San Bernardino Work Injury Lawyer
Across the country, millions of people are injured at work every year. While some of these injuries are minor, some people are gravely injured or killed because of a workplace accident. Whether you suffered from a moderate or severe injury, you could qualify for workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit. If you need help determining how to get the benefits you are entitled to, a work injury attorney can help.
Injured on the Job: What Now?
Typically, employers try to prevent workplace injuries by investing in tools, safety training, and safe work practices. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid every accident. If you are injured at work, make sure to report it right away.
Some employees feel uncomfortable reporting an injury or fear that they will be punished for their report. When it comes to your long-term health, you cannot afford to make this mistake. If an accident is not immediately reported to an employer, the employer can actually deny the cost of your medical treatment and any benefits you miss when you are away from work. The employer’s insurance carrier for workers’ compensation will also want to know why your employer did not tell them about the accident in a timely way.
Some employers even have a deadline for when you can report an injury. If you fail to report your accident within a set amount of time, you can be punished with things like an unpaid suspension or a formal reprimand. When you are injured at work, report it immediately to your employer. Try to report the injury with a reliable witness present or in writing. You should also report the accident to your union representative if you are a part of a union. Remember which co-workers were present when you were injured because they can serve as witnesses later on. If you are unsure about the legal requirements or need extra help, you can also talk to a work injury attorney as well.
If you are injured in San Bernardino, you are protected by the same legal rights as other residents in California. In general, you are not allowed to sue your employer for your workplace injury except in certain circumstances. Usually, your primary remedy is to file a workers’ compensation claim. You can also talk to a work injury lawyer to get more information about your various options.
The entire goal of workers’ compensation is to ensure that you get a monetary award for your work-related injury without having to litigate your case. Your employer will generally have workers’ compensation insurance that automatically pays out for illness and injury claims. You have a right to go to a doctor for medical treatment. If you are temporarily or permanently disabled, you have a right to some form of disability compensation. When your doctor says you are allowed to work again, you also have a right to go back to your regular job.
If you disagree with the insurance company, the workers’ compensation court or your employer, you will have the right to appeal the decision and to be represented by your lawyer. There are also cases where you can directly sue your employer. If your employer knew of the harm something could cause and failed to warn employees or remove the workplace hazard, they could be at fault.
The punch-press exception is another instance where you can sue your employer for damages. Years ago, this exception was named because employers would remove punch-press guards because they wanted to speed up the production process. Without these safety features, employers lost limbs and suffered severe injuries.
The law protects you during your workers’ compensation complaint. Your employer is not allowed to harass or punish you for making your claim. If an employer breaks this law, they can be subjected to severe penalties.
Workers’ compensation may not cover third-party accidents. Currently, San Bernardino residents are restricted by California law in the kinds of benefits that they can receive for third-party accidents. To receive compensation for an injury, individuals may be able to file a lawsuit against the third party and file a workers’ compensation claim.
Often, a work injury lawyer can achieve a higher monetary award in a third-party case than someone can get in the typical workers’ compensation system. You may be entitled to a monetary award for your loss of future earning capacity, loss of earnings and property damage. Other than compensation for pain and suffering, the award may also cover your past and future medical costs.
In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics received 5,147 reports of a worker dying from a work-related injury. This means that the fatal injury rate was at 3.5 per 100,000 workers. Meanwhile, injuries and illnesses reported by employers were at a rate of 2.8 cases for every 100 employees. In total, there were 2.9 million workplace illnesses and injuries.
When to Hire an Attorney
If you are not seriously injured and do not have any medical costs, you might not need a work injury attorney. When you have expensive bills to pay and are in dispute with the insurance company, you may need a lawyer. Your lawyer can help gather evidence, take depositions, find expert witnesses and get an independent medical examination to prove your case.
A work injury lawyer may be the best choice if your claim is denied or your permanent disability rating is disputed. If your ability to work or get the treatment you need is affected, you may want to consider getting legal help. A qualified attorney can help you sort through the facts of your case and decide the best steps for your unique situation.
Contact Rizio Liberty Lipinsky today for your free consultation.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.