Every year, thousands of people in California are injured in workplace accidents. Sometimes it’s a minor accident, like a trip or a fall. But in serious cases, a workplace accident could lead to long-term or permanent disability. Here’s what employees need to know about workplace injuries.
What are some causes of workplace injuries?
Workplace injuries go well beyond slipping on a puddle or falling off a ladder. Many injuries involve chemicals, bodily fluids and bloodborne pathogens that can cause life-threatening illnesses. While health care workers have the highest risk of exposure, anyone can be exposed to a bloodborne pathogen if a customer or employee spills blood after an injury. In the case of a virus, multiple people could be infected before the ailment is contained.
Some workplace accidents can also have a chain-reaction effect that leads to other injuries. For example, if one employee falls off a ladder while carrying a jug of harmful chemicals, he or she could injure him or herself in the fall and spill the chemicals on another employee. Someone could also infect another person with a disease if he or she has certain pathogens in his or her blood.
Even homicides can happen in the workplace. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 700 workplace homicides take place every year. An attacker may target one employee specifically or kill multiple individuals in a seemingly random attack.
What can you do if you’ve sustained a serious injury?
When you’ve been injured on the job, it may seem safe to assume that your employer’s insurance company will pay out your workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, some insurance companies will go to great lengths to avoid paying out a claim. They may reject your claim or offer a payment that’s lower than what you deserve. An attorney could help you get the maximum benefits.