 10% of fatalities are from an object falling on a worker.
- Electrocutions make up 9% of fatalities.
- 2% of workers on construction sites die or are seriously injured by being caught in between objects.
Even though only 9% of job site fatalities are from electrocution, one person per day is electrocuted on the job leading to serious injury. OSHA has provided an “Electrical Safety Participant Guide” for construction safety and health.
OSHA says that 419 workers’ lives would be saved each year in the U.S. with stricter safety measures implemented.
Since 1992 job site fatalities have declined. Unfortunately even one death or permanent injury on a job site is devastating. It has a direct impact both emotionally and financially on the worker’s entire family.
Employer Duty of Care
The California “duty of care” was enforced by the Supreme Court of California and the idea was to make negligent parties legally responsible for the people that were harmed by their actions. One of the duties of care declared in Labor Code Chapter 3 Section 6400 states “Every employer shall furnish employment and a place of employment that is safe and healthful for the employees therein.”
The employer has the legal task to make sure employees are working in a safe environment.
Injuries Frequently Claimed in a Job Accident Case
Industries that demand an enormous amount of physical labor such as construction, have an increased rate of workers being injured or dying. Sometimes the injury that was sustained did not happen in one event but was progressive through a period of time. Even though there are some industries that can be more hazardous than others this does not mean that strict safety regulations are not in place. If employers do not double-check that the work environment and equipment are safe it could cost the company thousands of dollars. If the injury is life-threatening it could cause someone their livelihood.
The most common work accident injuries are:
- Sprains: A sprain is classified as a torn ligament. Fibrous tissue is the band between your bones that connects the bones together. When that bond is compromised the injury victim can experience severe pain, bruising, and swelling. One common symptom most people who have suffered from sprains recalled is that they heard an actual pop in the area that was affected. Sprains regularly occur in places of the body such as the ankles and knees. Heavy lifting can result in a serious sprain. Physical therapy and rest are the most common forms of treatment that are associated with work sprains.
- Lacerations: Cuts and even amputations can occur for a plethora of reasons. These reasons can include a worker rushing to meet a target date, there is a lack of improper training methods or an employee did not wear the proper safety gear when working with heavy machinery. In one year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released that 143,000 workers suffered from a hand injury. Although it is possible for someone to live without a hand, it can be impossible for someone to work without a hand. People who usually experience lacerations in their hands have also lost fingers. With the proper gloves and training, hand lacerations can be prevented.
- Slip and falls: Each year over one million people are admitted to the emergency room due to a slip and fall accident. As a result, people can sustain broken bones or a traumatic head injury. Workers experience a slip and fall due to hazards that involve slippery floors, tripping over electric cords, or uneven steps. Safety measures that can prevent your employees from being in a slip and fall accident are having proper lighting in the building, checking if floors are dry, making sure there are safety warnings throughout the establishment, and also training an employee properly so they may perform their duties safely.
What if I was Working Under the Table in California?
The term “paid under the table” is in reference to a worker being paid in cash and not officially documenting that a person worked for you. This act, although common practice, is illegal because you are not reporting that you are compensating workers to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Employees who were injured on the job but are working under the table and are looking to receive compensation can be a complicated process. Since it was never recorded that a person worked for an employer in the first place, gathering proof of income may be difficult.
If you are an employee who is working under the table it is illegal not to report your earnings. It can also impact your personal injury claim. It is not impossible to earn compensation for your work injury claim in these circumstances though. Call a California job injury lawyer to receive knowledge of what rights you have.
Our California Employment Accident Attorneys Will Help You
For immediate help for your employment lawsuit contact the California Job Lawyers of Bisnar Chase at (800) 561-4887.
A workers’ compensation claim is not the only route by which injured workers can seek damages. Very often, be it a construction accident or an industrial mishap, we see that there are many other parties involved. For example, the injured worker may be a contractor or a sub-contractor who may have been injured as the result of a dangerous condition on the property. In such cases, the property owner can be held accountable as well. In some cases, a worker may get seriously injured or killed as the result of a defective product such as a malfunctioning piece of machinery or a faulty part.
In such a situation, the manufacturer of that piece of machinery or defective part can also be held liable.
In such cases, the worker or his family will need to file what is known as a “third-party claim,” which is a personal injury or wrongful death claim filed against a party other than an employer.
This claim can be filed in addition to the workers’ compensation claim. Third-party claims are often worth many times more than the standard workers’ compensation claim, which is why they can prove invaluable to injured workers and their families.
When you contact our law firm today you will receive free legal advice on your work injury case from a team of experts.
Call (949) 203-3814 now for a free consultation with no obligations, and let us fight for you.