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San Jose Workers' Compensation Blog

When do workers' compensation temporary disability payments stop?

California residents who are injured on the job and have injuries that are considered temporary can usually get temporary disability benefits. These are granted when the person has an injury that prevents him or her from doing the job for more than three days or there is an overnight hospitalization and if there is no work at the job the person can perform with the injuries and earn the same wages as before. With temporary disability, there is a time limit for which the person can receive them. Then the payments will end. Understanding important points about temporary disability includes knowing at what point they will stop.

The payments will stop in the following circumstances: if the treating doctor states that the person has recovered sufficiently to return to the job; the person can return to the job or to a modified or alternate job at the same wages as before; the condition is no longer improving nor is it worsening - referred to as "permanent and stationary"; if the person suffered the injury on or after the new year in 2008 and got up to 104 weeks of temporary disability in a five-year timeframe from the date the injury occurred, or the person was injured on or after April 19, 2004 to December 31, 2007 and got up to 104 weeks of temporary disability within two years of when the payments started. Certain injuries can warrant 240 weeks of temporary disability. These include hepatitis B and C, amputations, HIV, chronic lung diseases and more.

Fentanyl exposure can threaten the lives of first responders

First responders face multiple safety hazards during every shift they work, and they never know where the next call will take them. Along with the threats they have suffered for years, emergency medical responders, firefighters, rescue workers and law enforcement workers now also face the dangers associated with the opioid epidemic that grips California and other states. If you are in one of these occupations, you may not only be risking exposure to opioids at the scenes of overdoses but also traffic stops, searches, arrests and other emergencies.

The arrival of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, has exacerbated the risks first responders must face. Authorities say it is much more potent and provides a bigger rush than traditional opioid drugs such as heroin.

Workplace injuries from chemical exposure sparks lawsuit

Farm work can be tedious, physically and mentally demanding, and outright dangerous. Some issues can stem from an unsafe working environment that cause a safety hazard. Workers might not just be injured, but they can also become ill if they are exposed to certain substances. Farm workers who become ill due to exposure to substances while on the job should know that they may have rights to be compensated for their illness, the missed time on the job and long-term damage they might have suffered as a result.

According to a recent report, a lawsuit has been filed by farm workers after an incident that happened a year ago. Workers were made sick when they were exposed to pesticides as they were working on a raspberry farm. The owner of a neighboring farm sprayed the pesticide. Around 15 workers became ill due to the pesticide exposure. They vomited, were dizzy, suffered headaches, had trouble breathing or a high temperature, had dry mouth and irritation to the eyes, skin and throat. There are 13 plaintiffs in the case and they seek $25,000 in damages. The pesticides in question had warnings that humans who were exposed to them were in danger of becoming ill.

Accident on the job with car injures motorcycle cop

While workplace accidents can happen at any kind of job in California, they are generally considered to result from items falling, people being hurt during physical jobs and office-related issues, like carpal tunnel. People who are out on the road in one capacity or another are also in their "workplace," despite that workplace not being in a set location. When there is an accident in that venue, these people also have the right to be compensated for the medical costs, lost wages and more. It is especially important to remember this when the injury occurs to a law enforcement officer or a first responder, as the requirements of the job puts them in jeopardy.

According to a recent report, a law enforcement officer was hospitalized after being involved in an accident with another vehicle while on his motorcycle. The accident happened in the morning at about 9:35 a.m. After the crash, the officer was taken to the hospital where he was first said to be in critical condition. His status improved slightly in the intervening hours, as he was said to be in serious condition. The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene and is being cooperative with the investigation. The investigation is ongoing and there is no belief that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence.

Vehicle slips off flatbed and causes fatal work-related accident

California residents who work in a variety of occupations can be injured in a work-related accident. Some jobs are more dangerous than others and leave workers prone to being injured and even dying in a fatal accident. For those who work on roadways and cart vehicles, there is a chance of the death of a worker in the course of employment. Those who have suffered the loss of a loved one in such an accident should be cognizant of the long-term issues they will face and consider a legal filing to be compensated.

According to a recent reports, a 34-year-old city employee died when a vehicle that was about to be carted came loose from the truck and hit her. The accident happened at around 2:00 p.m. The vehicle - a Buick - was in the process of being put on a flatbed when it slipped and rolled into the woman. Two other employees were at the scene, but were not hit. The woman was taken to the hospital and died there. She was a utility plumber and at the site to repair a leak and perform other repairs. She had worked for the city for six years, beginning as an apprentice. She was the mother of a 3-year-old girl. The vehicle was being carted because its transmission was not working. The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident. No charges were filed against the operator of the truck.

Can your own doctor treat you under workers' compensation law?

When a worker in California is injured on the job and needs medical treatment as part of the workers' compensation benefits process, a question that is often asked is whether it is possible to use a personal physician for the treatment or not. This is also known as taking steps to "predesignate."

To predesignate, it must be done in writing prior to the injury. When predesignating, the following information must be provided: the employer's name; a statement saying that if there is a workplace injury the worker wants his or her personal physician to provide the treatment, with the doctor's personal information; the name of the worker; and a dated signature.

What is rhabdo and how can firefighters recognize the symptoms?

Are you a firefighter in California? Do you know about your risk to suffer a dangerous occupational illness called rhabdomyolysis — shortened to rhabdo? It is a condition that threatens those fighting fires in burning buildings as well as forest fires. The intense physical effort in firefighting can damage muscles, and rhabdo breaks down those injured muscles. The process releases electrolytes and proteins into the firefighter's blood, which can cause damage to the kidneys and heart. Rhabdo can cause death, or it could lead to permanent disability.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health warns that firefighters need not have known rhabdo risk factors to develop the illness. The hot environment, combined with extreme physical exertion that is fundamental in the job, put even those firefighters in excellent health at risk.

Can you get workers' compensation for a psychiatric injury?

When California residents hear the phrase "injured on the job," they might automatically think that to get workers' compensation benefits it must be something physical. That can include broken bones, cuts, bruises, back injuries and worse. However, people can suffer injuries that are more difficult to discern. Psychiatric injuries can be just as severe as physical injuries and lead to the worker being unable to fulfill his or her duties. Getting workers' compensation benefits is possible with psychiatric injuries if the requirements under state law are met.

A worker who has a psychiatric injury can get workers' compensation benefits if the mental disorder leads to disability or requires medical treatment. Psychiatric diagnosis must be given that it is occurring. For the psychiatric issue to warrant compensation, the employee must show evidence that events on the job were the main causes for the injury. If the psychiatric injury came about after being victimized in a violent act or from being exposed to a violent act, there must be a preponderance of the evidence that this came about due to the employment and was a substantial cause of the psychiatric injury. When "substantial cause" is used, it refers to the causation accounting for 35 to 40 percent of the issue.

Workplace accident claims life of man working in tree

There are many jobs in California in which the worker seems to recede into the background, does the work with people seeing the results without realizing the level of risk for a workplace accident or death of a worker in the course of employment. This will change when there is a workplace accident and it ends with a fatality. The loved ones of the person who died will want to know how and why the accident happened. They will also have concerns about the future when their working loved one is no longer there. A legal filing can help with the investigation and in seeking compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.

According to a recent report, a man who was working on trees at housing for Stanford University died. He was a foreman for the company. The location is used for faculty and other staff for the school. The man, 36, was found shortly before 1 p.m. when emergency responders were called to the scene. He was trimming limbs of a 30-foot tall tree with a chainsaw when the accident apparently occurred. The initial call was for a rescue, but when the emergency responders arrived, they found the man dead. An investigation is being conducted by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health to determine what happened.

The biggest hazard for young workers could be inexperience

Are you one of the thousands of young workers who join the California workforce every summer? It might be a temporary summer job or the start of your career. Unfortunately, the injury rate among young workers is significant, mainly because of inexperience and inadequate training. Employers must provide the necessary training and make sure you know your rights to a safe workplace environment.

It is not uncommon for many people to think they are invincible, and if you are not informed about potential hazards of the jobs and environments you enter, devastating workplace accidents can follow. Some risks are common to any workplace, but each industry also has unique dangers, and you would be wise to understand these risks from the start.

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