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Encinitas Legal Blog

Two California construction workers injured in crash

As we have mentioned before on this blog, construction workers across California are often asked to put their safety on the line to better their communities by building roads, bridges and buildings. Although state laws and public service initiatives try to increase construction zone awareness and reduce speeds throughout construction areas, the fact of the matter is that many individuals continue to drive negligently in these areas, thereby putting construction workers in danger.

This was the case recently in the San Diego-area when two construction workers were injured when they were struck by a vehicle. According to reports, a man drove his car across traffic cones and into a closed area of Interstate 15 when he rear-ended a pickup truck. The construction worker in the truck was injured, as was another worker who was standing near the vehicle at the time of the accident. Both workers were taken to the hospital with what are considered minor injuries. The driver was arrested for alleged drunk driving.

Workers' compensation appeal and reconsideration

Many California workers have been injured on the job. This can lead to financial hardship when wages cease and medical expenses accumulate. Fortunately, the workers' compensation system can provide financial relief, but only to those who qualify. Far too many Californians see their claims denied though, which means that they have to decide if they just want to eat their losses or if they want to appeal their claim denial in hopes of recovering the benefits they deserve.

We encourage injured workers to appeal their denied claims. The first step in that process is called reconsideration. In order to succeed through reconsideration, an injured worker must show one of a number of factors. For example, workers' compensation benefits may be granted if it can be shown that the initial determination was not justified given the evidence presented. Also, newly discovered or acquired evidence that is critical to a workers' compensation determination may warrant reconsideration.

Road construction presents many hazards for workers

The construction industry employs numerous people, you among them. You may enjoy your work as you have the ability to help make areas better by making repairs or constructing new structures. Of course, you also understand that you face a number of hazards while on the job.

In particular, you may find yourself out on or near roadways as you perform various projects on those roads. While you know you will feel satisfied when the project is completed, you likely also feel some apprehensions when it comes to working so closely to moving vehicles and drivers who may not pay enough attention.

Car accidents and herniated discs

As we have discussed previously on this blog, there are a wide variety of injuries that can be suffered in a car accident. Some are more serious than others, sometimes requiring months or years of treatment. Regardless of how serious an injury is, if it causes compensable harm and was caused by the negligence of another, then money may be recoverable via a personal injury lawsuit.

One injury that may justify such a claim is a herniated disc. A disc is a cushion between vertebrae that serves as a shock absorber of sorts. It has a hard outer shell, but its interior is filled with a jelly-like substance. When a disc is herniated, the jelly within the disc seeps out through a crack or tear in the disc's outer shell, oftentimes pushing up against nearby nerves. This can cause excessive pain, numbness in the extremities and muscle weakness.

What are some common auto part defects?

We rely on the transportation that is available to us. Whether we drive our own vehicle, travel by train, take a taxi or fly by plane, our safety and well-being is dependent upon how well-made those vehicles are when released to consumers. Although cars and other vehicles go through extensive research, design and safety testing, far too often manufacturers don't realize that an error has been made until it is too late. This leaves unsuspecting consumers in California at risk of being seriously injured or killed.

Just about any car part can pose a threat to an individual's safety. Auto part defects can affect a vehicle's frame, braking system and temperature control elements. Additionally, defects can be found in engine and electrical systems, as well as in parts related to a car's steering, suspension, exhaust and drivetrain. Even parts found in the cabin of a vehicle can be defective, thereby posing a threat.

A spinal cord prognosis depends on many factors

California construction workers, police officers, road construction workers, truck drivers and more all perform their duties despite the enormous risks they face every time they show up for work. Work-related accidents in these and other high-risk industries often result in catastrophic injuries that may come with lifelong repercussions.

For instance, even with the advancements in the medical industry, there is only so much that doctors can do when it comes to spinal cord injuries. Without a doubt, receiving medical intervention as quickly as possible may make a substantial difference, but so much depends on your body, the severity of the injury and its location.

New blood test detects brain injuries

When it comes to serious harm such as brain and spinal cord injuries, quick diagnosis and treatment can be critical. Any delay may lead to additional harm and/or a delayed recovery. This is why doctors in California strive to utilize appropriate medical testing in a timely fashion.

A new test hopes to allow medical professionals to more quickly diagnose brain injuries, which could reduce the need for brain scans that expose patients to radiation. The blood test detects certain proteins that present themselves when the brain has been injured. It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it is hoped to be widely utilized in the next year or two. The test has been found to be 98 percent accurate.

We handle workers' compensation and third-party claims

Previously on this blog we discussed an instance where agricultural workers were harmed when they were exposed to pesticides that were being sprayed nearby. This case serves as an example of the dangerous conditions that can be thrust upon unsuspecting workers in California. Sometimes, in situations like the one discussed above, the risks could have been completely avoided. In other cases, though, the job itself is inherently dangerous, oftentimes resulting in workplace injuries.

Regardless of how an injury occurs, so long as it wasn't caused by one's own horseplay or suffered outside of the scope of one's employment, an injured worker may be able to seek workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can help alleviate some of the financial damages associated with a workplace injury, including helping pay for lost wages and medical expenses. Sometimes, though, these benefits don't cover the full extent of one's losses. In these instances, it's worth considering whether a third-party claim can be filed in hopes of imposing liability and recovering additional compensation.

Do I need an attorney after my accident?

After your recent car accident, you may have experienced many events for the first time. Serious injuries, a hospital stay, perhaps surgical procedures and legal issues may have seemed overwhelming and a bit frightening at times. You certainly didn't attempt to handle your medical issues on your own. Why would you feel you had to handle your legal issues without assistance?

It may not be easy to recognize when a matter is a legal one, but it may help to ask yourself one simple question: Are my rights at stake? If you are unsure how to answer questions from law enforcement, insurance agents, attorneys for the other driver or medical professionals, you may benefit from the experience and skill of a legal professional.

How medical care is addressed through workers' compensation

Californians who are injured on the job may be happy to hear that they may qualify for workers' compensation benefits. However, there is often confusion about what, exactly, these benefits can cover. This week we hope to shed some light on how medical care is addressed through the workers' compensation system.

Generally speaking, workers' compensation benefits are paid out to cover the costs for medical care that are "reasonably" required to either cure the medical condition at hand or relieve the effects of any workplace injuries or illnesses suffered. The workers' compensation system has taken this to mean that treatment must be based on certain medical guidelines, which are developed and published by the Division of Workers' Compensation. Of course, the Division develops these guidelines in conjunction with medical organizations.

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