San Bernardino Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Everybody deserves protection

We recently took a look at firefighting from the perspective of workplace safety. Emergency responders are some of the most at-risk professionals, and the conditions under which they work are highly regulated as a result. While the same level of danger might not be present in all workplaces, we believe at Kampf, Schiavone & Associates, that all workers in California should have a safe and healthy place to work — or at least everybody should benefit from dutiful actions on the part of employers.

Even among firefighters, not every injury is drastic enough to lead to a wrongful death claim. The majority of workplace injuries involve conditions such as spinal injury, head injury or long-term toxic exposure. We believe that, with a preponderance of data available in today's business environment, it should be relatively easy for employers to identify and control injury risks

One of the most dangerous jobs in America

Wildfires raging throughout the Yosemite region recently threatened many California residents. The risk to the public from these events is significant, but emergency response teams face even more danger than most citizens.

There are systems in place to manage risks and prevent injury to firefighters. Unfortunately, these systems are not perfect. This point was illustrated in a recent incident that led to the death of an experienced firefighter.

Who is responsible for a death at a nursing home?

There are few things more distressing than the loss of a loved one, especially if it occurred suddenly. If you have reason to feel partly responsible for the circumstances that led to the loss, such as placement in a nursing home, then it could alleviate your conscience to know that the fault might not be yours at all. The California legal system is set up to investigate these events, and processing your loss through the law could lead to closure as well as your receipt of proper compensation for your loss.

Wrongful death lawsuits are civil proceedings. If you were to pursue a claim in civil court, you would not have to provide as much evidence to receive a favorable decision as you would to secure a guilty verdict in criminal court. However, you would probably follow a similar investigatory process for both the civil and criminal cases. Additionally, you might be able to use articles from a related criminal case in your civil claim.

Workers who care for the elderly in their homes risk injury

For those with compassionate hearts, working as a home health aide can be a rewarding career. These medical professionals spend many hours every week in the homes of aging and ailing individuals. A home health aide can do a lot to help someone remain independent.

Elderly people who might have to go into assisted living can often remain in their homes with the support of a professional who visits routinely. As part of this job, you can expect to likely help patients with basic mobility. You may also need to perform some household tasks or even take patients to medical appointments or out for grocery shopping.

Health conditions doctors commonly misdiagnose

When you have an ailment or unexplained symptoms and you visit your California physician, you want to feel confident the he or she will be able to appropriately assess your condition and render you an accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, however, doctors are not immune to error, but the consequences that can occur when doctors misdiagnose you can prove considerable and life-changing. At Kampf, Schiavone & Associates, we understand just how much an inaccurate medical diagnosis can upend your life, and we have helped many clients facing similar circumstances seek appropriate recourse.

According to Fox News, about 5 percent of all adult Americans will receive an inaccurate medical diagnosis each year, and these might include delayed diagnoses, wrong diagnoses or failures to diagnose altogether. Part of this is likely due to the fact that many symptoms can suggest more than one condition or ailment, and it can be difficult for physicians to narrow down the exact cause of yours.

What threat do trench collapses pose for construction workers?

Construction workers across California have inherently dangerous jobs, and thousands of them suffer on-the-job injuries every year. While working from heights, working with power tools and working on scaffolding all pose injury risks for construction workers, so, too, does working in trenches. In fact, working in trenches or on excavation efforts is one of the most dangerous tasks today’s construction workers perform.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration, trench collapses, many of which involve cave-ins, cause hundreds of construction-worker injuries and dozens of deaths every year. While trenches, or man-made cavities created to allow construction professionals to perform work, are undeniably dangerous, there are numerous steps you and your employers can take to mitigate your risk of suffering a serious injury from a trench collapse.

What to know when applying for SSDI benefits

If you live in California and have a disability that is severe enough to prevent you from working and supporting yourself, you may be considering applying for Social Security Disability Insurance from the U.S. Social Security Administration. The application process is often complicated and commonly misunderstood, however, and many applicants make errors when applying that can hurt their chances of approval. At Kampf, Schiavone & Associates, we have a comprehensive understanding of the SSDI benefit application process, and we have helped many clients in similar situations apply for benefits or appeal an SSA denial.

According to Everyday Health, one thing you should know before applying for SSDI benefits is that the more information and documentation you have from physicians about your condition, the better your chances of approval. Please note, however, that your doctor’s word alone is not always enough to prove your disability is severe enough to warrant SSDI benefit assistance, and that it is up to the SSA to issue the final decision.

A look at workplace accidents: Brain trauma

People who have been involved in a workplace accident involving a sharp blow to the head, may suffer from a brain injury. Whether a worker fell victim to a slip-and-fall accident or had a falling object land on his or her head, the damage may be long-term. Brain injuries occur when a sudden jolt causes the soft brain tissue to hit against the hard skull bone, causing brain bleeding, tissue inflammation and bruising. The damage may be apparent immediately or could take several days to show. It is crucial that employees understand the signs and symptoms of brain injury so they can seek immediate attention.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, traumatic brain injuries can cause physical issues, behavior changes, communication problems, sensory problems and cognitive deficits. People may have trouble organizing, problem-solving, remembering events, speaking, writing, understand language and moving in general. Depending on the severity of the accident, people may experience muscle weakness, tingling in the extremities, loss of vision or hearing, seizures, sleeping difficulties, consistent headaches, nausea and vomiting and even paralysis.

Miscommunication a major cause of medical errors

When people are seen by a physician, go to the pharmacy, are admitted to the hospital, enter the operating room for a procedure or are diagnosed with a condition, they rely on a host of medical professionals to take care of them. Peoples’ medical care includes a multidisciplinary team of experts, including medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, surgeons, therapists and specialists. All of these professionals must communicate with one another regarding patient health care in order to properly treat the patient. A lapse in communication or failure to relay crucial information may lead to a serious medical error, injury or even death.

According to a study published by UC San Francisco, better communication among health care workers could lower the number of medical mistakes by up to 30 percent. Whenever a patient is moved to another provider or transferred to another facility, miscommunication can occur. A breakdown in communication can occur when doctors and/or nurses fail to make comprehensive notes in patients’ charts or provide incomplete information.

Knee dislocation: From symptoms to treatment

A dislocated knee is every bit as painful as it sounds, and this injury has the potential to keep you off your feet for an extended period of time.

There are many causes of knee dislocations, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Slip-and-falls
  • Trip-and-falls, e.g., stumbling down a flight of stairs or stepping in a hole in a parking lot
  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Twisting and/or turning in an awkward manner
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715 N. Arrowhead Ave.
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San Bernardino, CA 92401

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