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Orange County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Workers' comp a tough road, but a road worth traveling

It really is amazing how hard legislators have made it to acquire workers' compensation benefits here in California. 10 years ago, new rules were passed that significantly impacted workers' comp applicants, putting them at a disadvantage. Even if the legislation wasn't necessarily meant to discourage people from applying, it probably has had such a side effect.

All types of workers' comp benefits were limited or reduced in some way. For example, the maximum amount of time on temporary disability was reduced to 104 weeks, while permanent disability recipients saw the vocational rehabilitation stipend of up to $16,000 removed in favor of a retraining voucher. In total, the approval of Senate 899 completely changed the way injured workers are treated here in California, and that's a shame.

Even after quitting, worker gets workers' comp for injury

Imagine for a moment that you go into work one day and you're not in a great mood. You've been working there for a long time and in recent months, you have become unsatisfied with the work environment and you feel you aren't respected. So you clock in and talk with your manager, who informs you that you have a particularly tough shift on tap. You request that some of the work be delegated because of all the hard work you have done recently, but your boss declines your request.

You decide enough is enough, and you quit. You inform your boss, who accepts your decision. As you prepare to leave, your boss instructs you to go clean out an area where some of your personal belongings are located. As you go to that spot, you trip on a piece of equipment and injure yourself. Here's the question: can you obtain workers' compensation for the injury?

Collapse of structure highlights dangers of construction sites

A construction accident in Los Angeles resulted in a destroyed building and many questions about the project and the safety of the construction site. A parking structure was under construction when the building partially collapsed. Emergency responders found a scene of rubble and destruction, but thankfully no one was injured in the accident. Investigators first believed that an object fell from a construction crane, but it turned out that excessive weight from building materials placed on the structure caused the collapse.

The collapse was so severe that two nearby apartments had to be evacuated as a safety precaution.

1 worker electrocuted, another shocked on scaffolding at school

Questions remain about a workplace accident in Orange County that electrocuted one worker and left another in serious condition. This tragedy occurred at a high school, but school district officials are not sure who hired the victims’ employer to do the job.

The victims were working on scaffolding on the grounds of Mission Viejo High on July 17. They were part of a three-man crew hanging a banner to advertise a school event. Nearby, the school’s freshman baseball team was playing.

Teen landscaper dies in accident on 2nd day on the job

One of the best ways to ensure safe usage of dangerous work equipment is to make sure the workers have proper training. Lack of training is a major cause of serious work accidents in California. A recent tragedy could have been due to the fact that a teenage worker did not know how to avoid getting caught in an auger.

The victim, 19, had taken a summer job with a landscaping company in Washington state. It is not clear if he had any prior experience with landscaping, but given his age, it seem likely that he had little to no experience in the field. Still, the company promised him 60 hours a week of work, his mother said.

Construction worker knocked off overpass in Orange County

A scary early-morning work site accident on Interstate 405 in Orange County may have seriously injured a construction worker. The worker fell off a partially-completed overpass onto the road below. His injuries were not known at the time, but one can imagine that a fall from such a height is likely to cause significant harm.

The victim was working with a crew that was building a new overpass for I-405 near the I-605 interchange. Around 2:45 a.m. one June morning, the crew was setting 130-foot beams on the overpass. One of the beams somehow bumped into two that were already set, causing all three to crash down into I-405’s southbound side.

Orange County man, doctors indicted for workers' comp fraud

Workers who are hurt on the job rely on their doctors to provide safe, effective care to help them regain their health. So it may shock some readers to learn of an alleged scheme by a group of Orange County doctors, a pharmacist and a local businessman to defraud workers’ compensation patients.

According to the indictment, the alleged leader of the scheme hired pharmacists to produce three “compounded transdermal creams.” He then had the 10 physicians and one pharmacist named in the indictment prescribe the creams to patients whose care was being paid through workers’ comp, in exchange for kickbacks, the indictment alleges. The doctors allegedly were paid more than $25 million in kickbacks.

Caretaker spouse can also be paid through workers' compensation

A serious work injury can prevent you from working, possibly for a long time. It could also reduce your ability to be self-reliant in everyday tasks, like cooking and bathing. If you are married, your spouse may step in and take care of you, fulfilling the traditional wedding promise to remain faithful “in sickness and in health.”

However, caring for a disabled spouse can be a full-time job, and the caretaking spouse might have to give up his or her work outside the home, at least for a while. Suddenly losing two incomes because of a workplace injury would be a serious problem for almost any Orange County household.

Avoiding back injuries at work

Without a healthy, pain-free back, many tasks we may take for granted, such as walking or lifting things, become very difficult or impossible. Besides the obvious impact a bad back can have on general quality of life, it can affect your ability to perform your job.

In fact, many people who injure their back at work may have to go on workers’ compensation while they recover. Some back injuries are caused by the nature of the job itself. Repetitive tasks can tire out your back muscles. Lifting or moving heavy objects can also cause back injuries, as can excessive slouching.

Worker hurt in accident on Disneyland ride

It’s supposed to be the happiest place on earth, but even Disneyland is not immune from workplace accidents.

A Disneyland employee suffered injuries in an accident at the theme park in May. The worker was on a platform on a loading dock at the Matterhorn ride when she somehow tripped and fell off the platform.

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