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Were You Injured in an Accident at Work in San Jose, CA?
Unfortunately, injuries on the job are common in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2020 there were approximately 1.8 million workers who sustained workplace injuries and were treated in emergency departments. The California workers' compensation system allows injured workers to pursue compensation after sustaining workplace injuries.
At Valley Accident Attorneys, our San Jose workers' compensation lawyers will fight tirelessly to help you obtain the benefits you are entitled to under the law. We will deal with the insurance company and workers' compensation matters on your behalf so you can focus on your family and recovery. Call our San Jose law office today to schedule a free consultation and we'll go over your case to determine the best course of action.
What Does a San Jose Workers’ Comp Attorney Do?
A San Jose personal injury lawyer will protect your rights and deal with the insurance company on your behalf. An insurance company does not have your best interests in mind and may try to deny or delay benefits. An experienced San Jose workers' comp lawyer will hold the insurance company accountable and ensure the injured worker obtains the benefits they are entitled to under the law.
When Should I Hire a San Jose Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
Workers' compensation cases can be complex and may require the legal help of an experienced workers' compensation attorney. It's crucial to hire to help you file a workers' compensation claim in situations including:
- Your employer caused your injury, contributed to your injury, or engaged in misconduct that resulted in you sustaining a work injury.
- Your employer doesn't carry workers' compensation insurance.
- Your employer denies your workers' comp claim or does not appropriately pay your benefits.
- Your employer retaliates against you for filing a claim - this can include demoting you, firing you, and reducing your hours or pay.
- Your benefits do not cover all of your medical costs and lost income.
- Your injuries prevent you from returning to work or limit your work ability to work.
Our Southern California law firm proudly maintains a 99% success rate and has won millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for accident victims. We thoroughly investigate your case, gather necessary evidence, and prepare your workers’ compensation case in a timely manner. Our San Jose personal injury law firm operates on a contingency fee basis so you don’t pay any legal fees upfront.
Most Common Workplace Accidents
Some of the most common accidents that result in work injuries include:
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are one of the most common types of workplace accidents in the U.S. and accounted for 1,179,340 nonfatal workplace injuries in 2020.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Auto accidents are a leading cause of injuries sustained on the job. In 2020, 1,038 workers died in work-related collisions involving motor vehicles.
Repetitive Stress Injuries
Repetitive stress injuries are caused by overuse and repetitive movement. These injuries can impact the muscles, nerves, and tendons and can cause stiffness, tenderness, and tingling in the affected area.
Overexertion and muscle strains can cause long-term injuries and chronic pain.
Struck by Objects or Machinery
When objects or machinery strikes or falls on a worker, it can result in severe injuries.
Harmful Chemicals or Environments
Exposure to harmful chemicals or environments can pose severe risks to a person's ears, eyes, skin, and respiratory systems, especially if they do not have the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
Fire and Explosions
Fire and Explosions can cause severe damage to your respiratory system and body tissue. This type of accident has a very high casualty rate due to the hazardous nature of explosions and fire.
Falling from Heights
When workers work from heights such as roofs, buildings, and utility poles there is a potential risk of sustaining an injury due to falling. These accidents may occur as a result of bad weather, slippery surfaces, poor lighting and visibility, and the lack of necessary safety equipment.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
The available benefits in a workers' comp claim can depend on the severity of the injury and losses. Workers' compensation benefits can include the following:
- Temporary disability benefits - If you lose wages while you are recovering from your injuries, you can collect TD benefits.
- Permanent disability benefits - A total disability or permanent disability is a condition where a worker is no longer able to work due to their injuries.
- Medical bills - Your employer must provide you with medical care for all of your work-related injuries.
- Lost wages - If you needed to miss work to recover from your injuries you can pursue compensation.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits - A worker can obtain vocational rehabilitation benefits to train and help him or her find new work.
- Death benefits - Death benefits are available to dependents of a worker who died as a result of their work injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers' Compensation
How Long Can I Stay on Workers' Comp?
You can receive workers’ compensation benefits for 104 weeks during a 2-year period. You may be able to parcel out the payments over a 5-year period. If you sustained a long-term injury or illness, you may be able to receive benefits for up to 240 weeks within a 5-year period.
What Injuries Are Not Covered by Workers' Compensation?
- Injuries sustained when an employee commutes to and from work - if you are injured during your commute to or from work, you are typically not covered by workers' comp benefits during these periods. However, if you are performing work duties for your employer during your commute, and an accident occurs, you may be eligible for workers' comp benefits.
- When an employee disregards safety procedures and rules.
- When an employee takes a break or lunch outside of the worksite.
- When an employee is intoxicated on the job - if an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they sustain a workplace injury, the injury will not be covered by workers' compensation.
- When an employee engages in a fistfight or physical altercation with another person.
- When an employee willfully attempts to injure oneself or another person.
- Minor injuries that only require first aid treatment like a small cut or scrape.
What is The Protocol if I Get Hurt on The Job?
If you sustain a work injury on the job, you should notify your employer about the injury as soon as possible. Under California law, you must report your work injury to your employer within 30 days. You should also seek immediate medical care for your injury. Be sure to collect medical records and any expenses related to your work injury.
If you do not discover your injury within this timeframe, you may still be able to file a claim. Injuries that occur over an extended period of time are known as cumulative trauma. For example, you may develop carpal tunnel syndrome if you use the computer every day. The statute of limitations for cumulative trauma is 1 year from the date of the discovery of the injury. Workers' compensation attorneys can help you determine the time frame you have to file a claim. An experienced workers' comp lawyer will help you file your claim and submit the necessary paperwork within the appropriate deadlines.
Can You Be Fired While on Workers' Comp?
The simple answer is yes. However, an employer cannot fire you simply because you filed a workers’ compensation claim or are receiving workers' compensation benefits. Your employer may be able to fire you for another reason, however, such as poor work performance, showing up late or leaving early without permission, making mistakes, or missing deadlines. If you strongly suspect that your employer fired you due to receiving worker's comp, it is crucial to consult a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your legal options.
Get Help For Your Workers' Comp Claim
Contact a San Jose Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
Workers' compensation law is meant to protect the rights of injured workers and help aid them during this difficult period. An injured worker may be eligible for workers' compensation to cover medical treatment, lost income, and other losses. Consult a San Jose workers' compensation attorney to learn if you have a case. At Valley Accident Attorneys, we will fight tirelessly to help you recover the maximum compensation available. Did you sustain a work injury in the greater San Jose area? Give our San Jose office a call today to schedule your free case evaluation.