Industrial workers are surrounded by workplace hazards and other potential dangers every day that can lead to life-changing injuries they may never fully recover from. Most industrial accidents occur in the fields of construction, agriculture and natural resources extraction, manufacturing and transportation.
Poor safety policies put in place by superintendents, general contractors or others on the jobsite make industrial workers some of the most at-risk for work-related injuries or illnesses.
Other common causes of industrial accidents include:
If you were injured in an industrial accident, you need a lawyer on your side who may be able to help you recover workers’ compensation benefits. A California industrial accident attorney can review your situation and find out if you may be entitled to benefits.
The California Labor Code divides industrial injuries into two types – a specific injury and a cumulative trauma (CT) injury. A specific injury occurs as the result of one incident at a certain period of time causing disability or requiring medical treatment. This can include injuries such as:
On the other hand, industrial accidents can also cause cumulative or repetitive trauma. This occurs as the result of repetitive work activities over an extended period of time, resulting in disability or need for medical care. Cumulative injuries can include:
Because cumulative trauma injuries happen gradually due to working conditions, it can be difficult to determine when you acquired the injury. In most cases, cumulative injuries begin on the date you first suffered from a disability, such as the day you started missing work or either knew or should have reasonably known that your injury was work-related.
Most industrial injuries are preventable and by understanding the hazards that cause these injuries, the better prepared you can be to reduce your risk of a workplace accident. However, it is still the responsibility of employers to provide the safest workplace possible.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established strict safety standards to ensure a safe workplace for workers. This means employers must provide safety equipment, follow safety procedures and train employees to do their jobs without undue risk. Unfortunately, despite state and federal regulations, many industrial employers and other parties involved on the jobsite can fall short of these obligations even if you are taking all the necessary precautions available.
When this happens, you should consider contacting an attorney. A skilled industrial accident lawyer in Fresno can guide you through the workers’ compensation process to pursue the benefits you need while you recover.
There are several types of industrial accidents that result in workers’ compensation claims, including:
Due to the severity of these accidents, you need an attorney that will fight for the compensation you deserve. Our industrial accident attorneys in Bakersfield have experience handling complex industrial accident cases involving a wide variety of situations.
After being injured in an industrial accident, you may be asking yourself: What do I do now?
Taking immediate action can help you get a head start in the legal process. There are certain steps you should take after an accident to help ensure your safety and potentially improve your chances of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.
If you suffer a work-related injury or illness, you must report it to your employer as soon as possible. California law requires that you to give a written notice of your injury within 30 days to your employer. However, it is best not to wait. The sooner you report your injury, the faster you may recover workers’ compensation benefits. Waiting can also cause your employer to question your injury, making the entire process more difficult.
After reporting your injury, your employer must provide you with a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) within one day of receiving notice of your injury. The claim form must include details of the accident, the type of injuries you sustained, and the actions or steps immediately taken following the accident.
If your injuries are severe, seek immediate medical treatment hospital. Often, industrial accidents result in serious injuries that can worsen if left untreated. Several types of injuries can have hidden or delayed symptoms that may take days or weeks to notice.
If you feel pain or have an injury, no matter how minor, you should always consult with a health care provider. Arrange treatment with your employer selected physician or medical facility within the Medical Provider Network (MPN) or with your own pre-designated physician or medical group.
It is important to act quickly after an accident because your employer and its insurance company will look for ways to deny your claim. If you wait to report your injury or delay seeking medical treatment, they will use this information against you to try to deny or significantly reduce the amount of your claim.
The next step after reporting your accident and seeking medical treatment is to consult with an attorney. He or she can help you determine the value of the benefits to which you are entitled. This way, if you are denied benefits or receive less than you deserve, your lawyer can appeal to pursue fair compensation.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is complicated and difficult unless you have detailed knowledge of state and federal regulations. Our knowledgeable California industrial accident lawyers will fight for the compensation you deserve. We can help you better understand your rights and how to pursue the benefits you need and deserve.
If you collect workers’ compensation benefits, you will not be able to sue your employer. However, if another party besides your employer was responsible for your accident, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages. Third parties who may be liable include general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and other service providers working closely together.
To prove negligence or fault against a third party, he or she must have failed to use reasonable care which resulted in your injuries. This can include providing defective equipment, improperly installing or maintaining equipment, or creating an unsafe working environment.
You have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. Compensation from a lawsuit can help cover medical treatment, lost wages and disability. If you fail to pursue legal action within the deadline, you will be barred from filing a lawsuit. Our workers’ compensation attorneys will do everything possible to fight for the benefits you deserve and make sure that you meet the deadlines required to file a claim.