CALFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL OFFICERS SERIOUSLY INJURED: INJURED WORKERS IN THE NEWS, # 34

A horrendous accident happened when an alleged drunk driver struck a parked California Highway Patrol aka CHP Squad Vehicle on the freeway.  It is reported that the driver was traveling 95 miles per hour upon impact and that the cruiser. The police car erupted into flames.

The Officers were rushed to the hospital.  One is with major injuries and the two others with moderate.  One Officer was reported to have a neck brace on.  It was reported that one Officer was dragged out the burning vehicle.  Dailymail.com

Taking these facts, a hypothetical analysis of this incident will be done with an assumption that one of the Officers sustained burn injuries

Initially, What Benefits Will These Officers Receive?

California Highway Patrol Officers will initially receive a form of salary continuation benefits.  Once salary continuation benefits have been paid, total temporary disability benefits will be picked up and paid at the “state rate,” The “state rate” is a term used for the regular rate mandated for claims.

 Since The Officers Were In the Same Accident, Will Each Officer Get The Same Benefits?

 No. While the California Highway Patrol Officers were in the same accident, they will all receive different benefits.  Workers’ Compensation Benefits are based upon each individual’s injuries, their age, and their needs.

Assuming one of the Officers had severe burns, total temporary disability benefits can extended out to “240 compensable weeks within a period of five years from the date of the injury.” Labor Code Section 4656(a).   This is opposed to other Officers who most likely do not have other 4656 exceptions apply.  They would be eligible for a total of 104 weeks of temporary disability benefits.

What About Permanent Disability?

For permanent disability, each Officer will be assessed upon their body parts injured and their impairments.   Likewise, they will be assessed differently based upon their age.  Older officers will have a higher rating than younger officers irrespective that the injury happened on the same date. It is possible that the Officers may sustain the exact injury and impairment and get different ratings. This would be caused by the age adjustment in the rating.  The only item in the rating that the officers will share is that they will be assigned the same occupational group for their rating.

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.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S HELICOPTER CRASH: INJURED WORKERS’ IN THE NEWS, #23

Five Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies and one Civilian were injured when a department helicopter crashed.  The vehicle was in flight to a vehicle collision scene.  It reported that the injuries were not life threatening.  In the copter, there were deputies including the pilot, copilot, crew chief and two paramedics. Villanueva [the Sheriff] said the sixth person on board was a UCLA doctor doing a ride-along.  Sbsun.com

The fact pattern raises issues of who were employees  at the time of the accident. The fact pattern also addresses the issue of different workers’ compensation benefits for different classes of employees.

Who Was An Employee In This Accident?

From the facts, it is clear that the Los Angeles County Deputies and Paramedics would be considered employees for the purposes of the accident.  The question would be as to whether the UCLA doctor would be considered an employee. The facts indicate that he was doing a ride-along.  Further, it would appear that the UCLA doctor was an employee of UCLA and not Los Angeles County. Thus, his employment, for the purposes of the accident, would be considered UCLA.

The next question would be whether this ride-along would be considered part of the UCLA doctor’s employment.  Did the ride along arise out of and was it in the course and scope of employment? Was there a “nexus?”

A factual determination should be made as to whether the injury arise out of and was in the course and scope of employment. .  Questions such as “whether the ride along had a connection to his employment?” would be of assistance.   Did his department recommend that he do the ride along?  Was the ride along something that he did to assist him in doing their job a doctor at UCLA?  For example, “was the doctor an emergency room doctor?” Alternatively, was this something the doctor did completely independent of his job? As such, there are many facts that must be ascertained to make a decision.  Ultimately the determination would likely be made at the trial level by a Judge. .

For the Employees How Are They Going to Be Paid?

In the facts, there are Deputys and Paramedics involved.  Desputys are covered under Labor Code 4850 for salary continuation in lieu  of total temporary disability benefits.  Paramedics, howeveer, may not be covered under LC 4850.  They may have to look towards their Memorandum of Understanding to determine if they have special temporary disability benefits.

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.

 

 

 

 

https://www.sbsun.com/2022/03/19/la-county-sheriffs-helicopter-crashes-in-mountains-above-san-dimas-5-hospitalized/

MUSEUM WORKERS STABBED BY CUSTOMER: INJURED WORKERS IN THE NEWS, #21

Museum Workers at the New York Museum of Modern Art were viciously attacked by a Customer.  The customer leaped over a counter and proceeded to stab two  24 year old employees with a knife.  The individual believed to have stabbed the individuals had an address which provided housing for homeless and those living with hiv or aids. dailymail.com

From the museum video, it would appear that each worker was stabbed with the same knife.

This incident raises the issue of blood borne diseases.  The story reports that the attacker lived at a facility that is dedicated to people with human immunodeficiency virus.

Why Do These Facts Matter?

Blood Borne Diseases are included to be claimed within California Workers’ Compensation. Thus, treatment and compensation for these conditions contracted industrially are to be provided.  In museum stabbings,  it would appear medically indicated that both of these workers be treated for stab wounds as well as receive work-ups for any blood borne illnesses.   Should a blood borne disease be caused by the stabbing, i,e, hiv or hepatitis, the individual would be able to make a claim for the injury.

A Blood Borne Disease Designation, in Workers’ Compensation,  can afford additional benefits to Injured Workers in the form of  total temporary disability benefits.  Per LC 4656, an Applicant is entitled to up to 240 week during a period from five years from the date of injury for cases of acute and chronic hepatitis b, acute and chronic hepatitis, and human immunodeficiency virus, hiv. This is in contrast with 104 week limitation for most claims.

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.

THE WORST WORK INJURY EVER? INJURED WORKER IN THE NEWS, #20

A Contract Worker was killed at a landfill in Florida in perhaps the most horrible way possible.

While he was using a Porta Potty, a bulldozer ran the portable bathroom and killed his co-worker.

The Bulldozer Operator and the Deceased Employee worked for the same company.   It is reported that the driver ‘… immediately exited the bulldozer and ran towards the porta potty to see if anyone was inside of it,’ the sheriff’s office spokesperson said. ‘At that time, he observed Henderson unresponsive inside the porta potty.’ dailymail.com

This tragic fact pattern will be discussed within California Law.  This fact pattern contains many issues as to whether a worker can sustain a work injury while using the facilities.  Further, is it possible for someone to be “at fault” and pursue a claim.

If A Worker Is On A Restroom Break, Are They Protected Under Workers’ Compensation?

California Workers’ Compensation Law provides for the “personal comfort doctrine.”  The “personal comfort doctrine” provides generally that compensation extends to injuries suffered while the employee is engaged briefly and during work hours in a personal act which is necessary or helpful to his comfort or convenience. (2 Hanna, op. cit., supra, § 9.03[2][a], pp. 9–3—9–31.) The personal comfort doctrine is not strictly limited to injuries suffered on the employer’s premises. ( Cf. State Comp. Ins. Fund v. Workmen’s Comp. App. Bd. (Cardoza) (1967) 67 Cal. 2d 925 [32 Cal. Comp. Cases 525, 64 Cal. Rptr. 323, 434 P.2d 619] Fremont Indemnity Co. v. Workers Comp. Appeals Bd. (1977) 69 Cal. App. 3d 170 [42 Cal. Comp. Cases 297, 137 Cal. Rptr. 847].) [**8]  Its limit is reached when the acts “are found to be departures effecting a temporary abandonment of employment. …” ( Id., at p. 928.) Olson Farms, Inc. v. Workers Compensation Appeals Bd. of California & Suzanne Shawnego, 51 Cal. Comp. Cases 107 (Cal. App. 3d Dist. March 05, 1986)

Thus, the Contract Worker would be covered when he used the restroom since he was engaged in a personal act which was for his comfort.  His family would be able to pursue a Death Benefit Dependency Claim.

What About The Bulldozer Operator Who Cause the Accident, Does He Have A Claim?

With this fact pattern and given the “no fault” nature of workers’ compensation, the Bulldozer Operator, if he sustained an emotional injury as a result of killing his co-worker, could file a claim.  It would appear that the incident may have psychiatrically traumatizing,

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.

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