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Los Angeles Employer Workers' Compensation Law Blog

FedEx may need employer defense after fatal workplace accident

The larger a company becomes the more employees it will eventually need in order to continue growing and operating. This means a higher probability of a workplace accident occurring in California. FedEx is one of these large international corporations, and it may now require an employer defense after a recent fatal workplace accident.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the company has faced this type of problem. Including the recent incident, the company has been investigated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration three times over the last five years in relation to deaths resulting from workplace accidents. The company is legally required to report any injuries and deaths to OSHA. FedEx has faced several fines related to workplace safety violations in the past.

Employee's fall off catwalk causes injured worker claim

Safety should be a top concern for an employer in any type of work site. This means taking all the necessary precautions to ensure employees are working in a safe workplace in California. However, not every single accident can be prevented despite an employer's best efforts. Unfortunately, this is what one employer is now finding out after being sued in an injured worker claim.

The incident occurred in late March when a man was working for chicken products company Pilgrim's Pride Corporation. The man filed a lawsuit against the corporation in mid-November and is alleging negligence. The lawsuit claims that the employer did not have a proper safety infrastructure, which could have prevented the man from being injured.

Uninsured employers are taking significant risks

Every California business that has employees is required to carry workers' compensation insurance. Uninsured employers are taking significant risks that include the possibility of criminal prosecution. Below are some of the other consequences that employers face when they fail to carry this insurance designed to provide benefits for injured employees.

An employer that does not carry workers' compensation insurance could face a lawsuit from an injured employee. Furthermore, the business may be forced to close due to this lack of insurance. The California Labor Commission may impose hefty fines on the employer. In addition, a company can be held liable for an injured worker's attorney's fees, along with a 10 percent surcharge for a disability claim.

Alleged fraudulent workers' compensation claims lead to arrest

Workers nationwide, including in California, are often the victims of workplace injuries. Knowing that their employers provide workers' compensation insurance that will assist with medical expenses and lost wages may provide some peace of mind. Unfortunately, some employees take advantage of the benefits by filing fraudulent workers' compensation claims.

A woman in another state is facing multiple felony charges related to fraudulent insurance claims. After a joint investigation by her state's insurance fund and the police, it is alleged that she claimed state benefits from August 2010 through November 2015 for disability. During this time she was allegedly also employed in a paid position.

Establishing ongoing employer defense may be beneficial

Regardless of how well California employers manage their workers' compensation programs, sooner or later they will likely become involved in litigation over workers' injuries. Unanticipated claims from former employees or being named as one of many defendants in occupational injury exposure claims may require the employer to hire a professional to handle employer defense. The demands of running a profitable company can be taxing on a business owner, and having to deal with complicated workers' compensation claims may be better left to experienced professionals.

An experienced attorney can take a comprehensive look at the claims rather than denying the presence of safety hazards. Regardless of the allegations, it is not uncommon for some sort of exposure to be found in any workplace activity, and the worker's point of view must also be considered. When claims are initially filed, a lawyer can ensure that it is properly assessed to avoid instances in which seemingly nominal claims develop into much more. If the big picture of the claim is not considered from the outset, an insignificant injury claim can end up as a post-surgery or disability claim.

Workers' compensation employee fraud leads to 6 month sentence

All California workers who suffer workplace injuries are entitled to pursue workers' compensation benefits claims. Unfortunately, employee fraud is prevalent, and it is not uncommon for employees to exaggerate legitimate injuries or make claims for non-existent injuries. Filing fraudulent workers' compensation claims is illegal, and employers have the right to take actions against such conduct.

A 55-year-old man who spent many years working as a counselor with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was recently sentenced for criminal charges including workers' compensation fraud. According to court documents, the man claimed that his 24 years in the prison system and multiple fights and altercations with inmates had caused so much pain that he was unable to walk, sit or sleep without suffering. He convinced doctors that his injuries caused him to be disabled.

Fatal accident may require employer defense

Machinery plays an important part in all sectors of society and industry in California. However, machinery can also become a problem when there is a malfunction or user mistake. This can cause a worker to be injured on the job. It can also result in an injured worker claim and a need for an employer defense.

This is what happened recently in a construction accident. The incident occurred one morning in late October. A 38-year-old construction worker had been working at a construction site at the time of the fatal incident. The work crew had been doing some plumbing work at the site located at a tower's fourth floor.

Unexpected building collapse could result in injured worker claim

Things do not always go as planned. There are infinite numbers of unexpected things that could happen in practically any situation. This is definitely true for the workplace in California. An unexpected accident can easily lead to an injured worker claim and possibly a need for an employer defense.

One construction worker experienced this type of situation in a recent demolition accident. The incident occurred during a demolition project of a building that was being torn down in order to make room for a new luxury boutique hotel. Somehow, the building the construction crew had been working on ended up collapsing.

Prison guard suspected of employee fraud

Being honest and telling the truth is a basic value of society. Many times, this value is reflected in the laws governing society, particularly in the workplace in California. However, when a worker fails to be truthful in a workers' compensation claim, it can be financially damaging to an employer. This is why employers should always be wary of the potential of employee fraud.

This is what happened in a recent case involving a prison guard who claimed he was injured while on the job. The man claimed he was injured while breaking up a fight between prisoners. He ended up filing for total disability benefits via workers' compensation insurance. The man collected a total of $48,000 while he was out on total disability.

Employer defense effective in challenging OSHA citations

Employers are required to follow certain work safety regulations when they hire employees in California. This helps to minimize the risk of an employee being hurt in a workplace accident, which can result in an injured worker claim. However, even when an employer complies with necessary safety measures, an employee can still end up being hurt or even killed in an unfortunate incident that could require employer defense.

This is what one employer found out following a workplace accident that resulted in citations being issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The incident happened in May 2009 when an employee was working with a metal lathe. Somehow while the employee was working with the machinery, a 12-pound metal piece came loose from the machine and ended up striking the employee in the head. This resulted in the death of the worker and also citations issued by OSHA for seven alleged violations.

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