We have previously reported on the myriad ways in which workers' compensation carriers' procedures add costs to the system and thereby drive up insurance rates. Here is yet another example.
According to Work Comp Central, in recent meetings, the Teamsters Union is demanding that Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners "ban companies who are breaking the law and have been found guilty by the state of California of classifying drivers as contractors when they are in fact employees." The Teamsters believe these companies are making blatant violations of labor laws operating out of the port.
A trench collapsed last week while workers were installing a sewage line at a Portland, Oregon home, burying a 27-year-old man, Portland firefighters said. The man died as a result of the collapse, according to OR-OSHA. The man had been working at the bottom of a trench that was 11 feet deep, 3 feet wide and 70 feet long. The worker had been outside the protection of the shoring system when the trench caved in. (Oregonian and Cal-OSHA Newsdesk.)
News sources report that a federal contractor responsible for overseeing nuclear facilities is under investigation following several serious accidents. One incident involved the fatality of construction worker who died after a 1,200-foot pylon fell on him. An investigation into the incident revealed that the company violated safety training regulations and procedures for pile driving operations, and as such was received 2 citations for "serious" violations.
The Sacramento Bee reports that a Southern California Edison contractor has died in a construction accident. According to reports, the man was working at a construction site in West Hollywood when he was crushed between a construction crane and a trailer. He had been employed by Edison to perform electrical work in connection with the building of a large hotel and residential complex on the Sunset Strip. California OSHA is conducting an investigation of the accident.
This is the second fatal construction accident in Los Angeles in less than a week. Just a few days earlier, a construction worker died on his second day on the job after falling from the 53rd floor of the Wilshire Grand Center tower.
Incidents such as these - falls from building and "being caught in-between" represent a large percentage of worker injuries and deaths. Other often cited causes of serious personal injuries and deaths at construction sites include workers being struck by objects and electrocutions.
Perhaps not surprisingly, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) the top three federal safety violations at construction sites include failing to adequately protect workers from falls, poor communication with workers about hazards, and safety lapses on scaffolding.
Where a general contractor/owner of a site creates an unreasonably hazardous condition at a work site, and a worker is injured, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced California construction accident attorney who can advise you concerning your rights. While in most situations, it may be possible to obtain California workers compensation benefits, you may also be able to bring a lawsuit for civil damages. By filing a civil lawsuit, you may be able to recover greater compensation than is provided for by workers compensation laws. Important deadlines must be complied with or compensation may be denied. A skilled personal injury lawyer can explore your options and help you determine the best options for recovery in your circumstance.
For more information, please contact the dedicated Oakland construction accident lawyers at Butler Viadro, LLP for an immediate consultation.
California news reports that a wall at a construction site on North Las Palmas Avenue in Hollywood has toppled over, leaving two workers with serious personal injuries. Paramedics arrived at the scene shortly thereafter, and the men were taken by ambulance for treatment. According to reports, the wall weighed approximately 1000 pounds and was made of wood. Co-workers assisted firefighters in lifting the wall off the men. This incident remains under investigation.
California workers' compensation carriers' policies routinely lead to the knee jerk denial and delay or care prescribed by physicians from within their own network or doctors. The result? Unnecessary costs are added to the system and injured workers don't get the care they need.
Many people are only vaguely aware that the workers compensation system in California even exists. Often, they only become aware of it after they suffer an injury. It is a little known fact among workers, even union workers, that you can pre-designate who you want to treat you before you are injured. Doing so can be your best protection in the event that you are hurt. You need to get the agreement of the doctor that he or she will serve as your primary treating doctor if you get hurt at work. If you do not do this in advance and advise your employer in writing that you are predesignating a doctor in the event of a workplace injury, you will often be required to be treated by a doctor off a list selected by your employer-a company doctor.
The current state of affairs for medical treatment for injured workers is without a doubt rigged in favor of insurers who game the system to deprive workers of needed medical treatment and to push the costs of reasonable medical treatment off onto private health insurers, Medicare and MediCal. First, 80% of all workers injured at work are required to treat with doctors listed in the workers' compensation carrier's Medical Provider Network ("MPN"); the MPN is created and maintained by the workers compensation insurers. If a physician who is on the MPN recommends care which the insurer feels costs the insurer too much money, those physicians are weeded out by the insurer through economic profiling and taken off the MPN list. This means that doctors are reluctant to provide care which would otherwise would be reasonably medically necessary. We have had client's say that their doctor has said "I would prescribe 'X' treatment, but the carrier will bump me off the MPN."