workers compensation

CAN A NFL FOOTBALL PLAYER’S AMPUTATION FROM A COLLEGE INJURY BECOME A NFL WORK-RELATED COMPENSATION CLAIM? INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS, #43

It is reported that Marcus Davenport of the NFL Saints recently had part of his pinky amputated.  It is reported that the injury was from his college career.  Over the years, however, he has had several surgeries to his his pinky.  During his professional career, in 2021, he had a surgery on the finger. cbssports.com

This article will discuss whether a pre-existing injury can become a workers’ compensation injury.

Can A Pre-Existing Injury Become Work-Related?

Yes. California Workers’ Compensation Law provides that “industrial causation is established if the preponderance of evidence presented [show that employment proximately caused his/her medical condition] to “light up,” accelerate or aggravate. (§ 3600, subd. (a)(3); Pullman Kellogg, supra, at page 454; Tanenbaum, supra, at pp. 617–618; Franklin, supra, at pp. 244–245.) Proximate cause is shown if employment is a contributing cause. (McAllister at p. 418; Nash at p. 1809.) Employment as a contributing cause need not be a scientific certainty, a reasonable probability is sufficient. (McAllister, supra at p. 417; Rosas, supra, at pp. 1700–1701.)

In this circumstance, if Mr. Davenport’s NFL job duties worsened his pinky condition it is possible that he could file a work injury claim against his NFL team.  He would have to prove that his employment contributed to the worsening of the condition.  Typically, this would be proven by a treating doctor or qualified medical evaluator examining the current state of the injury, reviewing the records of his past medical treatment, and taking a history from the worker as to what happened at work that aggravated the condition.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

NEWS REPORTER SERIOUSLY HURT IN UKRAINE: INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS, #28

A Fox News Reporter sustained severe injuries when he and his crew came under attack in Ukraine.  According to reports, Mr. Hall, the reporter, wrote, “[t]o sum it up, I’ve lost half a leg on one side and a foot on the other. One hand is being put together, one eye is no longer working, and my hearing is pretty blown… but all in all I feel pretty damn lucky to be here – and it is the people who got me here who are amazing!” poynter.org

It is reported that he had extensive medical treatment. He was evacuated out of Ukraine. He was taken to Germany and then he was taken to Texas for treatment.

This article will discuss issues of this fact pattern as if it would fall under a California Workers’ Compensation Law.

Does Medical Treatment Include Transportation Costs?

Yes.  Medical transportation is included as part of medical treatment In Mr. Hall’s instance, there was Med-Evac Treatment.  In other terms, Medical Transportation is necessary as part of medical treatment.   This is included with Labor Code Section 4600 under the provision to provide medical treatment which is reasonably required to cure or relieve from the effects of the injury.  Air Ambulance Services are included under this provision.

Are There Any Special Benefits That Would Be Available Under Workers’ Compensation Law?

Yes. There are two body parts that may make Mr. Hall eligible for additional periods of temporary disability given the facts.  The amputation would qualify him for the extended TTD benefits in accordance with Labor Code Section 4656.  Likewise, his eye injury may also qualify him for the benefit.  His injury to his eye was caused by a high velocity object or it was a result of a chemical burn. This determination will require a determination by a medical doctor as to the cause.  The specific language in the statute is “high-velocity eye injuries” or “chemical burns to the eyes.”

What Would Be the Venue for This Claim?

While the injury happened in Ukraine, this claim will be filed at a particular state.  Most likely, Mr. Hall’s claim could be filed at the location he works.  Thus, if he is based out of Texas, Texas law may apply.  Venue, at times, can involve a multitude of factors.  This can include where his contract was made or which States Mr. Hall worked in at Fox.  In otherwords, there may be a choice of venue given the facts of the case.

What If I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

A QUESTIONABLE AMPUTATION WORK INJURY? INJURED WORKERS IN THE NEWS, #13

A story comes out of Maine in which a Man was found carrying a severed arm.  He had severed it allegedly while operating a ban saw.  The man worked at a store. The police department “ have not determined how the man lost his arm, beyond describing the gory amputation as a ‘workplace incident.’ From the story’s facts, there were no witnesses to the accident that were interviewed. dailymail.com

For the purposes of this blog post,  the assumption will be given that there is some uncertainty as to how the accident happened.

Will The Workers’ Compensation Carrier Accept This Type of Claim Immediately?

No. Given the paucity of the hypothetical’s facts, the Insurance Company would likely wish to investigate the claim to determine whether there was a work injury.  They would want to talk to the Injured Worker as well as his co-workers.

Are There Any Times Limits to the Investigation? 

Yes. Labor Code Section 5402(b) provides for a 90 day period for an Insurance Carrier to investigate a clam.

Can The Injured Worker Get Medical Care During the Period of Investigation?

Yes. Labor Code Section 5402(c) provides for up to $10,000.00, of medical care to be provided up to the date of the carrier’s determination.

Are There Any Special Benefits That Applicant to Amputation Cases?

Yes.  Labor Code Section 4656(c)(3) allows for 240 weeks of total temporary disability benefits as opposed to the 104 weeks which is provided for cases that are not afforded an exception.

What if I Need Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 27 years. Contact us today for more information.

 

WCITN #14: A Unique Film Production Injury

The Rust Film Production’s fatality was not the only work injury of interest. Another worker sustained a work injury when they were bitten by a venomous brown recluse spider. This occurred when the production was shutting down.  The spider’s bite contained poison.  As a result, the crew member has been hospitalized and may require the amputation of an arm. The injury occurred “on location.”

It is reported that “a lamp operator and pipe rigger, was working to wind down production of the film after cinematographer … was fatally shot…, when he was bitten by a brown recluse spider – a venomous spider that is native to North America.”  It was reported he “started experiencing severe symptoms, including necrosis of his arm, which occurs when cells die, and sepsis.” Dailymail.com

There are several unique issues with regard this work injury:

Where Should the Workers’ Compensation Claim Be Filed?

The location of where a work injury is to be filed is generally referred to as the venue.  Workers’ Compensation for private employers is generally a state issue.  Thus, when there is a “on location” injury, the question arises as to which state would be the proper venue.  This is an issue which is heavily factual.  Where the employee lives, where the contract was made, where the employer is located, and where the injury happened as are relevant.  A careful legal analysis must be done to determine venue.  There are times when multiple states may serve as a proper venue.

Who Pays the Medical Bills?

In the news reports, there was concern about the  Injured Worker’s medical bills.  In California Workers’ Compensation Law, the Employer is 100 percent liable for paying medical bills that are generated in accordance with the Labor Code.  Thus, it is important that the claim be made.

Is There Anything Special Concerning the Nature of the Injury?

Yes.  If an amputation is required in the matter, the Injured Worker’s period of temporary disability payments would be extended from 104 weeks to 240 week which must be within the period 5 years from the date of injury.

What If I Need Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 28 years. Contact us today for more information.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN THE NEWS #8: CAN A FIRE CAPTAIN FINGER LIABILITY ON A PROPERTY OWNER FOR A WORK INJURY?

In Los Angeles,  a horrific property fire happened at a Vape Shop which included an explosion. As a result, a number of firefighters sustained injuries trying to put out the fire.  A Fire Captain sustained serious injuries which included the loss of fingers.

It was reported that he is now suing the property owner for negligence.   The allegations of negligence concerned the owner’s storage of both nitrous oxide and butane containers in excess.  Dailymail.com

Was the Fire Captain’s Injuries a Workers’ Compensation Injury?

Yes.  The Fire Captain was in the course and scope of his duties when putting out the fire.  Therefore, he is entitled to pursue a workers’ compensation case.

If the Fire Captain Filed the Civil Suit Against the Property Owner, Can He Still File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Yes.  Many Work Injuries are caused by Third Parties. A Third Party is someone other than the Employer.   Based upon the alleged facts,  the Fire Captain could pursue both a workers’ compensation claim and a civil lawsuit. He did not have to choose between one or the other.

Can an Injured Worker Collect Separately From Both a Workers’ Compensation and a Civil Claim?

Not necessarily.  Many times, the Insurance Company for the Workers’ Compensation will join in the Civil Lawsuit.  This is called subrogation.  They, like the Injured Worker, are entitled to collect a recovery from Third Party that was liable for the work injury.  The division of the proceeds from a Civil Action would be dependent on the facts. For example, if the Workers’ Compensation Insurance paid out a lot of money in medical care, their lien on the Third Party case may be quite substantial.  They would command a considerable amount.

Is There Any Special Benefits a Fire Captain Can Receive from This Work Injury?

Yes.  There are two special benefits.   First, the Fire Captain is entitled to salary continuation for up to one year pursuant to Labor Code Section 4850.  Second, the Fire Captain, due to finger amputations would be entitled 240 weeks of TTD benefits as opposed to the 104 week limitation.  This is per LC 4656.

Why Would the Fire Captain File a Civil Claim?

A Civil Claim provides for different types of damages.  For example, wage loss would be a factor.  In light of the Fire Captain’s loss of fingers, he may have substantial wage loss as his firefighting career may be over.

What If I Need Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 28 years. Contact us today for more information.

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