- July 22, 2022
- In work Injury
According to statistics, the workplace is one of the most dangerous places a person can be. The state of California reported almost 450,000 nonfatal workplace injuries in 2020. Alarmingly, 463 people died at work in the Golden State that year alone.
Many people are injured at work because they spend so many hours there—usually at least 40 a week. However, some workplaces have lax safety or use outdated, dangerous equipment. If you were hurt at work, you have legal rights to compensation. A California personal injury attorney at Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC can review your case and strategize the best way to proceed.
What Is The Number One Cause Of Workplace Injury?
It depends on the year. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), exposure to toxic or harmful substances jumped to number one in 2020. However, the primary reason for this was exposure to COVID-19, which caused many people to miss work as they struggled with the virus.
In prior years, the leading cause of injury was overexertion, which includes:
It is easy to stress or strain soft tissue when working. However, overexertion is sometimes unavoidable. Your job might require that you carry heavy boxes all day, so you might easily suffer an injury.
Do Repetitive Motions Cause Injury?
Yes. These are usually “silent” injuries because they don’t happen in an explosion or a dramatic fall from a great height. Instead, constant movements end up damaging soft tissue and can lead to inflammation, pain, and compressed nerves.
Repetitive motion injuries are a type of overexertion, with some of the most common beings:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis elbow
Repetitive motion injuries can ultimately require surgery and months off of work. Even once “cured,” a worker could suffer the same injury a few months later.
Is Falling At Work A Danger?
Yes. This is also a leading workplace accident. You can fall on the same level, such as tripping over a box and falling in your office. Or you might fall from a height, such as falling off a roof.
Falls often cause fractures, concussions, and back injuries. In extreme cases, you could end up paralyzed or permanently disabled.
In 2020, there were 211,640 fall injuries at work.
Are Many People Injured By Falling Debris Or Other Objects?
Yes. A category called “contact with objects” is one of the leading causes of work-related injuries. Pre-Covid, it was the number three category for all workplace injuries. Some examples include:
- Debris raining down on a construction site
- Someone caught in between two pieces of machinery
- Machinery “kicking back” and striking a worker (such as a pneumatic drill)
- Scaffolding collapsing on a worker who is standing underneath it
In 2020, “contact with object” accidents caused 196,140 injuries. As you can imagine, most injuries caused serious fractures, head injuries, back injuries, and contusions.
What Are Other Leading Causes Of Workplace Injuries?
Based on NSC data, we find:
- Transportation accidents (41,010 injuries)
- Violence by a person or animal (39,210 injuries)
- Fires and Explosions (1,770 injuries)
Can I Receive Compensation For A Workplace Injury?
Yes. California’s workers’ compensation system should cover most workplace accidents. This system requires that most employers carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy. This policy covers any accident you suffer while working—regardless of fault.
This last bit is significant—it doesn’t matter if you carelessly cause your own accident. You are still covered and can receive benefits.
Workers’ compensation pays for:
- Medical benefits
- Temporary disability benefits
- Ongoing disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits
If a loved one dies, family members might receive a death benefit. Please contact our Orange County work injury lawyers to learn about these critical rights.
Can I Sue My Employer For A Workplace Hazard?
Generally, no. This is a trade-off with workers’ comp benefits. You receive immediate, no-fault benefits. In exchange, your employer is shielded from liability. This might seem unfair, but it’s the system in place.
Can I Sue Someone Other Than My Employer?
Possibly. California law doesn’t prohibit third-party lawsuits, such as those against:
- The manufacturer of defective equipment. For example, a blowtorch could explode in your face because of a design defect. You might sue the manufacturer for selling a dangerous product.
- A customer. If someone comes into the business and assaults you, you can sue them for the intentional tort.
- A vendor. Your company might hire someone to put up scaffolding. If they do a poor job and it collapses, you might be able to sue them.
- A motorist who hits you. Many people travel for work. If you are struck while headed to meet with a client, you can sue the driver who struck you. You always have this right if the motorist is at fault.
Our lawyers carefully analyze whether we can sue a third party on your behalf. Doing so is usually beneficial. We can generally increase the amount of compensation you take home. Workers’ compensation rarely makes up for all losses, but a third-party lawsuit can close the gap.
Will I Lose My Job If I Go Out On Workers’ Compensation?
It’s possible. The worker’s compensation system doesn’t require that an employer keep you on the payroll if you can’t do the job. However, your employer cannot retaliate against you for seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
What Are The Deadlines?
Workers’ compensation has a 30-day deadline. This is how long you have to notify your boss of your workplace injury or accident. We recommend telling them as soon as possible.
If you want to bring a personal injury lawsuit party, you typically have two years from the date of your injury. This time passes quickly, so don’t delay meeting with an attorney.
The Law Firm To Call After A Workplace Injury
Workplace accidents cause particular stress. Many workers are afraid for their future and, in particular, their ability to keep their jobs. In addition, they struggle with financial stress from no longer receiving a paycheck.
Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC can help you. We offer free consultations to discuss your injury, workers’ comp, and related issues. We can also analyze whether you can sue someone. Contact us today by calling 888-848-5084 to meet with a California workplace injury attorney.
“Fighting for Justice: A Conversation with Personal Injury Attorney Samer Habbas on the Love Thy Lawyer Podcast”May 25, 2023
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