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Law Offices of Bo Katzakian

3 injured California workers may not get workers' compensation

Recently, scaffolding fell apart at a construction site in a California neighborhood. Three workers fell and two of them suffered catastrophic injuries. To make matters worse, the workers are not believed to have been working for a contractor, and the homeowner had not obtained a construction permit for the job. What this means is that the injured workers may not qualify for workers' compensation benefits relating to their injuries.

This situation highlights the extreme and unfortunate dangers involved with taking on any kind of construction job where a formal permit has not first been obtained. According to police, the job was initially going to involve simply patching the roof. However, it later became a full-reroofing operation. Now, three workers are injured, and it is unknown if the homeowner possesses personal assets sufficient to pay for their medical treatment -- let alone if the homeowner will volunteer such assistance.

While the workers who fell in this accident may be able to pursue personal injury claims against the homeowner to get money to pay for their medical care, it may take a long time before they ever receive that compensation. Moreover, it is possible that the homeowner could face financial liability for failure to obtain wonrkers' compensation coverage for the benefit of the workers on-the-job.There is also no guarantee that the homeowner will be able to pay any award or settlement that results from the case. Indeed, workers' compensation is an extremely important perk of working for a legally registered contractor, and it is important to consider whether these benefits exist before taking on any kind of job.

Normally, in the state of California, there is no reason that an injured worker should have to pay his or her medical bills if that person is injured while working. Indeed, workers' compensation benefits are available to help employees get through the difficult time following a workplace injury. Workers' compensation benefits will not only help cover the cost of medical care and medical rehabilitation, but they can also provide much-needed financial assistance to injured workers who are unable to work as a result of their injury.

Source: CBS San Francisco, Scaffolding Collapse Leaves 3 Hurt In San Francisco's Twin Peaks, No author, Jan. 24, 2014

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