Many people working in various industries in California require the use of all types of heavy machinery. Construction, manufacturing, and many other industries use many forms of specialized machinery to complete necessary work, and it is crucial for anyone with such job responsibilities to use the utmost caution in handling these devices. Unfortunately, even the most careful workers can suffer unexpected traumatic injuries from machinery, often leaving them wondering how they can recover.
The workers’ compensation claim process in California aims to provide financial relief to injured workers, covering their medical expenses and providing temporary disability benefits while they are unable to work during their recovery periods. If you or a family member has been injured by heavy machinery, you may not only have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim but further legal recourse as well. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney is the ideal asset to have on your side in this situation.
What to Do After a Work Injury From Heavy Equipment
According to the latest workplace injury data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other sources, construction is the most dangerous industry when it comes to the number of workplace injuries and fatalities reported each year in the United States. However, serious injuries from heavy equipment may be most common in construction, but they are also possible in manufacturing, utility work, refinery work, and vehicle maintenance.
If you sustain any type of injury from heavy equipment at work, you should report the injury to your supervisor and seek medical care immediately. In an emergency, you can see any available doctor, but if you anticipate filing a workers’ compensation claim, you should prepare to undergo a medical examination from a physician approved by your employer’s insurance carrier.
The workers’ compensation doctor will evaluate your injury and assign you a disability rating. This rating informs the level of benefits you are eligible to claim and how much residual functional capacity you have after recovering as much as possible from the injury. Most claimants can expect their workers’ compensation claim to cover all the medical treatment they require and ongoing disability benefits for up to 104 weeks.
Filing a Third Party Personal Injury Claim for Heavy Equipment Injury
California’s workers’ compensation laws prevent injured workers from suing their employers for workplace injuries except in specific circumstances. However, if a defective piece of heavy equipment caused your injury, you could have grounds for a product liability claim against the manufacturer. It is also possible to have grounds for a personal injury suit if another party intentionally caused your injury in any way.
Workers’ compensation is a program that offers a lifeline to people injured at work by heavy machinery, but making a claim is more challenging than many people initially expected. Additionally, a heavy equipment injury can cause lasting harm that cannot be fully compensated through an insurance claim. Therefore, if you believe you have grounds to file any other type of legal action in response to your heavy equipment injury, it is crucial that you consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
The attorneys at English Lloyd & Armenta have extensive professional experience with both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims on behalf of California clients. Any heavy equipment injury has the potential to cause life-changing harm to the victim, including permanent disability. Whether you qualify strictly for workers’ compensation benefits or have grounds for further legal recourse, we can help you recover as fully as state law allows.
Q: What Are the Most Common Machinery-Related Work Injuries in California?
A: The most commonly reported injury from unsafe machinery in the workplace is laceration, which can lead to extreme bleeding and a host of medical complications. It is also possible for heavy machinery to cause crushing injuries, broken bones, nerve damage, and other complex injuries. Therefore, employers that require the use of heavy machinery must ensure all machines are properly calibrated and maintained, and they must also ensure employees required to use these machines have the appropriate training to do so safely.
Q: Does a Heavy Equipment Injury Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
A: Under California law, a worker can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits as long as their injury resulted from the performance of their job duties. If you are required to use any type of heavy machinery at work and suffer an injury while performing your duties, you have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits through your employer’s insurance policy. Even if you caused your injury yourself through an honest mistake, this should not disqualify you from receiving benefits. However, if you were operating heavy machinery under the influence, this could negate your right to file a claim.
Q: How Much Is My Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth in California?
A: The total amount of benefits you can potentially recover from your workers’ compensation claim depends on the severity of your injuries and the level of functional capacity you retain after reaching maximum medical improvement. Most claimants can receive ongoing disability benefits for roughly two years, and some will have grounds for further legal action outside of the workers’ compensation claim process. Therefore, for the best chance of maximizing your compensation, it is vital to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after your injury occurs.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
A: California law limits how much an attorney can charge a client for representation in their workers’ compensation case. The attorneys at English Lloyd & Armenta use the contingency fee system to manage client billing, only taking a percentage of the client’s final case award after we secure compensation on their behalf. Therefore, there are no ongoing costs for our representation, and you pay nothing if we are unable to secure a settlement on your behalf for any reason.
Whatever your situation may involve, the team at English Lloyd & Armenta is prepared to provide the comprehensive legal representation you need to approach your recovery process with confidence. Contact us today and schedule a consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, and we will let you know how our firm can assist with your recovery efforts.