Whether you plan on moving to the Thousand Palms, CA, area or have lived nearby all your life, it’s natural to wonder about the safety level of working in the area. Thousand Palms is part of the Coachella Valley of California, a highly prized desert community with steady economic growth and plenty of job opportunities throughout various industrial sectors. Whatever type of work you do or plan to do in the future in Thousand Palms, you should understand the injury risks you face on the job and what legal options are available to you after a workplace injury.
Most Common Causes of Workplace Injuries in Thousand Palms
Many industries operate in Thousand Palms, and some are more dangerous than others. However, it’s vital to recognize that workplace injuries can occur in any industry, and even people who spend their workdays behind desks can sustain injuries at work. Some of the most commonly reported causes of workplace injuries in Thousand Palms and throughout California include:
Construction accidents. Construction is statistically one of the most dangerous fields in which anyone can work. More workers’ compensation claims and missed days of work are reported from the construction industry than any other industry in the US. In addition, construction injuries can happen unexpectedly, many of them with devastating consequences.
Motor vehicle accidents. Many people living in Thousand Palms drive to and from work or drive as part of their job duties. These accidents often lead to complex legal issues, such as determining liability, navigating complex insurance claims, and difficulty identifying the parties responsible for causing them.
Slip and fall accidents. Property owners must ensure their properties are safe and free from foreseeable hazards. For example, suppose someone is working and suffers a slip and fall injury from a hazard the property owner should have addressed. In that case, the victim likely has grounds for a premises liability claim against the property owner.
Toxic exposure injuries. Some workplaces require working with or near toxic chemicals and other harmful substances. If you develop a sickness or medical condition from repeated exposure to harmful substances, you may have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. In addition, if this exposure occurred due to another party’s illegal or inappropriate handling of dangerous materials, you could have grounds for further legal action.
Repetitive motion injuries. Some people who perform the same tasks every day eventually develop repetitive motion injuries. Back injuries like herniated discs can occur from repeated lifting and carrying heavy objects. Repetitive stress injuries like arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome can manifest among office workers and employees who use their hands for repetitive tasks every day.
These are just a few examples of the types of workplace injuries that might occur in Thousand Palms. If you or a loved one sustains an injury at work, it’s essential to know your legal options for securing compensation for your damages.
What to Do After a Workplace Injury in Thousand Oaks
If you sustain an injury at work in Thousand Oaks, you likely have the ability to file a workers’ compensation claim. California state law requires all employers to have workers’ compensation insurance, and the claim process is relatively straightforward. However, there is no guarantee that your claim will be easy to complete or that the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) will process your claim as quickly as you would like.
Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is not only the best way to ensure your claim is processed quickly and appropriately but also the best method for ensuring you receive appropriate compensation from the DWC. Your attorney can assist you in completing your claim, guide you through the DWC’s investigation processes, and help you address any unexpected issues that arise with your claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Once approved, a workers’ compensation claim can cover the claimant’s medical expenses. However, the DWC will also want to review a report from an approved physician who will assign the claimant a disability rating based on the severity of their injury. This disability rating determines how much the claimant receives in weekly benefits and how long those benefits will continue.
Can I Sue for a Workplace Injury in Thousand Palms?
The workers’ compensation system exists to protect both employees and employers. Employees can promptly secure compensation for medical costs and lost wages after a workplace accident while employers are shielded from civil liability for their employees’ damages. Generally, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury in California unless they intentionally caused your injury or do not have workers’ compensation insurance.
If a third party caused your injury, you would have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits but could also pursue a civil claim against the third party for your remaining damages. For example, workers’ compensation may cover your medical expenses and some, but not all, of your lost income during your recovery. A civil claim could fill in the gaps, allowing you to secure the total amount of your lost income that workers’ compensation doesn’t cover as well as compensation for pain and suffering.
Remember that if you intend to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury, you should do so immediately. The longer you delay filing your claim, the more skeptical the DWC will be as it reviews your claim for benefits. The same rule applies if you intend to file a personal injury claim against the party responsible for causing your workplace injury. So, consult an attorney and start building your case as soon as possible for the best chance of success.