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Chula Vista California Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Five things you didn't know about Uber accidents

When was the last time you used a ride sharing service? Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft provide you with a safe ride home after a night out or a more convenient option than trying to find parking downtown. Chances are high that you’ve used one of these services at least once in your life.

We’re beginning to learn more about the societal impacts of ride sharing companies like Uber, who launched back in 2010. While ride sharing services provide many benefits, they are not impervious to things like car accidents. Here are five things you didn’t know about Uber accidents:

Workers' compensation for first reponders exposed to fentanyl

First responders in California and elsewhere face severe consequences due to exposure to opioids such as fentanyl. Although they are covered by the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance system, the risks could be life-threatening. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says emergency workers could inhale aerosols or powders, ingest them or they could come in contact with mucous membranes, particularly involving the eyes.

Opioids can also enter their bodies through broken skin, often caused by needlestick injuries. Authorities say the potency of fentanyl is as much as 50 times higher than heroin, and exposure can rapidly cause respiratory depression that could be fatal. Opioids are divided into synthetic and prescription drugs, and statistics show that the number of deaths caused by synthetic opioids far exceeds those caused by prescription drugs.

Personal injury risks in construction zones

Following the recent National Work Zone Awareness week, authorities in California likely hope that this program will bring about safer work zones -- for both vehicle operators and construction workers. Reportedly, the average number of lives lost in construction zones nationwide each year exceeded 700. Statistics show that commercial motor vehicles are involved in a significant percentage work zone accidents that result in personal injury or worse.

Safety authorities urge automobile drivers to avoid construction zones when possible or take additional care when travelling through such zones. This applies especially when they share the restricted roadways in construction zones with commercial trucks, 18-wheelers, buses and other large vehicles. Staying alert and heeding the posted warning signs about speed limits, lane changes and additional information can go a long way in avoiding accidents.

Stagehand's death might bring workers' compensation claim

During the preparation of the grounds at the Empire Polo Club in Indio in the week leading up to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, a tragic workplace accident claimed the life of a stagehand. Although his family will be eligible for financial assistance with the funeral and burial costs through the California workers' compensation system, nothing can ever make up for a loved one's death. The deceased worker was a 49-year-old San Diego man.

Reportedly, the man was a member of the crew since the festival was established 20 years ago, and he was the lead rigger before his death. Indio police, CalFire and the county fire department responded after receiving a call at about 9:30. Sadly, the rigger succumbed to his injuries before he could be transported to a medical facility.

Physical contact with patients endangers psychiatric workers

Physical contact with patients endangers psychiatric workers

Injuries can happen in any profession, but few occupations are at greater risk for experiencing assault than workers in psychiatric hospitals. Violence was the leading cause of injuries among psychiatric and substance abuse hospital workers in 2015. More than one-half of these violent incidents were intentionally committed by another person. These workers perform important but hazardous work during each shift.

Dog attacks to workers can lead to personal injury lawsuits

The ASPCA says almost half of households nationwide, including California, have one or more dogs as pets -- an estimated 70 to 80 million dogs across all states. These numbers increase the chances of package deliverers, cable installers, meter readers, police officers and postal carriers being victims of dog attacks. While some such attacks lead to no more than minor personal injury, dog attacks could be deadly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risks of infections from dog bites are caused by the presence of bacteria in the mouths of dogs. The organization says the number of bacteria types that could be present in the mouths and saliva of dogs can exceed 60, most of which can cause infections. While rabies is likely the best-known disease caused by dog bites, bacteria causing MRSA, Pasteurella and Tetanus can also be present.

Understanding take-home toxic exposure

Depending on your California job description and where you work, you may handle toxic materials every day. In all likelihood, you already know what preventative measures you should take to minimize your risk of toxic exposure, but are you aware that you could expose your family to these risks, too? Unfortunately, you could. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, take-home toxic exposure poses a major problem throughout America.

If you have never heard the term “take-home toxic exposure” before, it means that the toxins with which you come into contact every day at work could embed themselves in your clothing and shoes, thereby following you home and potentially harming your family members.

Most common injuries cited on workers' compensation claims

California workers in all industries will be aware of the many safety hazards they face every day. While each job might have unique dangers, safety authorities say there are a few basic hazards that threaten employees in all work environments. These are hazards that cause millions of non-fatal injuries nationwide each year, giving rise to workers' compensation benefits claims.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists slip and trip accidents as a significant threat that causes multiple injuries from minor to catastrophic. Spills that are not cleaned up immediately and random objects or debris in walkways are named as primary causes of these accidents. Electrical hazards also exist in all workplaces, and employers must ensure frayed wires, shorting sockets and other electrocution threats are addressed.

Stunt-related personal injury accidents raise concern

Several stunt-related accidents in recent times have raised the concern of safety officials. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has launched an investigation into one such an accident that caused a catastrophic personal injury to one of the showrunners on set. A stunt that went wrong caused the amputation of the victim's lower leg.

Reportedly, the accident happened when a stunt driver lost control of the car he was driving during the filming of "L.A's Finest." The vehicle smashed into a cargo crate, which was in turn forced into the video village tent from where the two showrunners were watching the stunt scene on monitors. One showrunner's leg became pinned, causing severe injuries. Although doctors fought to save his leg, it could not be saved.

Workers' compensation death benefits cannot ease father's grief

A California father of an electrician assistant says the fact that his deceased son's employer received a fine of almost $40,000 does not provide him comfort because the incident that caused his son's death should never have happened. He might feel the same way about the workers' compensation death benefits for which the surviving family members might be eligible. The man says the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is glossing over his son's workplace death without providing answers about why the tragedy happened.

Cal/OSHA issued the city of Modesto four citations along with the fine. An appeal by the city was put on hold while the Bureau of Investigations is conducting a second investigation. If investigators find any proof of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the employer, the case will be turned over to the court.

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