San Bernardino Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What people should know about workers' compensation

Many California workers may know they can receive workers' compensation if they get hurt on the job. However, they may have many questions about these benefits and what they need to do to get them.

Some people may not realize that workers' compensation benefits can take many forms.  The Department of Industrial Relations says that workers' compensation may offer temporary disability benefits or medical care. If workers cannot perform their jobs because of a wound, temporary disability payments typically provide a way for people to pay their bill while they recuperate. Medical care benefits mean that the company pays for the treatment a worker needs. This may include tests and the travel costs associated with a treatment plan, as well as the actual treatment. Sometimes a company may also offer permanent disability benefits. This generally happens if a worker may not be able to return to work because a wound may not completely heal.

Can your birthing position influence your delivery.

Part of the reason why you (and others in San Bernardino) may be hesitant to see a doctor is the stress that comes with relinquishing control to such a practitioner. Yet you may feel as though you have little choice given your doctor's expertise (and your lack thereof). This hesitancy may even extend to childbirth. While the need to rely on the care of a doctor to help ensure that both your and your baby emerge from your delivery without any injuries, you may still feel a sense of helpless that could contribute to increased stress during the entire process. 

Your perceived lack of control during delivery may extend to the birthing position your doctor wants you to be in. The standard position is the recumbent posture, in which you lie on your back with your bed elevated to a 45-degree angle. According to information shared by the National Institutes of Health, however, there are a number of alternative positions that you can be in during labor, including: 

  • Upright: Standing by yourself, or supported by your spouse (or partner)
  • Squatting: Sitting in crouched position during contractions
  • Sitting: Sitting upright on a bed, chair or ball
  • Kneeling: Kneeling on all fours and supporting your weight with your arms

Detailing the Glasgow Coma Scale

The families and friends of those who suffer traumatic brain injuries in San Bernardino will often immediately assume the worst when considering their loved one's prognosis. When one learns that another has suffered a TBI, their default expectation may be that person will be in a persistent vegetative state for the rest of their lives (and thus dependent on around-the-clock care). While the aftereffects of a TBI can linger (indeed, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 5.3 million Americans are currently dealing with a TBI-related disability), many injury victims can make a full to partial recovery. 

How is one to know the likelihood that a TBI victim will indeed recover? Clinicians can make such an estimation in the immediate aftermath of an injury using the Glasgow Coma Scale. The is a clinical observation test that is used to determine the extent of a TBI. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Glasgow Coma Scale requires observations be made of the following three elements: 

  • Motor skills
  • Speech
  • Eye-opening

Four die due to likely human error in crane collapse

Residents in Washington State know that their region has experienced significant growth in the last several years. This has led to a boom in the amount of construction happening in order to support expanding business and a growing population base. While there are many positive elements to this reality, there are also serious risks that are experienced by people when they live and work around a virtual construction zone. 

This risk came to be realized in a tragic accident recently when four people died after being crushed by a collapsing crane in Seattle. As reported by CNN, once the work requiring a crane has been completed, it can take up to three days to completely take the crane apart. There is supposed to be a very detailed approach to doing this with each step only being taken when it is appropriate in order to follow safety standards.

What’s the best treatment of a dislocated shoulder?

A dislocated shoulder is a painful injury that can make it difficult to live your day-to-day life. If you suspect this injury, it's imperative to receive immediate medical attention, as this will ensure that you get the right treatment plan in place as quickly as possible.

There are many common causes of a dislocated shoulder, such as:

  • Attempting to break a fall with your hand
  • Blunt force trauma to the shoulder
  • Falling onto your shoulder

Fatalties from falls on the rise on construction sites

Safety in any industry or segment of life should always be a priority and be something that is able to be improved as technology and communication advance. Unfortunately, when it comes to protecting the lives of construction workers in California, it seems that job sites may be getting less safe instead of safer.

According to NBC News, 2017 was a particularly deadly year on construction job sites across the United States. That year saw the most number of workplace fatalities ever recorded across all industries. Falls were attributed to 17% of the deaths across all segments. In the construction industry, however, falls were found to be involved in four out of every 10 deaths that year.

The importance of a second medical opinion

Most people who live in California have been raised to respect doctors and trust in the advice they receive from physicians. This is understandable and certainly health care professionals deserve respect but patients also should remember that they deserve to have the chance to advocate for themselves. In addition, doctors are people which means they are prone to making mistakes. This highlights the importance of seeking a second medical opinion in some cases.

According to Verywell Health, a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that 21% of patients who sought second opinions were given completely different diagnoses by the second doctors that what they received from the first doctors. With more than one in five people being incorrectly diagnosed, it is easy to see why getting additional information is important.

No foreseeable cure for doctor errors

CNN estimates that medical errors now hold third place as the leading cause of deaths in America. The doctors who led the study cited claimed that there are 251,454 annual deaths caused by medical errors. Due to the prevalence of plastic surgery in California, in addition to medical surgery, it is reasonable to conclude that residents in the Golden State perhaps account for a lion’s share of those numbers.

What is worse is that another CNN article indicates that there is no cure in sight. In fact, CNN further estimates that every American will get a late or incorrect diagnosis at least once in their lifetime. The consequences of this may range from trivial annoyances to death. Some of the most common forms of medical errors include the following:

  •          Fake doctors
  •          Accidental baby mix-ups
  •          Waking up during surgery
  •          Lost patients at nursing homes
  •          Forgetting surgical tools inside the patient
  •          Performing surgery on the wrong person or body part

You injury is more than a statistic

One of our recent articles included a discussion of recent OSHA rule changes. Sometimes, what seems like a relatively innocuous administrative change in a federal organization could result in significant changes in strategy for state personal injury attorneys. That is why, at Kampf, Schiavone and Associates, we make a point of keeping up with everything that could affect your case: California workers’ compensation case law, state statutory changes, U.S. workers’ laws and all of the changes within the relevant federal administrations. 

Your case matters to us — as does the safety of all workers in this state and beyond. We believe that our role as workers’ representatives is to keep the system as honest as possible. We do this by standing up to big employers, insurance companies and even the federal government if necessary.

Small OSHA changes could have big consequences

Every injury is unique, with costs that go far beyond the economic burden of lost work and medical expenses. While the pain and suffering of accident survivors are significant and deserve compensation, the economic losses are considerable in and of themselves. 

From minor workplace injuries to tragic fatalities, OSHA requires that companies keep track of every incident that occurs. Up until recently, many large employers and some smaller, high-risk organizations had the responsibility to submit detailed and regular reports electronically to OSHA.

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