CAN A POLICE OFFICER CLAIM INJURY WHEN HE WAS BITTEN BY HIS PARTNER? INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS, #26

In Florida, a Police Officer sustained a work-related injury when was bitten a fellow Police Officer. His K9 partner may have tried to take a bite out of crime but instead bit his partner’s arm.  It is reported that the dog became agitated during an attempted arrest.  The dog bit his handler. Dailymail.com 

This fact pattern raises the questions as to whether an Employee can file a workers’ compensation claim when they get injured as a result of a co-worker’s mistake.   The fact pattern raises a treatment issue. Dog bites present unique issues.

Can an Injured Worker File a Claim If They Are Injured By A Co-Worker?

Yes.  Generally, workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system   This applies to the actions of co-workers.  Thus, the dog bite by his K-9 Partner is a valid workers’ compensation claim.

What Type Of Treatment Can Be Provided? 

In the instance of a dog bite, there is a concern whether the dog may have had rabies.  Thus, the Police Officer may be put on rabies treatment protocol. Likewise, treatment may be necessary to prevent infection.

Labor Code Section 4600 provides that “(a) medical, surgical, chiropractic, acupuncture, and hospital treatment, including nursing, medicines, medical and surgical supplies, crutches, and apparatuses, including orthotic and prosthetic devices and services, that is reasonably required to cure or relieve the injured worker from the effects of the worker’s injury shall be provided by the employer. In the case of the employer’s neglect or refusal reasonably to do so, the employer is liable for the reasonable expense incurred by or on behalf of the employee in providing treatment. (b) As used in this division and notwithstanding any other law, medical treatment that is reasonably required to cure or relieve the injured worker from the effects of the worker’s injury means treatment that is based upon the guidelines adopted by the administrative director pursuant to Section 5307.27.”

Thus, the medical providers treating these type of bite injuries, within the guidelines, will provide treatment to prevent infection on this matter.

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.

animal shelter workers

SHELTER WORKERS AND JOB STRESS: PSYCHIATRIC INJURIES FOR SHELTER WORKERS AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Animal Shelter Workers perform an essential role in society. Dealing with abandoned or unwanted animals can be difficult.  This difficulty exposes Shelter Workers subject to unique levels of emotional stress. If this emotional stress gives rise to an emotional injury, a the Worker can file a Workers’  Compensation Claim to obtain necessary treatment and benefits. Hoy-Gerlach J, Ojha M, Arkow P. Social Workers in Animal Shelters: A Strategy Toward Reducing Occupational Stress Among Animal Shelter Workers. Front Vet Sci. 2021 Nov 10;8:734396. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2021.734396. PMID: 34859083; PMCID: PMC8631323.

This article will discuss the particular stressors and the psychiatric medical condition that they are at risk of developing.

What Are Stressors Unique for Animal Shelter Workers?

Exposure to Animal Suffering: Animals turned into shelter may be ill or abused.

Exposure to Animal Death: Animals may either be euthanized or die naturally.

Caring: Workers are emotionally invested in both the animals’ care and welfare

Burnout: Workers are required to continuously engage in the activities listed above

What Emotional Problems Can Develop?

It has been found that Animal Shelter Workers are at “five times greater risk of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as compared to the national average.” Their level of PTSD is along the lines of safety officers. Hoy-Gerlach J, Ojha M, Arkow P. Social Workers in Animal Shelters: A Strategy Toward Reducing Occupational Stress Among Animal Shelter Workers. Front Vet Sci. 2021 Nov 10;8:734396. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2021.734396. PMID: 34859083; PMCID: PMC8631323.

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.

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.

WCITN #4: Black Bear Problem On Aisle 3

While there were no work injuries, it was one that was quite memorable day for the Ralph’s Supermarket Employees at the Porter Ranch, California location.  A Black Bear went grocery shopping.  Brave workers were able to chase the 125 pound wild animal out of the store.   Eventually, wildlife officials were able to take the animal to a safe location. alt987fm

It is quite possible that the store employees or the wildlife officials could have injured themselves when they encountered the animal.

Are Animal Related Injuries Worker’ Compensation?

Yes. Workers who are injured by animals at work can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

What Types of Injures Can be Animal-Related?

There is a wide variety of ways a Worker can get injured by Animals.

  • Allergic Reactions: This can include Cats, Dogs and Horses for dander, Fish, Shellfish and Insects
  • Attacks: This can include Cows, Cattle and Dogs.
  • Bites: This can be from Cats, Dogs, and Insects
    • These bites can include venom. Bites can cause illnesses such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  • Exposure/Inhalation: Workers can experience respiratory diseases as a result of exposure to animal products, dust, pathogens or chemicals(pesticides/disinfectants.)See Occupational Health (M Friesen and K Applebaum Section Editors) Published: 10 December 2019 Recent Research on Occupational Animal Exposures and Health Risks: A Narrative Review Caroline Dignard & Jessica H. Leibler Current Environmental Health Reports volume 6, pages236–246(2019)
  • Falls: Workers can fall off of ladders when being distracted by insects or fowl.
  • Goring: This can occur in the rodeo settling.
  • Interference: This can occur during transportation.   For example, Animals on roads causing drivers to swerve or stop.
  • Lifting: Certain Job tasks involve the lifting of both live and dead animals
  • Mechanical Interference:  Animals getting into machinery causing dysfunction. For example, Birds getting sucked into jet turbines.
  • Scratches: Scratches from cats can cause disease.

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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