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Coachella Valley Personal Injury Law Blog

Injured workers should be familiar with workers' compensation

Workers who have been injured at work should be familiar with their workers' compensation rights and protections. Workers' compensation benefits in Southern California are an important protection against the uncertainty a worker may face following a workplace injury which leaves them unable to work and earn a livelihood while facing mounting medical bills to treat the workplace injury or illness they are suffering from.

There is an important process in place to seek workers' compensation benefits so it can be vital for injured workers and their families to be familiar with this process if they have suffered a workplace injury or illness and to understand how to seek the benefits they need. To begin with, it is important for the injured worker to notify their employer of the workplace accident, injury or illness they have suffered. Injured workers should also seek medical treatment for their injuries or illness suffered at work.

Pedestrian critically injured in California by distracted driver

This month is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, highlighting the dangers and risks of distracted driving. Recently, a pedestrian accident in Northern California left a victim critically injured and authorities blamed distracted driving for the pedestrian accident. It was reported that the distracted driver did not see the pedestrian victim until after they had already hit them.

The victim of the accident was airlifted to a local hospital and was listed in critical condition following the auto-pedestrian accident. According to authorities, a preliminary investigation of the pedestrian accident revealed that the driver did not see the pedestrian victim as she was crossing the street because the driver was looking at his cell phone for navigation and failed to look up. Authorities noted they will forward the case to the local district attorney's office and that charges may be filed against the driver.

Southern California foundry fined followed workplace accident

When a workplace accident has resulted in harm to an injured worker, it is vital for them to be familiar with workers' compensation options available to protect them. A foundry in Southern California was recently fined greater than $280,000 for workplace safety violations after an accident resulting in the amputation of an employee's legs. As a result of the workplace accident, both of the employee's legs had to be amputated to free him from the conveyor where he was trapped.

Cal/OSHA reported that the fine the foundry received was the result of an incident last summer that occurred when two workers were cleaning a 38-feet auger screw conveyer of an industrial air filtration machine. According to officials, workers failed to de-energize the machine during cleaning. Another employee 45 feet away turned the machine on to perform a test and the giant screw pulled a man into the conveyor. A representative from Cal/OSHA noted that employers must ensure equipment is locked out prior to workers performing maintenance.

Truck driver fatigue can lead to truck accidents

Truck accidents can result in a variety of different types of damage for victims and their families. During 2016, there were approximately 15,000 collisions between large truck and other vehicles. One of those accidents in the Palm Springs area near Indio resulted in a truck driver experiencing truck driver fatigue being charged criminally in association with the fatal accident. Accidents involving truck driver fatigue underscore the importance of complying with mandatory rest breaks.

Both federal law and California law requires mandatory rest breaks, while California laws are more stringent than the federal requirements. Truck drivers in California must take a 30-minute break during their first five hours of driving and another 30-minute break after the next five hours of driving. Federal law requires a 30-minute rest break during the first eight hours of driving, as well as additional requirements. Drivers must not drive at all during the rest break.

California trucking regulations aim to reduce truck accidents

While some people in Indio do not mind driving on the interstate, others may find the experience to be nerve-wracking. For example, congested traffic due to construction or an accident can make people late to their destination. People driving on interstates may encounter people weaving through lanes of traffic, people driving dangerously fast or people tailgating. These incidents are made all the more serious when they involve a semi-truck. This is because, due to the size and weight of a semi-truck compared to a standard motor vehicle, truck accidents can be highly dangerous affairs. For this reason, truckers are required to follow regulations set by the state, in an effort to prevent truck accidents.

Under the California Vehicle Code, large trucks on highways cannot go faster than 55 miles per hour. In addition, in certain circumstances, large trucks cannot drive in the left-hand lane of the interstate. This is because that lane is meant to allow motorists to pass other motorists. In addition, crashes can occur when a motorist must unexpectedly change lanes or reduce their speed.

What types benefits are offered through workers' compensation?

When a person in California is injured or made ill while on the job, their primary concern may be regaining their health, so they can go back to work. Unfortunately, a workplace injury can cause a person to incur numerous expense. This is significant, as a person who was injured or made ill through no fault of their own should not have to face the additional stressors of being unable to pay their bills or even afford their basic living expenses.

Fortunately, a worker injured or made ill on the job can seek workers' compensation benefits. There isa number ofdifferent types of benefits that may be pursued. One type of benefit is medical care, which the worker's employer pays for. This may include compensation for physician's appointments, tests, medication, equipment and the cost of travel that is reasonably necessary for the worker to recover from their ailment.

Federal rules aim to prevent truck driver fatigue

While no one can deny that the use of semi-trucks is important to many businesses in California, it still isn't always easy to share the road with them. Semi-trucks are incredibly large and heavy, and they take special training to operate. When it comes to an accident between 80,000 pound semi-truck and a standard 2,000 pound automobile, the automobile stands no chance.

And, unfortunately, semi-truck drivers do not always operate their vehicles responsibly. Encouraged by their employers to make as many deliveries as quickly as possible, they may try to spend as many hours on the road as possible, leading to drowsy driving.

What is a motorist's duty to pedestrians in a crosswalk?

While the rest of the country is stuck in the grasp of winter's bitter cold, people in Indio are fortunate that the mild weather in their area allows them to enjoy going outdoors on a regular basis. For some people, this may be as simple as a daily walk. Whether they are doing it for exercise or as a cheaper and environmentally-friendly alternative to driving, pedestrians in California can benefit greatly from walking.

However, taking a walk is not always a safe endeavor. Pedestrians who are struck by a car are often severely injured, or may even die. After all, pedestrians to not have crumple zones, seat belts or airbags to protect them in the event of a crash. It is simply them versus an automobile weighing thousands of pounds.

Four people lose their lives in wrong-way car accident

Freeways can be dangerous places, due to the number of vehicles on the roadway and the fast speeds at which they travel. Unfortunately, no matter how careful a person drives, he or she still could be involved in a fatal accident on a California freeway.

Four individuals recently lost their lives in an auto accident caused by a person driving the wrong way on the 210 Freeway. According to police, a man drove due west in the eastbound lanes of traffic. His vehicle struck a second vehicle head-on. The man was the only occupant of his vehicle. The vehicle he struck had three women in it.

California sees decline in workplace injuries, illnesses

California is a state of constant growth and opportunity. Buildings, factories and homes are erected at an extraordinary rate in the Golden State's fastest growing cities, and factories and manufacturing plants are pumping out vast quantities of products that will end up in the stream of interstate commerce. Of course, construction and industrial occupations present certain dangers, and every year workers in these industries are injured on the job. However, Californians may be glad to hear that according to the Department of Industrial Relations, the rate of non-fatal injuries or illnesses workers are suffering on-the-job has gone down in 2016 to 3.7 out of every 100 full-time workers. This is a decrease from the six out of 100 workers made injured or ill in 2002.

In 2016 in California approximately 466,600 workers were injured or made ill on-the-job. Of these, nearly 80 percent took place in the private industry while over 20 percent took place in the government sector. According to the Department of Industrial Relations, the jobs that saw the most days away from work last year were those in building/grounds cleaning and maintenance. After that were jobs wherein workers were repairing, maintaining or installing items, and following that, jobs in the construction industry.

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