Every month, a reader asks one of our sponsor legal experts about a work-related issue. These building trades law professionals respond in an Organized Labor exclusive. This month’s expert is Steven Kronenberg of The Veen Firm.
Two weeks ago, I hurt my back on a jobsite in a minor incident involving another company’s employee. I’m working through it, and my job performance hasn’t suffered. My supervisor found out and is now forcing me to take time off. I don’t want to fall behind on the job; can he really do this?
Your excellent question requires more information to answer competently. Sometimes, an employer can require an employee to take a medical exam to confirm he or she is fit for duty before returning to work. Some additional facts to consider are the general type of work, your specific job duties, who determined the injury was “minor,” and how much the other company’s employee might be responsible.
Also, even if an unsafe condition only caused a “minor” injury this time, the next person might not be so lucky. Putting your employer on notice of a problem provides an opportunity to correct it.
You should report the injury to your employer promptly. If you wait more than 30 days, you could lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits and medical care. What if your injury becomes more serious over time or because your duties changed? Do you want to pay for medical care out-of-pocket? If you later need to take time off for something that started as a “minor” injury, wouldn’t it be better to receive some workers’ compensation benefits? If the other company (a “third party”) is responsible, an incident report should be prepared before memories fade.
The time limits are strict for filing a claim, so you should contact an attorney who knows about workers’ compensation and third party actions soon.
-Steven Kronenberg; The Veen Firm, PC, San Francisco, CA
For an even more thorough answer, please go to veenfirm.com/blog.
For more information on work-site accidents and
your legal options, visit The Veen Firm Website.
“Interaction via “Ask the Expert” does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Any advice given is neither legal advice nor does it serve as a replacement for hiring an attorney. In addition, any case results mentioned or discussed are not guarantees of similar results.”
This Month's Expert; Steven A. Kronenberg
Steven A. Kronenberg is a member of the Label Trial Team at The Veen Firm, PC, in San Francisco, CA. Mr. Kronenberg represents people who have suffered severe personal injuries that have a life-changing, career-changing, life-ending, or career-ending impact. He represents plaintiffs in actions arising from construction site accidents, industrial accidents, dangerous premises, auto accidents, wrongful death, governmental or public entity liability, and defective products. Mr. Kronenberg’s practice also focuses on food-related injuries arising from consuming food allergens, working with defectively designed food processing equipment, and false advertising.