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Common Workplace Injuries Covered by Workers' Compensation in California

In California, workers’ compensation covers a wide range of workplace injuries and illnesses that occur during employment. The state’s workers’ compensation system is intended to protect both employees and employers by providing medical treatment and wage replacement benefits to injured workers while shielding employers from most personal injury lawsuits related to workplace injuries.

According to the National Safety Council Injury Facts, 4,260,000 work-related injuries were medically consulted nationwide last year. When California workers are hurt on the job, they deserve to pursue the benefits the workers’ compensation system provides.

At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, our Santa Barbara workers’ compensation attorneys have protected California workers’ rights since 1956 because we understand that the system is not designed to put the best interests of injured employees first. That is where we come in.

It is vital for our clients to know what injuries are covered under the state’s workers’ compensation system so they understand their legal rights and options to pursue a successful claim.

What are the Most Common Types of Workplace Injuries in California?

The three most common injuries that occur in the workplace include overexertion and bodily reaction injuries, slips, trips, and falls injuries, and contact with objects and equipment injuries.

Overexertion and bodily reaction injuries may include:

  • Non-Impact Injuries

Non-impact injuries result from excessive physical effort directed at an outside source, like lifting, pushing, turning, holding, carrying, or throwing items.

  • Repetitive Motion Injuries

Stress or strain injuries to the body often occur during too many uninterrupted repetitions of a workplace activity or motion or unnatural or awkward movements such as twisting the arm or wrist, overexertion, incorrect posture, or muscle fatigue.

Slips, trips, and falls injuries include the following types of events:

  • Slips and Trips Without Falling

Injuries occur when workers catch themselves from falling due to a slip or trip.

  • Falling on the Same Level

Injuries occur when tripping, slipping, falling while sitting, and falling onto or against objects on the same level.

  • Falling to a Lower Level

Injuries occur when falling from a collapsing structure, through surfaces, and from ladders, roofs, scaffolding, or other structures.

Contact with objects and equipment may include:

  • A moving object strikes a worker.
  • A part of a worker’s body being squeezed, pinched, compressed, or crushed in equipment, between shifting objects, stationary objects, or in a wire or rope.
  • A worker being injured because of friction or pressure between the person and the source of injury.
  • A worker being injured from vibration.
  • A worker being struck, caught, or crushed in a collapsing structure, equipment, or material.
  • A worker striking against an object or equipment, including bumping into, stepping on, kicking, or being pushed or thrown onto an object.

Additional California workplace injuries that occur commonly include, but are not limited to:

  • Muscle Strains and Sprains

Injuries to muscles and ligaments, such as back strains or sprained ankles, are common in various industries.

  • Burn Injuries

Foodservice, manufacturing, and construction workers may suffer burn injuries.

  • Occupational Illnesses

Exposure to harmful substances or conditions in the workplace can lead to occupational illnesses. Examples include respiratory infections, skin disorders, and occupational cancer.

  • Machinery Accidents

Injuries from machinery or equipment accidents are typically covered. This includes injuries caused by malfunctioning equipment or lack of proper safety measures.

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents

Workers’ compensation can cover your injuries if you are injured while driving as part of your job, such as a delivery driver or a sales representative.

  • Construction Site Injuries

Construction workers often face hazardous conditions, including injuries from falls, scaffolding collapses, equipment accidents, or other construction-related incidents.

  • Stress-Related Conditions

In some cases, mental health conditions caused or aggravated by work-related stress or trauma may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Does Workers’ Compensation in California Cover all Workplace Injuries?

It is important to note that not all injuries occurring in the workplace are automatically covered by workers’ compensation in California. To qualify, the injury must typically be work-related, and the injured worker must follow the proper reporting and filing procedures.

If you have been injured at work in California, report the injury to your employer immediately, seek medical care, and consult our workers’ compensation attorneys to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the benefits you deserve.

We have six physical offices in Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura, and Visalia, and our top-tier technologies provide a virtual reach to serve clients throughout California. We offer free in-person, telephone, and virtual consultations to offer straightforward legal advice for your unique needs.

Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options. 

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