San Bernardino Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Emotional pain after a birth injury

Medical malpractice occurs in many ways, but some cases are especially upsetting. For example, a medical professional's negligence can be particularly devastating for a mother and child who suffer due to a birth injury, as well as their loved ones. If you have been through a birth injury, our California law firm understands how painful your experiences may be from a physical, financial, and emotional point of view. Sadly, the emotional pain associated with these incidents can take years to overcome and may be permanent, in some cases.

Birth injuries can cause a host of devastating problems, from Erb's palsy bone fractures to a newborn sustaining brain damage and the loss of life. These terrible challenges can permanently disrupt a mother's life and create emotional pain for the entire family. Moreover, some birth injuries cause long-term problems that have to be handled on a daily basis, such as taking care of a child who suffers from a condition that never should have developed and only exists because of a physician's negligent behavior.

Workers' comp and video footage

With workers' comp cases, video footage can have an impact on your case in multiple ways. In some instances, this footage can be used to prove what took place in an on-the-job accident, helping an injured worker obtain the benefits that they are in need of. On the other hand, surveillance and even video footage and other evidence (such as pictures posted on social media) can be used to prove that someone did not sustain a workplace injury which should result in workers' comp benefits. Either way, it's important to understand how video footage could impact your case if you plan on going to court or are working on a claim.

If there was a security camera or other type of surveillance which captured your workplace accident on tape, this may be helpful if you want to prove your case. However, some people who have claimed to have suffered a work-related injury have had their case rejected due to video recordings which show that they were not hurt at work. Moreover, some people have been recorded outside of the workplace in ways that discredit their claim, such as someone being caught working out in a gym while they claimed that they sustained a back injury that would render them unable to perform certain exercises.

Did you suffer a blow to the head on the job?

If you work with your hands for a living, you know that serious injuries can occur any time, without warning. Unfortunately, this often means that manual labor employers expect workers to accept occasional injury as part of the job, instead of giving a workplace injury the attention and understanding it deserves.

For workers who suffer head injuries, this attitude of "shake it off and get back to work" is dangerous. Head injuries can affect many areas of your brain, which may cause trouble throughout your entire body or may lead to significant changes in the way your brain functions. Unfortunately, head injuries and brain injuries often do not present clear symptoms the way that a broken arm or some other injuries do.

Could you die from a chiropractic adjustment?

When you go to the chiropractor, you probably do not think that anything you have done could result in death. However, neck manipulations are a concern because they can lead to narrowed arteries, tears in blood pathways and even blood clots, which may cause a stroke. As Science-Based Medicine notes, neck manipulations should only be used when all other methods of treatment have failed and only when this type of manipulation has been shown to be beneficial for your condition. 

There is always a chance that any work your chiropractor does during adjustments could lead to an injury. However, most are not life threatening. The neck, though, due to its location and physical design is a delicate area where harm can easily be done even by the best trained chiropractor. While it is rare for someone to suffer a stroke and die due to a neck manipulation, experts agree that it is hardly ever necassary to take that risk regardless of how small it may be. 

What is a no-fault workers' compensation system?

Most employers in California are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance. If your employer carries this insurance, it is operated under a no-fault system. According to the American Institute of CPAs, no-fault workers' compensation means that it does not matter who is responsible for the accident. You get your benefits without having to bring a lawsuit against your employer. Your employer does not have to admit guilt in the incident either. 

The system is designed to help prevent excessive lawsuits and litigation surrounding on-the-job accidents. It also speeds up the process because you are automatically entitled to coverage and your employer already has the insurance. You do not have to wait for the case to progress through the court system before your benefits kick in. 

Can at-home employees get workers' compensation?

Many companies in California are jumping on the work at home bandwagon and allowing their employees to work from home offices instead of coming into a workplace managed and maintained by them. While there are many perks to having employees work at home, such as less overhead costs for office spaces and supplies, there are also areas that can pose problems. If you work at home as an employee of a company, you may wonder what happens if you get injured while working.

Because you are an employee, your employer must still have workers' compensation insurance to cover any work-related injuries you may sustain, according to The Hartford. This includes any injury that occurs when you are working even if the circumstances are not something within your employer's direct control. For example, there was a case where a worker stumbled over her dog and ended up injured. Because she was doing a work-related activity at the time, her employer was found liable for the injuries.

Social media and workers' comp claims

We have covered many facets of workers' compensation and workplace accidents on this blog. However, there are many more issues to keep in mind if you have been hurt at work or intend to file a workers' compensation claim. For example, your social media activity could affect your ability to obtain benefits, depending on the type of information that you decide to share. Our law firm knows that these accidents can leave employees with a range of problems, from anger and concerns about the future to uncertainty about which steps to take. While many people in this position turn to the internet, it is vital to be careful about what you share.

Some people who have pursued workers' comp have been unable to secure the most favorable outcome as a direct result of information they shared on the internet. Whether they uploaded a video in which they discussed the accident or shared a brief post about the extent of their injuries, some of the details they shared were used against them. Recovering from a workplace injury can be incredibly difficult and sometimes results in permanent life changes. As a result, you should avoid any behavior that could interfere with your ability to move forward, such as posting things about the accident and your injuries online.

Have work injuries declined in the private sector

There are various concerns when it comes to workplace accidents, from a worker's perspective as well as an employer's viewpoint. From lost wages to lawsuits and physical pain, these accidents can cause injuries that upend lives in an assortment of ways. In California, and all over the nation, it is important for workers across all occupations to be mindful of the risks they face and realize how prevalent these injuries actually are.

Information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the number of non-fatal work injuries and illnesses in the private sector declined between 2003 and 2015. In 2003, five out of every 100 workers in the private sector sustained a work-related injury. In 2015, this rate fell to three out of every 100 workers. Moreover, the amount of time that employees had to spend away from work due to an injury or an illness also showed a decline over this same time period. However, there are still a devastating number of employees who become hurt while on the job and these injuries can turn their lives into turmoil in many ways.

Sleep deprivation and workplace accidents

Accidents in the workplace happen for many reasons. Sometimes, these accidents are out of a worker’s control, while other accidents take place due to factors that could have been prevented, from intoxication to carelessness. Our law firm knows that the risk of accidents can be especially high in certain fields, such as those which may leave an employee fatigued or deprived of sleep. For example, working graveyard shifts could interfere with a worker’s sleep schedule, increasing the chances of something going wrong.

There are many ways in which sleep deprivation can lead to an accident. For example, a worker who is overly tired may have a harder time concentrating and could be more likely to make a mistake or react to a hazard quickly, such as failing to avoid falling debris. For those who are hurt on the job, the consequences of a work accident can create a whirlwind of challenges. For some, life may never be the same, while others are able to move forward after a lengthy recovery. Following an accident, those injured should try to utilize any resources they can, such as workers’ compensation.

Post-traumatic stress and work accidents

Workers who sustain an injury on-the-job may struggle with various challenges afterward, from physical pain to financial problems (lost wages, hospital bills, and so on). However, our law firm recognizes that it is not always possible to know the full extent of the problems an injured worker will face shortly after the accident has occurred. For example, some people may sustain a head injury and not know that they suffered a traumatic brain injury, which could haunt them later on. Or, some people might develop post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the accident.

If you are dealing with PTSD, you could be going through all sorts of challenges. For example, if your job responsibilities involved driving and you were seriously injured in a wreck, you could have post-traumatic stress that interferes with your ability to get behind the wheel. Some people do not take PTSD seriously, but this disorder can have a significant impact on the lives of injured workers. In fact, PTSD can prevent some people from ever returning to the line of work they were employed in when the accident took place. Moreover, people may struggle with depression and other emotional hardships following an accident.

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