Ironworking is an essential part of the construction industry across the United States. Whenever a new building is constructed, the project typically begins with the placement of the internal steel frame of the structure, which is welded into place so the insulation, electrical systems, and finished surfaces can then be applied. Ironworkers also manufacture the steel beams and framing materials used in construction, which is also inherently dangerous work in many ways.
If you or a family member recently suffered an injury while performing your job duties in the ironworking industry, you need a work injury attorney familiar with the unique aspects of this line of work and the workers’ compensation laws of the state. The Mitchell Law Corporation has successfully helped many injured workers with all types of work injury claims, including those pertaining to ironworking. Our firm can guide you through the workers’ compensation claim filing process and assist you in maximizing your recovery as much as the law allows.
Under California’s workers’ compensation statutes, an injury qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits as long as the victim sustained the injury while performing their job duties. A few of the most commonly reported work-related injuries among ironworkers include:
These are just a few examples of the types of injuries ironworkers regularly sustain across the United States. It’s possible for a work-related accident to result in multiple injuries, and the victim may not only require extensive medical treatment but also face economic strain from the inability to work during their recovery.
Proving fault is not necessary for many work injury claims. It’s possible for an ironworker to have caused their own injury and still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. There are some instances, however, in which fault becomes a critical detail of a case. For example, if the ironworker was working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it could disqualify them from workers’ compensation benefits. If someone outside of their work caused their injury through negligence or intentional misconduct, it could form grounds for them to pursue additional legal recourse against the at-fault party outside of the workers’ compensation system.
There are many possible causes of ironworking injuries in Southern California, and your workers’ compensation attorney can help determine if and how fault could play a role in your recovery. Construction accidents of any kind can be extremely damaging, and you need an attorney you can trust to have the greatest chance of success with all the recovery efforts you pursue following your injury.
Almost every private employer is required by state law to have workers’ compensation insurance, and they are required to provide injured workers with the forms needed to file their claims for benefits after suffering work-related injuries. If you are injured when you are working, you should report the injury to your supervisor immediately and seek medical attention. Your employer must make an incident report that you will need later and give you the forms needed for your workers’ compensation claim.
Part of the workers’ compensation claim filing process is a medical examination. Most insurance carriers require claimants to visit local physicians they have approved to conduct these examinations, and a workers’ compensation doctor may need to assign you a disability rating for you to proceed with your claim. This rating is a numerical indication of the severity of your injury and how much long-term damage you have sustained. The higher your rating, the more you can receive in benefits and the longer your benefits will last. If you do not believe the first doctor you visited has fairly assessed your condition, an attorney can help arrange for a second opinion.
Once you have completed all necessary claim forms and obtained the medical report with your disability rating, you are ready to submit your claim to your employer’s insurance company. Your Southern California ironworker injury attorney can help you navigate the claim filing process, and they will be ready to address any disputes the insurance company might raise against your claim. The insurance company is legally required to review the claim, and it may contact you and/or your employer to answer specific questions before it delivers its answer. If your claim is approved, you will receive your determination of benefits that will outline the compensation the insurance company will provide.
An injured worker can typically expect their employer’s insurance company to pay for all their medical expenses related to a workplace injury. This includes the cost of ongoing rehabilitative care if the worker needs ongoing treatment to fully recover. Your ironworker injury attorney can ensure you receive full compensation for all the medical expenses you face for the treatment of your injury and management of your symptoms.
The second form of benefits you can receive from your claim is disability compensation, paid weekly during the time you cannot work after your injury. This is intended to offset the economic impact of your inability to work during recovery. It’s possible for these disability benefits to be paid on a partial or total basis, depending on the claimant’s level of disability.
If you are able to work after your injury but cannot earn the same amount of income as you did previously, you are likely to qualify for partial disability benefits. You will need to report your weekly earnings to the insurance carrier, and they will adjust each payment as necessary. These payments will continue until you are able to return to your job at full earning capacity. If you cannot work at all while you recover, you will receive temporary total disability benefits. The average worker in the state can expect to receive about two-thirds of their average weekly pay with each weekly benefits payment.
Total disability benefits typically continue for up to 104 weeks, but it is possible for an injured worker to qualify for an extension if they have not recovered enough to return to work or accept lower-paying alternative work at the end of this period. Permanent disability benefits are possible but only if a claimant has suffered a catastrophic injury from which they will never fully recover.
Workers’ compensation insurance generally protects employers from any civil liability for their injured workers’ damages. This means you cannot sue your employer for a work-related injury unless they do not have workers’ compensation insurance. Another possible exception to this rule would be if your employer compelled you to perform a task outside your usual job responsibilities that had virtual certainty to result in harm.
You could have grounds to file a personal injury claim against a third party if someone outside of your workplace directly injured you. This could be a subcontractor, a driver, or anyone else who is not employed by your employer. In this situation, you could file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits and then pursue a third-party claim for personal injury against the liable third party. Success with this claim could enable you to recover recompense for the losses not covered by workers’ compensation insurance, such as lost income not provided by your disability benefits, as well as pain and suffering compensation.
An injured ironworker in Southern California has a limited time in which to file their workers’ compensation claim, and the economic effects of any work-related injury can compound into a difficult financial situation very quickly. You need legal counsel you can trust to reach the optimal outcome for your recovery, especially if you have sustained a life-changing injury that impairs your ability to work and earn income. The Mitchell Law Corporation has the skills and experience you need on your side to approach this difficult process with confidence and peace of mind. Contact our firm today to learn more about the legal services we offer and how we can help you recover more fully from your recent ironworking injury.