animated judge


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.

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.


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