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Bender & Gritz, APLC's Injury Blog

Staying safe on hot summer work days

The summer months in California are hot, humid and dangerous for workers exposed to the elements. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to keep yourself and your coworkers safe during the summer months.

If you plan to work outside, make sure you follow some of these safety tips. If you stay out too long or get overheated, there is a risk of heat sickness, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

What should I do if a pack of dogs attacks?

Some of the most serious incidents of dog bites involve situations in which more than one dog attacks at the same time. Dogs, after all, are pack animals, and they are most effective at attacking when they act together as a pack. Whereas the worst one dog in a pack might do is inflict a minor injury, the pack of dogs can seriously hurt or even kill a person.

In a certain sense, it is already too late to prevent all injuries once a pack of aggressive dogs has approached. However, the best thing to do in such a situation is not to panic, as that often signals to the dogs that their aggression is paying off and is therefore worth escalating.

Safety standards are there to protect you at work

Safety is of the utmost importance to people who work in construction. If you're not wearing the correct safety gear or do not use the right safety protocols, it could result in someone getting hurt or killed.

There are very specific standards for safety in construction zones and similar workplaces. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there are approximately 252,000 construction sites around the country at any one time. With so many people at risk of injuries, it's absolutely vital to protect yourself with the correct equipment and training.

Representing injured workers in appeals

When a worker in the San Diego area gets hurt on the job, he or she is almost inevitably going to want the ensuring workers' compensation claim process to go as smoothly and as quickly as possible. The very purpose of workers' compensation in California is, after all, to get injured workers compensation for their medical bills and lost wages and to do so quickly.

Unfortunately, this is not always possible since an employer or the employer's insurance company may wind up denying a worker's claim for benefits or may offer payments much lower than what the worker is really entitled to. Even if this is not a bad faith technique to avoid making payments, it is still frustrating for a worker who both needs and deserves benefits.

Construction accident sends several workers to hospital

A parking garage under construction partially collapsed recently in another city in California, sending up to 20 workers falling 15 feet in to wet concrete below them. Some of those near the site said it sounded like a bomb going off when the structure crumbled.

Amazingly, none of the workers appeared to have suffered serious injuries, although some complain of back strains and other issues. According to one report, 12 workers were taken to the hospital after the accident, although sources described this as a precautionary step.

What if your employer doesn't have workers' comp insurance?

All of those signs in the break room tend to cause people's eyes to glaze over. You probably assumed from the date of hire that your employer is complying with employment law, never bothering to look at those postings. Now, after getting injured while working, you've learned that your employer doesn't have workers' compensation insurance.

You wanted to file a claim, but your manager has told you that it isn't possible. Suddenly, you're worried about lost wages and medical bills because the coverage that should be protecting you just isn't there. The worse your injuries, the more serious the issue becomes.

Overview of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

Because San Diego is a coastal town, there are many workers in this area who spend their days on the docks unloading and loading ships. These Californians do an important service for the shipping industry, and industry which affects both the California and the national economy.

Simply by the physical nature of the job they do, these workers are prone to significant injuries. In addition to the possibility of serious accidents, they can also get injured over the course of time, simply through the repetitive strain on their muscles and other body parts. When these injuries happen, the workers will likely need help with paying for their medical expenses and rehabilitation, as well as covering their lost income.

An RSD diagnosis may mean you need workers' compensation help

Many workers in the San Diego area may have not even heard of "RSD," or reflex sympathetic dystrophy, but those who do suffer from this condition will likely not forget it.

RSD is also called CRPS, which is short for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Basically, the symptoms include a burning sensation which can be excruciatingly painful, as well as spasms and the loss of the ability to use the affected muscles. Swelling or changes in the coloration of skin are also symptoms.

What can my boss do, or not do, if I get hurt on the job?

Even though workers in the San Diego area probably know that workers' compensation benefits are available for almost all work-related illnesses and injuries, they may still feel uncomfortable with filing a claim since it can be hard to predict how an employer will respond. After all, no employer like to pay more money for an injured worker, especially if the worker is not able to come to work for a while.

The two big things for California employees to remember are first, that an employer cannot fire or otherwise discipline an employee for filing a workers' compensation claim. There are some limits to this rule, such as if they employee got hurt while also violating an established workplace rule, but generally speaking, an injured worker should not have to worry about having a job when he or she recovers.

Were you hurt while working as an independent contractor?

Work opportunities have changed substantially in the last few decades. It is now less common for professionals to work for the same business for their entire adult life. Many people aren't even hired as employees, but work as independent contractors instead. More companies engage in this practice, primarily as a means of avoiding serious financial liabilities like employment tax or insurance.

When getting hired as an independent contractor, you run certain risks that employees do not. One of them is not getting workers' compensation in the event that you suffer injures while working as a contractor.

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