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Los Angeles Work Accident Lawyer

Mistakes happen in the workplace, just as they do in other parts of life. But when an avoidable mistake in the workplace causes death or a lifelong disability, that explanation just isn’t enough. State and federal laws strictly regulate workplace safety, and workplaces should have their own safety rules and procedures. But all too often, managers and owners interested in saving a few dollars ignore those rules or find ways around them. Other times, workers just don’t follow them, out of carelessness or bad communication.  The Los Angeles work injury attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle, LLP hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

Workplace accidents happen, especially in a large, populated place like Los Angeles County.  In fact, if Los Angeles county was it’s own nation, it would have the 19th largest economy in the world.  With an economy of that size, Los Angeles is home to 244,000 businesses and employs a lot of workers.

Some of the largest employers in Los Angeles County include:

County of Los Angeles – 95,700 employees
Los Angeles Unified School District – 73,000 Employees
Kaiser Permanente – 36,500 Employees
Target Corp. – 14,200 Employees
Kroger Co. (Ralphs, Food 4 Less) – 13,200 Employees
Boeing Co. – 11,200 Employees
Walt Disney Co. – 10,500 Employees
Edison International – 8,900 Employees
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. – 8,000 Employees

Reported Work Injuries in California

In 2014, employers reported more than 460,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and 344 fatal injuries in California. The most common causes of fatal work-related injuries were transportation incidents, violence by persons or animals, falls and slips, contact with objects/equipment, and exposure to harmful substances. The service industry reported the most nonfatal workplace injuries in California, followed by the reincorporation industry and office/administrative support. Overexertion was the most common cause of nonfatal injuries in the private sector, followed by contact with objects or equipment.

Common Workplace Injuries from Work Accidents in Los Angeles

Some of the most common serious injuries from workplace or construction site accidents include:

  • Falls and impacts from falling objects
  • Automobile and equipment accidents
  • Body parts caught in heavy machinery
  • Exposure to toxic substances, including long-term exposure that builds up as well as sudden and severe exposure
  • Explosions and fires
  • Electrocution
  • Long-term ergonomic damage
  • Violent crime

These on-the-job work injuries can kill their victims or leave them with amputations, chronic pain, multiple fractures, spinal injuries or brain damage. These are catastrophic injuries that rob victims of essential parts of their lives — often including their careers. Even when workers’ compensation insurance works the way it should, these injuries can be extremely expensive to treat and live with. When there’s no workers’ compensation or insurers don’t play fair, it just adds insult to literal injury. If you were injured at work through no fault of your own, you may file a workplace accident lawsuit to get compensation for costs caused by the accident as well as your injury, pain and suffering, any permanent disability and more.

How long do I have to file a workers compensation case in California?

According to the current laws of the state of California, a person that suffered an injury at their workplace has up to one year to file the worker injury claim. This time limit countdown starts on the actual date of the injury at the workplace. It is recommended to not wait this long to file your claim. You should file your workers comp claim as soon as possible. Our experienced Los Angeles workers compensation attorneys can walk you through the whole process!

In order to get started with your workers comp paperwork, you need to fill out the following items:

– DWC-1 claim form. You can get this here.
– Application for Adjudication of Claim. Download this here.
– Declaration Pursuant to Labor Code 4906(g). You can get this here.
– Document Cover Sheet and Document Separator Sheets. Get these here and here.

Los Angeles Workplace Injury Case Experience

Panish Shea & Boyle’s experience with workplace injuries includes Griggs v. Caterpillar, et al., in which partner Brian Panish won a $58 million verdict for a construction worker who was burned over 75% of his body when a defective piece of equipment he was operating caught fire. In another case, Beltran v. Chadwick Helmuth, partner Kevin Boyle helped win $13.55 million for two Army Chief Warrant Officers who sustained disabling spinal injuries when a defective helicopter they were maintaining crashed from 800 feet. In Doe v. Oil Refinery, the firm won a $6.2 million settlement for workers caught under a collapsing refinery roof.

Panish Shea & Boyle Los Angeles work injury attorneys are nationally recognized for excellence in consumer protection and personal injury law. Our attorneys have won several record-setting verdicts and settlements in addition to those listed above, including the largest jury verdict in U.S. history in Anderson v. General Motors. Our partners frequently take leadership roles in professional organizations and in complex national litigation. Partners have been repeatedly awarded or nominated for honors such as Rising Stars or Most Influential Attorneys, and they frequently write and speak to other attorneys about good trial practice or legal specialties.

Work Accident Verdicts & Settlements

  1. Griggs v. Caterpillar, et al. $58,137,361Joseph B. Griggs sued West-Pac Industries after the Catepillar scraper he was operating burst into flames resulting in third-degree burns over 75% of his body. Attorney Brian Panish argued that the fire was due to a defective mechanical product in the hydraulic system of the construction vehicle. A jury agreed, awarding Griggs $58,137,361.

How to File a Workers Compensation Claim in LA

The California Workers’ Compensation Program gives monetary benefits to workers who sustain injuries on the job or to the surviving family members of workers who die on the job. The program provides benefits without the injured party having to prove anyone’s negligence in causing the accident. The worker must simply prove an injury or illness exists and that he or she obtained it while performing job-related tasks. Here’s how to file a workers’ comp claim:

  1. Report to your employer. Report the accident to your employer, and seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. There may be a specific doctor you must see under workers’ compensation rules. Never wait longer than 30 days to report the accident.
  2. File the proper documents. In most cases, your employer can file your workers’ compensation claim for you. If not, you can download the forms online and submit them yourself. You will need to file a DWC-1 claim form and potentially other documents as well.
  3. Wait for benefits. You have five years from the date of injury to file your claim, or one year from the date of a loved one’s death. The timeline may vary depending on your situation. The sooner you file, the sooner you can receive your benefits. The Workers’ Compensation Commission will mail you a check if it approves your claim.

Workers’ comp benefits will completely cover medical expenses, about three-fourths of lost wages, and disability costs. When you file for workers’ compensation benefits, you automatically surrender your right to sue your employer. It’s a tradeoff that employees take for guaranteed injury coverage. Discuss the potential of a personal injury claim with an attorney before you file for workers’ comp in California. A PI claim could result in much greater compensation, or you could be eligible for both courses of action.

Consult A Seasoned Los Angeles Work Accident Attorney for Your Case

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle, LLP will work to get maximum compensation for your workers comp case. Contact them today for a free consultation in Los Angeles here (310) 477-1700 or toll-free at 877-800-1700 or fill out the form here on our website.

California Work Injury Lawyer Disclaimer: The work accident or other legal information presented on this site should not be considered formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter. Please note that you are not considered a client until you have signed a retainer agreement and your case has been accepted by us.


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