Contra Costa County and Tri-Valley Workers' Compensation Blog

Personal injury: 3-year-old fatally struck by car in parking lot

Parking lots can be hazardous places, and California drivers must be extra vigilant for pedestrians. The chances of striking a pedestrian that results in serious personal injury are greater after dark, especially if there are children present. Young children might not realize that the same rules apply for parking lots as crossing normal roadways.

Police in Antioch recently reported the death of a child who was struck by a car in the parking lot for Sears on Somersville road. They say an emergency call came in shortly after 7:30 p.m. and emergency workers found a 3-year-old girl in an unresponsive condition. Paramedics rushed her to an area hospital, but she did not survive.

Workers' compensation eligibility after work party injuries

Many business owners in California choose to celebrate accomplishments and milestones by arranging parties for staff members during December. Alcohol is served at many of these celebrations, and it is no secret that alcohol consumption frequently leads to risky scenarios. Many workers are unsure of their eligibility for workers' compensation benefits if they should be injured during such festivities.

Situations that involve harassment can arise, and physical injuries can be suffered at the location or when workers drive home after the party. Workers can protect themselves by limiting their alcohol intake, avoid becoming too friendly with co-workers and not take part in dangerous activities that could lead to injuries. It might be a good idea to suggest that the employer arrange transport to take workers home if alcohol is served at the party.

Can farmworkers claim workers' compensation benefits?

As devastating wildfires ravage California, there is an urgency in efforts by authorities to protect employees. At the same time, there was an urgency in the efforts of farm owners to get crops off the fields to prevent smoke and suit damage. Labor unions expressed their concern for low-income construction workers, farmworkers and others who earn their incomes in the outdoors. Some of the workers on smaller farms might not be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.

Under California laws, employers must provide outdoor workers who are exposed to the hazards of wildfires with protective gear. Reportedly, deputies who helped with evacuating residents during the Woolsey and Hill fires were equipped with protective masks. However, thousands of the estimated 36,000 farmworkers were hard at work in the fields without any protection.

What are qualified medical evalutors and utilization reviews?

When a person submits an application for workers' compensation, they might have to go through a process in order to receive benefits. This is to ensure that the worker qualifies for benefits.

The application process can include several components, some of which might seem complicated. It is imperative that all workers who are trying to get workers' compensation understand some important facts about the process of applying.

Workers' compensation: Wildfires pose severe health hazards

With the wildfires in different areas of California, it is not only firefighters but also all other workers whose health is threatened. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued advisories with guidelines to help employers to keep their workers safe. Although the toxic smoke in the air poses a more severe threat to outdoor workers, precautions must also be taken to protect workers in enclosed areas. Many workers' compensation claims will likely follow the devastating seasonal wildfires.

To protect indoor employees and those in vehicles from harmful wildfire smoke, employers must establish and implement workable modifications to ensure the proper filtration of air. Employers are asked to review work schedules and modify them to limit the time employees spend working outdoors. Those who have to work in circumstances in which they are exposed to hazardous smoke must be equipped with safety approved respirators.

Is 3rd party personal injury claim viable for defective tool?

Construction sites nationwide, including in California, are dangerous and wrought with safety hazards with which workers must contend. With all the inherent personal injury risks, the last thing workers need is malfunctioning and dangerous power tools. A recent recall underscores the importance of examining equipment properly before use to identify potential injury risks.

Black & Decker recently recalled one model of the company's power drills due to malfunctioning handles. Reportedly, the particular VSR 2-Speed Black & Decker Hammer Drills are equipped with black plastic side handles that could break or slip. In fact, 11 such malfunctions have been reported to the company, one of which involved a torn rotator cuff injury.

Overexertion injuries eligible for workers' compensation benefits

A significant percentage of the workforce in California suffer overexertion injuries because they attempt to do more work than certain body parts are capable of handling. Sprained ligaments and strained or torn tendons and muscles caused by lifting, pushing and pulling objects give rise to many workers' compensation benefits claims. The best way in which workers can prevent such injuries is by knowing and respecting their physical limits, and listening to their bodies when they warn them to stop.

Different types of exertion can cause damage, the most common being high force demands during lifting, pulling, pushing, gripping, carrying and using heavy tools. Reaching, twisting, kneeling and bending often force workers' bodies into awkward postures. If they must remain stationary in such positions, their bodies will be taxed even more.

Workers' compensation: The threat of lead poisoning in gun ranges

Gun ranges nationwide, including in California, pose lead poisoning hazards for both workers and customers. Fortunately, affected employees can claim workers' compensation benefits. A gun range in another state that opened only four months ago recently received a warning citation after high lead levels were identified in the firing range area and also the merchandise area that is frequented by customers. The business owner explained that a defective air filtration system caused air from the range to flow into the showroom. A separate system in the firing range area pushes lead-laden air out.

Workers who are exposed to excessive levels of lead could suffer lead poisoning, which can cause damage to the nerves, brain, reproductive system, kidneys and red blood cells. Exposed workers who experience abdominal pain and cramping, stool that is tarry or black, nausea, vomiting, headaches, stupor or confusion might have been poisoned by lead. Other symptoms include jaundice and a sudden decrease in the volumes of urine passed. A doctor's examination and a lead level test is crucial if any of these symptoms are experienced after working or visiting a gun range.

Personal Injury: Wrong-way driver survives DUI crash that kills 3

A California family is struggling to cope with the consequences of a fatal crash that occurred on a recent Sunday evening. Dealing with personal injury caused by an alleged drunk driver is bad enough, and when three family members lose their lives in one crash, the trauma is naturally overwhelming. Reportedly, the alleged drunk driver survived the accident.

According to a preliminary accident report, the California Highway Patrol says two sisters along with the daughter of one of them were traveling along Highway 99 on their way home after a visit to other family members in Modesto. At approximately 7:30, they were struck head-on by a car driven by a 22-year-old driver who was reportedly heading in the wrong direction on the highway. All three the women in the one car died at the crash scene.

Medical workers often find themselves in need of medical care

People typically go into the medical field because they want to help others live their best lives. Unfortunately, along with the responsibility for the care of other human beings, medical workers often have higher risks of on-the-job injuries than other kinds of employees.

While few people think of hospitals as innately dangerous, there are many work-related injuries in hospitals across the country every day. From combative patients to accidental needle sticks, there are myriad ways in which hospital workers can end up severely injured or sick. The good news is that medical professionals, like other employed adults, have the right to seek workers' compensation after a serious injury at work.

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