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Law Offices of Bo Katzakian

San Jose Workers' Compensation Blog

Newly passed bill could get workers' compensation for gig workers

In California, there has been an ongoing debate as to how independent contractors - also called "gig" workers - should be treated when it comes to workplace benefits, such as the right to be paid a minimum wage, overtime and workers' compensation benefits. Since gig work has become so prominent, many workers are unprotected if they are injured on the job or face other workplace issues. As the dispute approaches its conclusion, those who are in this category should be cognizant of their current rights and what their rights could be in the future.

A new law would mean gig workers become classified as employees, as recently passed by the state senate. It is called AB5. The state assembly will analyze the bill and discuss amendments. If it is passed, it will then go to the governor. With this bill, gig workers, like those who drive for ridesharing apps and delivery people, will become employees. This can be a significant boost to their circumstances, as they will be given rights they currently do not have, especially workers' compensation benefits.

What is the law for medical exams with workers' compensation?

Injured workers in California have a lot to think about. That includes the injury or condition from which they suffer, the medical care they need, what will happen with their job, how they will make ends meet and much more. Workers' compensation benefits are in place to help these individuals. However, the law for workers' compensation benefits can often be confusing. The basics are frequently problematic and it is wise to understand what the law says about these issues. That includes medical examinations. Following the law is a critical factor in workers' compensation cases.

When a worker has the right to receive workers' compensation, that worker must have a medical examination when the employer requests it be done. This is conducted at certain intervals and the employer will pay for it. For a medical examination, there will be a certain time and location where it will be held. Factors that are considered will be the employee's convenience, physical condition and capability of attending the examination when it is scheduled.

Fatal construction accident claims life of Disney worker

Construction workers in California are cognizant of the risks they take every time they work on a project. Because they are oftentimes using heavy equipment and large tools, and must trust fellow workers, they need to make certain they and their employers use the required safety procedures. There is much that can go wrong. People can be injured and even lose their lives in a fatal construction accident. When there is a worker death during a construction job, it will cause serious implications to the worker's family.

According to recent reports, a construction worker who was working on a project at Disneyland died when he was hit by a steel plate. A construction crew was in the process of placing pipes in a trench at approximately 3:20 a.m. One pipe hit a crossbeam, leading to the plate falling and hitting the 37-year-old male worker. He was taken to the hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest and died at shortly after 4 a.m. An investigation is being conducted by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Work accidents can impact vision and hearing

When California residents suffer a workplace injury, there can be many different outcomes affecting them in a variety of ways. For those who suffer injuries that have a negative impact on their senses - specifically vision and hearing - it can cause drastic changes to their entire existence, personally and professionally. While serious workplace accidents are often categorized as happening in certain riskier industries, they can happen in any kind of a job.

Vision loss might not have been a direct injury to the eyes at all. A head injury can cause people to lose their ability to see. Hearing loss can be caused by an explosion, prolonged exposure to loud noises and a head injury.

Will your job in an auto body repair shop risk your body?

Safety risks exist in almost all occupations, and both employers and employees must take every available step to prevent workplace injuries. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health prescribes strict safety standards for all industries, one of which is auto body repair and refinishing. Compliance with safety standards might keep you out of the hospital.

However, unanticipated accidents can occur in the blink of an eye. The list of dangers you face each day is almost endless. Potential injuries range from minor to life-changing and even deadly.

Law enforcement officer hit by car suffers workplace injuries

California law enforcement officers put themselves in danger every day. It is a part of the job. They understand what they are likely to face when they take the job. Even with that, workplace injuries can come as a surprise and leave officers wondering how to make ends meet and pay medical expenses in the aftermath. Although it is generally expected that those who work in law enforcement, as firefighters or as first responders will get workers' compensation benefits when they are hurt, it is still important to ensure the claim is approved and the maximum benefits are received.

Since law enforcement - especially California Highway Patrol - are required to help with traffic issues and accidents, they will be in danger on the road. Just such a situation led to an officer being injured in a hit-and-run. According to the investigation, the officer was taking debris off the road at approximately 10:30 p.m. A vehicle sped toward him. He stopped the vehicle and when he went to speak to the driver, the driver placed his foot on the gas trying to flee. The officer was hit, as was the police cruiser. The driver fled.

Don't let a workers' compensation denial ruin your recovery

If you suffered an on-the-job injury, you already know just how difficult recovery can be. It is hard to focus on getting better when you have so many other worries on your plate. You may have missed work or are still out of commission, which means that you lost an important source of income. Medical bills related to your injury only complicate the situation. With all of this on your mind, a workers' compensation denial can feel devastating.

You can appeal a denial in California. However, to successfully file an appeal, you need to understand the nature of the denial. You also need to familiarize yourself with the various timelines for filing an appeal.

Worker injured on the job when car forces him down manhole

Workers who are doing roadwork or construction on the road in California are in constant danger, even if the area is closed off. Even with precautions, workers can be injured. Falling injuries are common. With any falling accident, there can be serious injuries and even fatalities. Medical expenses, lost wages and other costs may be covered by workers' compensation benefits.

According to recent reports, a worker fell approximately 20 feet into an open manhole as he was preparing the area for construction of a sewer when a vehicle hit his equipment. The male driver was in a Toyota Corolla and was said to be in his 20s. He initially exited the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. However, other workers in the area informed law enforcement officials where he was. He was caught and arrested. The worker was trapped in the manhole for more than an hour. He was removed with a harness and hospitalized with musculoskeletal injuries. The investigation into the incident is continuing.

After an industrial accident, how does causation factor in?

When workers in California are in an industrial accident and suffer workplace injuries, there is a chance that their injuries are so severe that the workers are permanently disabled. In the aftermath, there are many problems they can face. The most pressing are getting treatment, how they will make ends meet financially and how to cover the medical costs. It is imperative to understand what state law says about the apportionment of permanent disability. The key to this aspect of a workers' compensation claim is the physician's report.

When a worker claims to be permanently disabled after an accident on the job, the medical professional who prepares the report is required to detail causation. For the report to be complete in this sense, there needs to be an apportionment determination. To do this, there will be an approximate percentage as to how much of the disability was caused by factors that were in place before and after the industrial accident. If there were industrial accident injuries before the latest one, this too will be factored in.

Construction accident leads to worker death and several injured

Construction projects are prevalent throughout California. This could be for commercial purposes, to build residential structures or to maintain and improve existing buildings and areas. The work construction employees do is dangerous, but rewarding. They are generally well-compensated and most take pride in seeing their toil come to a definable and clear result with the project completed according to specifications. Still, there are dangers with construction work. An accident can cause injuries and death. Workers who have been hurt should understand the steps to get workers' compensation. Families who have suffered the loss of a loved one should be aware of how to recover compensation for the fatality.

According to recent reports, a construction project at a college was halted after there was an accident. One worker died and others were injured when two sections of rebar collapsed. The worker who died had a head injury. The others were hurt when equipment fell on them. Two were hospitalized. The workers were evacuated from the site after the incident. The project is to create an expansive area for students and locals with classrooms, residences for students, stores, restaurants and more. The investigation is just beginning and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is part of it.

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