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San Jose Workers' Compensation Blog

Are other benefits available along with workers' compensation?

When California workers are injured on the job, they will likely know that they can get workers' compensation benefits if they meet the requirements and are approved. Workers' compensation can provide for wage loss and medical expenses while the person gets treatment, tries to recover and seeks to get back on the job. If there are problems with the workers' compensation application or there is a need for other benefits, it is important to know what is available. Fortunately, for workers who meet the criteria, it is possible to get other forms of financial assistance.

In certain instances, it is possible that workers can get State Disability Insurance (SDI). Unemployment Insurance (UI) are paid by the Employment Development Department (EDD). These payments will be available for workers who are facing a delay in their workers' compensation benefits or they were denied outright. Those who are unable to work because they are injured should remember that they would be wise to file for UI or SDI. This is a protective step if issues arise with the workers' compensation case. EDD must be informed of the workers' compensation claim.

Is your job robbing you of your hearing?

Excessive noise in any workplace is harmful. Most industrial machines and equipment produce high levels of noise. Regardless of the industry in which you earn your living, noise might threaten your hearing. Noise pollution occurs on construction sites, manufacturing plants, mining sites and many other work environments. According to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, any sound that exceeds 85 decibels is harmful.

While exposure to high levels of noise over an extended period can cause progressive damage that might only be detected when it is too late, sudden loud noises like explosions can cause immediate damage that might be permanent. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to excessive noise could also disrupt your sleep patterns and cause high blood pressure.

Two road workers injured on the job by alleged drunk driver

Since California is a state where the roads are a primary way for people to get back and forth, they will require a significant amount of repair and maintenance. Infrastructure is critical for a municipality to function efficiently, and workers are needed to do the jobs to keep the roads safe and passable. While drivers might lament roadwork and the time it takes to get past it, most will understand the need to operate their vehicles slowly and safely when passing a road crew.

Some, however, will not be so conscientious. Speeding, recklessness and driving under the influence can put road workers in danger, cause accidents and lead to injuries and worse. Workers who were hurt must remember their right to workers' compensation benefits to cover for medical costs and lost wages.

Rig operator injured on the job after vehicle overturns

Construction projects are seemingly a constant sight in San Jose and throughout California. While these endeavors are a boost to businesses and individuals, there is an underlying danger with them that cannot be ignored. Workers are constantly at risk for being injured on the job. The heavy equipment, working at great heights and other factors can lead to accidents with injuries and death. Fortunately, there are workers' compensation benefits available to injured workers and other compensation alternatives for families left behind after a fatality. Knowing the necessary steps to maximizing those benefits is key.

A worker suffered injuries to his back and shoulder after the rig he was operating toppled over. The accident occurred shortly after 7 a.m. in Menlo Park. The rig was 53 feet long and carried lumber. As it entered the project site, the vehicle rolled off the ramp and overturned. The driver got out of the vehicle himself, but stated he felt pain in his back and shoulder. He was taken to the hospital where his condition is unknown. The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) was notified and is investigating.

Make sure you are not left hanging after a fall

If you are a construction worker in California who frequently risks your life by working at dangerous heights, you might fear the day that you suffer a fall. You might find comfort in the knowledge that your personal protective fall harness and lanyards will arrest your fall before you strike any hard surface below your work area.

However, are you aware of the risks of hanging in the fall harness? The danger will only be over once you are safely on the ground and your blood circulation is normal again. If you want to survive a fall from an elevated work area, you must make sure your co-workers know how to remove you from the harness safely -- and that time is of the essence.

Workplace injuries send 3 to hospital after roadside crash

Road work is a constant occurrence in California. While drivers might lament that and complain about how it snarls traffic, few will dispute its necessity and how these workers are placed in danger just by the sheer nature and location of their job. Some drivers who encounter workers on the side of the road will simply ignore them and drive as fast as they normally do. Others might be distracted. This can cause a crash with injuries and death.

A pickup truck hit a vehicle transporting workers who were involved in roadside cleanup, injuring three. The vehicle and a trailer were stopped on the side of the road. There were five people working in the area around 11:30 a.m. The van rolled over after impact. One of the injured workers was said to have been badly hurt. The other two had minor injuries. It is believed that the pickup driver was distracted at the time of the crash. The investigation into the work accident is ongoing.

Can workers' compensation cover chiropractic treatments?

When a California worker is injured on the job, there are certain treatment options they want to have and believe will be effective. However, they may be concerned these treatments might not be covered by workers' compensation benefits. That includes getting chiropractic treatment. For those who want to be treated by a chiropractor, there are certain facts they should know.

In some instances, the employer or the insurer the employer uses for workers' compensation will not have a medical provider network (MPN). If that is the case, then the worker could have the ability to change a treating physician to a personal chiropractor. There are certain rules that must be followed for this. The employer must have been given the name and business address of the provider before the injury happened. It must have been done in writing and given via the applicable form.

Construction worker killed by falling beam

In California, the public might not think about the dangers that were part of the creation and completion of a construction project, but with every job there is a risk that workers will be injured or there will be worker death. The workers themselves understand what they face even if they take all the necessary precautions to maintain safety. Still, no one is expecting to leave for work and die in a fatal construction accident. After the incident, it is vital for the worker's family to understand their rights to seek compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.

A project in which a tunnel is undergoing repairs had an accident in which a 51-year-old worker died. The worker functioned as a signal technician and was hit when a steel beam came crashing down on him. It happened at around 5:30 p.m. It is not yet known how the accident occurred, but the beam that fell was a temporary one. The worker was pinned under it. He was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead. The worker was employed by the company that is serving as the primary contractor on improvements to the tunnel which provides light rail service. The investigation into the accident continues.

Dying firefighter seeks workers' compensation benefits

California first responders face danger every single day. This is especially true for firefighters. That is part of the job. While workplace injuries might be expected in many circumstances, there is also a danger of occupational disease from long-term exposure to smoke, fumes and chemicals. Workers' compensation benefits are meant to help those who are injured or become ill from the job. However, there are glaring holes in the system and these can prevent workers from getting their workers' compensation benefits. Having legal help in such a situation is essential to try and get an approval.

A retired firefighter stricken with terminal cancer was denied in his application for workers' compensation benefits. With the denial, none of his extensive medical bills are being paid. The reason given is that the firefighter, now 70, took early retirement a decade ago after 30 years on the job. The carcinogens and other substances that firefighters inhale while fighting fires is viewed as a potential cause for the high rate of cancer for them. The law emphasizes the word "presumptive" with these cases in which firefighters become ill with cancer. Although that might be perceived as positive for this man's case, the state denied his claim due to his early retirement.

Beware of an unprotected trench, aka an early grave

Do you know that you can refuse to enter an unprotected trench? No construction worker in California has to put his or her life on the line for an employer who just wants to save time and money. In many cases, these are the reasons for disregarding safety regulations and not providing qualified supervision on construction sites. However, no amount of saved money or time can justify the loss of lives.

If you want to protect yourself, you should gather necessary knowledge about trenches and the federal and state regulations that apply. Did you know that as little as one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as a small car, and if a trench wall collapses onto you, you could be dead within minutes?

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