Workers who suffer injuries on the job can experience long-lasting complications. This may include severe physical pain, permanent disability, and an inability to return to work, especially if the employee sustains severe, life-long injuries such as spinal cord damage. Even after the injury physically heals, emotional trauma and financial difficulties can still linger.
If you are a California employee who sustains an injury while performing your work duties, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries. You can claim funds for medical expenses, wage replacement, and other losses by filing a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit.
Common Injuries in Workplace Accidents
Thousands of injuries occur in American workplaces each year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), private industry employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2019. Workers in manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, and transportation and warehousing sustained the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses during that year.
The most common injuries sustained by these employees include the following.
- Sprains, strains, and tears
- Soreness and pain
- Bruises and contusions
- Cuts, lacerations, and punctures
Less common workplace injuries include more severe forms of damage, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain damage, burns, and internal bleeding and organ injury.
The Long-Term Effects of Workplace Injuries
Depending on the nature of his or her injury, a California employee can suffer long-term damage after an accident. The employee may develop a permanent disability that prevents him or her from performing his or her job or returning to work at all. He or she may require long-term medical care, disability accommodations, physical therapy, and live-in care, depending on the nature of the injury. These factors can impact an employee’s financial well-being; this treatment can be expensive and his or her insurance may not cover the costs.
In addition, severe workplace injuries can result in serious pain and suffering. Spinal cord damage can result in paralysis, while traumatic brain injuries may result in a loss of certain functions. Broken bones can take months to heal and require corrective treatment. Any and all workplace injuries can cause severe pain, and in some cases, this pain may turn chronic and last for a very long time. As a result of his or her injuries, the employee can develop emotional trauma and experience a loss of quality of life.
Legal Options for Injured California Employees
If you sustain an injury in a California workplace, you can collect compensation for your injuries through multiple avenues. These legal options can help you recover from the long-term effects of your injury and pay for your ongoing care costs.
- Workers’ compensation claims: If you sustain an injury while on the job, you may receive funds for medical expenses and wage replacement through a workers’ compensation claim. You can recover funds regardless of fault; you will need to prove you suffered the injury while on the job, however.
- Employer lawsuits: If you believe your employer’s negligent actions caused your injury, you can file a lawsuit against him or her for your economic and non-economic damages. Filing a workers’ comp claim waives your right to file a lawsuit, so speak to your attorney about your best options before making a decision.
- Third-party lawsuits: If you believe another entity is responsible for your accident, such as the manufacturer of a defective piece of machinery or a subcontractor, you can file a lawsuit against this entity in California civil court.
Understanding what to do after a workplace accident can be difficult, but a Bakersfield workplace injuries attorney can help. Immediately after receiving treatment for your injuries, contact your lawyer to discuss your next steps.