San Diego Work Injury Attorney

Different jobs carry different risks. It can be as safe as sitting in an air-conditioned office behind a computer or as dangerous as doing construction on the roof of a 30-story open-aired building, being thrashed by a storm.

It is your employer’s responsibility to keep you safe on the job or cover your expenses if you get injured. Though the California Workers Compensation Act limits the types of benefits you can receive, you may still be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit depending on the situation. This system can overlap and become very complicated. With an experienced San Diego work injury attorney by your side, you can get the most from your accident.

It is Your Employer’s Responsibility to Keep You Safe on the Job or Cover Your Expenses if you Get Injured. In Addition, Other Drivers and Employees of Other Businesses May Also be Responsible for Your Injuries. Filing a Claim can be Difficult. An Experienced Attorney Can Help.

Thousands of Americans and residents of San Diego are hurt in work-related accidents every year. In a 2009 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 3.3 million injuries were reported, and more than half were construction workers. Recent changes in laws governing employees in California have restricted the types of reparation available to injured victims. 

Depending on the circumstances of the incident, injured employees may be entitled to benefits from a worker’s compensation claim, personal injury lawsuit, or both.   

Workers Compensation 

The California Workers Compensation Act states that businesses in San Diego are held liable if an employee is injured on the job and must provide medical compensation and income replacement.   

However, this system is a double-edged sword. Though employees do not have to prove fault to get compensation from their employers, the insurance coverage that they do get often does not provide enough benefits for injured workers.     

Personal Injury – Third-Party Damages  

However, in many situations, injured workers can pursue both a worker’s compensation claim and a lawsuit against a responsible third-party responsible, if it is not the employer.   

For example, if an employee is injured is hit on the job while driving a company car, the injured employee may be entitled to a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle. While pursuing this claim, he is still able to receive benefits through his employer’s workers compensation insurance. Pursuing a third-party claim can result in added compensation to the injured worker. 

This is a problematic situation because the compensation that an employee receives from a third-party claim may negate a portion of the benefits from the workers compensation insurance.   

Contact a Work Injury Attorney  

With an experienced and capable San Diego work injury lawyer by your side, these issues can be resolved. Our attorneys will get the maximum amount of money for you to pay for the damages inflicted on you by the work accident and resolve issues between the third party, employer, and you.

San Diego Social Security Disability Lawyers


Every year, hundreds of San Diego County residents suffer a condition that prevents them from being able to work and provide for themselves and their families. The process from filing to receiving a response can take months. Roughly 7 out of 10 applicants are initially denied, even though they have paid enough money in their Social Security taxes and can prove that they are disabled.

Fortunately, the expert Social Security Disability lawyers can make this process go quickly and smoothly. Our attorneys are work for your best interest and will get you the benefits you need and deserve. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.

The Process of Filing an SSD Claim Can Be Long and Complicated. The Experienced San Diego SSD Lawyers Will Work For Your Best Interest and Get You the Benefits You Need and Deserve.

Social Security Disability (SSD) Insurance is a federal program that pays income replacement benefits to those who are unable to earn a living because of a severe physical or mental impairment. Disability benefits are available to those who have paid enough Social Security taxes, through income withholding, and can prove that they are disabled. Disability benefits are payable to blind or disabled workers, widow(er)s, or adults disabled since childhood, who are otherwise eligible.

What makes you eligible for SSD?

  • Whether you have enough work credits to qualify for disability benefits
  • You have a physical or mental impairment that can be shown through medical evidence
  • You are unable to do ANY sort of work, not just your own past work, on a full-time basis. (There are limited exceptions to this rule, depending on your age, education, and transferable skills.)
  • You are unable to work for 12 consecutive months or more at a level of substantial gainful activity (In 2008, this means you are unable to earn more than $940 per month).

As a general rule, you probably have enough work credits to qualify for SSD if you worked for five out of the last 10 years. 

When and How Do I Apply For Social Security Disability (SSD)?

You should apply as soon as possible after you find out your medical condition will last 12 months or longer and prevents you from returning to work.

To apply for SSD benefits, contact your local Social Security Office and state that you wish to file an application. There are three ways that you can do this.

  • File for disability online,
  • Call the Social Security office to set up an appointment to apply
  • Walk into the Social Security office without an appointment

You should apply for SSD AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If you wait too long, you may lose your benefits. Also, the SSA does not pay for periods earlier than your application effective date. The process of filing can take several months.

How Much Will I Receive?

The amount of your SSD benefit is based on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security. The bureau looks at how long and how much you have paid into the Social Security system. If you don’t have an estimate, you can use the Benefits Calculator listed on the SSA website. 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) Denied My Claim. Can I Appeal?

YES. The SSA denies approximately 75% of claims every year. Many applicants simply give up after making their initial claim. DON’T GIVE UP. With an experienced social security attorney by your side, you may still be able to get your claim approved. 

I Was Just Approved for SSD. When do My Benefits Start?

If you have been approved, your first Social Security benefit will be paid for the sixth full month after the date the SSA finds that your disability began. If your condition improves and you are able to return to work, you are still able to receive benefits for the time that you were unable to work if it exceeds 12 months. This is called a “closed period of disability.”

Filing an SSD claim can be a confusing and lengthy process. In addition, there is a high probability that the claim will be denied. Fortunately, the experienced Social Security Disability lawyers can make this process go quickly and smoothly. Our attorneys are working for your best interest and will get you the benefits you need and deserve. Contact our law office to schedule your free consultation.

Florida Woman Killed in Santa Barbara Pedestrian Accident

Garcia Flores, 47-years old of Florida, was killed in a Santa Barbara pedestrian accident at Coast Village Road on May 27, 2010. Flores was walking across an intersection when she was hit by a mini-van.

The mini-van was driven by a 17 -year old driver who lost control of his van and struck Flores badly, throwing her more than a few feet away towards the intersection of Coast Village and Butterfly Lane, where she died immediately. The teenager told Police Officers that his van suddenly started to veer to the right, and when he tried hitting the brakes, they didn’t work. He says that is when the van jumped the curb and hit Flores. Officials found drug paraphernalia and marijuana in the teen’s minivan, but it is not certain that he was under influence of any drug or alcohol.

We offer our condolences to Flores’s family and friends for such an irreparable and tragic loss. If the teenager is found to be under the influence of drugs, we hope that he is prosecuted as an adult to the fullest extent of the law. Regardless, if the accident was caused by the teenage driver, we hope that Flores’s family consults with a personal injury attorney and obtains key advice as to how to balance the scales of justice in this case. They will never be made whole—Flores is dead and cannot be brought back—but the civil justice system can at least help minimize some of the loss.

San Diego Boating Accident Lawyer

With the Pacific Ocean as its front yard, San Diego is a boating paradise. Residents and tourists can take out their own boat or rent one at the many shops surrounding San Diego’s waterways, which include San Diego Bay, De Anza Cove and Fiesta Island in Mission Bay, El Capitan, Lake Jennings, Lake Murray, and Lake Poway. Though, despite the notion that it is a leisurely activity, there are a lot of risks and regulations that boaters must understand before they get into the water.

Unfortunately, many people who decide to set sail disregard these regulations and put their lives and the lives of other boaters in jeopardy. In 2009, the California Department of Boating and Waterways (CDBW) reported roughly 2,500 accidents. 40% of those resulted in injuries and deaths.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident because of someone else’s negligence, contact one of the knowledgeable San Diego boating accident attorneys. We will work to get you the compensation you need and deserve. Call our law office.

San Diego Water Ski Accident Lawyers

Water skiing is an exciting sport; but like all sports, it comes with a lot of risks. At speeds of up to 50 mph, water skiers must be extremely aware of other boats, swimmers, and any obstacle, which can cause them to lose balance and crash into the water. Injuries happen a lot more often than expected when an operator fails to make sure that a water skier has the proper experience and safety equipment and is capable of making a responsible judgment on the water. Operators of water ski tow boats carry a lot of responsibility when it comes to safety.

If you are injured in a water ski accident that was not your fault, contact the expert San Diego water ski injury attorneys immediately to get compensation.

Water Ski Injuries Can Happen When an Operator Fails to Make Sure that a Water Skier has the Proper Experience and Safety Equipment and is Capable of Making Responsible Judgment on the Water.

Waterskiing, in particular, has been growing in popularity in recent years in San Diego amongst the water sports. Though, with only one lake in San Diego offering the sport-El Capitan- waterways tend to get crowded and therefore very dangerous for water skiers. It is no surprise that water ski injuries have steadily increased throughout the years. 

As with other boating and water sports, there are both federal and state laws that regulate water skiing. The American Water Ski Association (AWSA) law, as well as California law, requires there to be a least two persons aboard a boat towing a water skier: the operator, and an observer 12 years of age or older. 

Water Ski Roles

Skier  

Be alert for anything that may come between you and the boat, i.e. cross-wakes, swimmers, rafters, etc.   

Boat Operator  

Boat operators must be extremely cautious when pulling a water skier. A skier’s safety falls into their hands. They are responsible for checking for a clear path, freeing the towline, accelerating at a steady speed, and making safe turns. When a skier falls, boat operators must return immediately. Shut the engine off so the skier is not in danger from the propeller and approach with caution on the side of the boat. Observer In addition to relaying the signals back-and-forth from the skier and the boat operator, the observer is responsible for watching the skier at all times. Statewide boating accident statistics indicate an alarming increase in water-ski accidents resulting from improper lookout.  

Waterskiing Safety Tips

  • ALWAYS wear a life jacket. 
  • Check your towline before each skier begins. 
  • Maintain a reasonable, safe speed at all times. 
  • If you are “dropping a ski,” release it near a dock where it can be retrieved immediately out of the way of other boats and skiers. 
  • Steer clear of docks and fishing boats. 
  • Do not pass the towline in between other vessels. 
  • Alcohol and other drug usage is prohibited.    

If you are the skier, learn the proper hand signals for communicating with the boat operator. Water skiing is an extremely dangerous sport, especially for someone who is inexperienced and unfamiliar with proper procedure.  Water skiers can be injured by boat hardware and emissions, ski equipment, obstacles, or collisions with other vessels.

Contact a Water Ski Injury Attorney

If you or someone you know was injured or killed in a water skiing accident in San Diego due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to money damages.  Contact an experienced water skiing injury attorney immediately. Our lawyers will help you get the compensation you need to cover your medical costs and lost wages. 

San Diego Boat Accident Lawyers

On a sunny holiday weekend, it is the perfect time to break out the barbeque grill and sail around the San Diego Bay or one of the many reservoirs surrounding San Diego. It is so relaxing to spend some quality time with the friends and family on the calm waters. Though, with about 900,000 vessels registered in California, these areas tend to get congested. What was supposed to be a boater’s paradise may turn into a nightmare when boat operators and passengers do not follow California boating regulations. Injuries and accidents happen because of this negligence.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boat accident, the San Diego boat accident lawyers can help you seek the damages you are entitled to for your injuries. Contact us to set up a free consultation.

San Diego Maritime Injury Lawyers

Every year, thousands of vessels come in and out of the San Diego Port’s two marine cargo facilities and one cruise facility, primarily because of its prime location in between Los Angeles and Mexico. The many maritime workers and dock laborers that work in and on these vessels help to make this process run smoothly. Though, it is a high-risk job and accidents happen because of other people’s negligence.

If you work in or on a vessel and are injured during the job, you will be covered by the Jones Act or the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). Because the laws governing maritime workers and dock laborers are tricky, you should contact an experienced San Diego maritime accident lawyer immediately. Our lawyers will maximize your chances for a successful recovery in a maritime accident lawsuit. Contact our law office for more information.

San Diego Longshore Act Benefits Lawyers

There are thousands of commercial vessels that come into the Port of San Diego every year, making it easily accessible for send and receive cargo, as well as a popular place to set sail one of the many cruise ships. Hence, the men and women who work along the docks put their lives on the line to make sure that the ships that come in and out of this port run smoothly and that the port stays uncongested, despite any dangerous work conditions that were overlooked.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), or Longshore Act, is designed to protect dockworkers that are injured or killed while performing their duties on land. Because of the complicated laws that constrain longshoremen, filing a compensation claim can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Fortunately, the San Diego disability lawyer can help you get the benefits you need and deserve.

The Laws Governing Dock Laborers Are Extremely Complicated. If You Are Injured Either at Sea, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Entitles You To Benefits. Our LHWCA Lawyers are Here to Help.

The Port of San Diego is a frequent stopping ground for cargo and cruise ships because of its proximity to open ocean and lack of shipping congestion. Thousands of workers line these docks every year to make sure the ships the come in and out of these ports operate properly. Though there are high standards for the upkeep of these docks, sometimes accidents happen.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), commonly referred to as the Longshore Act, was designed as a compensation plan that covers maritime workers or dock workers who are disabled or killed in a land-based injury.

Longshoreman and dockworkers usually do not qualify as seamen and therefore cannot receive benefits of the Jones Act.

Who is Covered?

  • Longshoremen
  • Harbor Workers
  • Ship repairmen
  • Shipbuilder
  • Ship-breakers

What Benefits are Available?

  • Medical – includes all medical expenses and the cost of travel to receive treatment. It also includes the cost of rehabilitation.
  • Disability –payable for disabilities that are permanent total, temporary total, permanent partial, or temporary partial. Compensation is paid at a lesser rate if the employee is only partially disabled. (Disability means that the maritime worker cannot earn wages while injured.)
  • Death-paid to a widow or widower or other eligible survivors if the injury causes the employee’s death. Reasonable funeral expenses are paid, up to a maximum of $3,000.

Maritime workers and longshoremen can also claim coverage for illnesses caused by certain jobs. For example, For example, workers exposed to toxic chemicals in the course of their job may claim benefits for chronic conditions caused by illnesses linked to toxic exposure.

How Much Will I Receive?

The minimum rate of compensation is 50 percent of the national average weekly wage or the employee’s full wage if less. The maximum compensation rate is 200 percent of the current national average weekly wage as determined by the Secretary of Labor.

What Should I Do If I am Injured?

  1. Notify your employer immediately. Written notice of your injury or death must be given within 30 days of the accident.
  2. Seek medical assistance for your injury.
  3. File a written claim for compensation within one year after the date of injury. A claim for survivor benefits must be filed within one year after the date of death. The time for filing claims in certain occupational disease cases has been extended to two years

It is important to act quickly; otherwise, you may lose your chance to get the compensation you deserve. The laws governing longshoremen and harbor workers are extremely complicated and often require a qualified, experienced, and knowledgeable maritime attorney.

San Diego Construction Site Injury

Working at a construction site is one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. In a 2009 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 3.3 million injuries were reported, and more than half were construction workers. Though construction workers are trained on basic safety precautions for handling dangerous equipment, accidents still happen. Whether the injured victim is partially or totally at fault, he is still entitled to workers compensation benefits.

Injuries that Occur on Construction Sites are Tragic and Deadly. A Trained Lawyer Can Make Sure You Get the Compensation You are Entitled To.

Thousands of California and San Diego construction workers are injured every year on construction sites, many of them fatal. Although every construction worker is trained in basic safety precautions for handling dangerous equipment, accidents still happen.

 

In a 2009 report by the Bureau of Labor, workers on construction sites incurred the most fatal injuries of any industry in the private sector in 2009. Statistics indicate that 1,000 of these employees are killed each year while on the job. Of these, over a third will result from construction site falls.   

Most Common Types of Accidents on Construction Site:

  • Falls
  • Crane accidents
  • Scaffolding accidents
  • Being run over by operating equipment
  • Electrical accidents
  • Trench collapses
  • Fires and Explosions
  • Welding accidents

These accidents are tragic and deadly and can be completely avoided through effective safety measures. Regardless of whether the worker is partially or totally at fault, he is still entitled to benefits.   

How Much Money Will I Get?

The California Workers Compensation Act states that if you are an employee injured on the job, you are entitled to receiving benefits that cover your medical costs and lost wages. Though, there are limitations on these benefits. In most cases, workers’ compensation often does not provide enough money to cover the damages suffered by the worker.

However, the amount of compensation that the injured worker gets depends on if he is an independent contractor, which contractor is responsible for workers’ compensation insurance coverage, and whether there is a third party liability claim. If there is a third-party liability claim, the injured victim may be entitled to more compensation and can sue for both workers compensation and personal injury.   

Contact a Construction Site Accident Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been injured on a construction site, the experienced San Diego construction site injury attorneys will make sure you get compensated for your medical costs and lost wages. We understand that injuries suffered at construction sites can be severe and life-altering and will get you the benefits you are entitled to.

San Diego Jones Act Benefits Lawyers

Every job has its risks but some are greater than others. There is no doubt that commercial seamen and fishermen have faced many more unpredictable risks including harsh weather conditions, long work hours, and clashing seas. That is why it is extremely important to keep the vessel properly maintained and to keep the seamen onboard safe under extreme circumstances. But sometimes, accidents happen.

The Jones Act of 1920 was passed to protect seamen injured or killed while working at sea and gave them the ability to obtain fair compensation for the negligence of the shipowner. Though the laws abiding seamen are somewhat complicated and the process of filing a claim can be difficult. Fortunately, our San Diego Jones Act benefits attorneys focus on getting the benefits you and your family need and deserve.

The Laws Governing Seamen and Commercial Fishermen Are Extremely Complicated. If You Are Injured Either at Sea, the Jones Act Entitles You To Benefits. Call Our San Diego Jones Act Attorneys for Help.

Commercial seamen and fishermen face sever unpredictable risks that make their jobs one of the most dangerous out there. Hundreds of accidents occur every year in the San Diego port.   Because of harsh weather conditions, long and exhausting work hours, and high seas, it becomes especially important to keep the decks and the vessel maintained properly.

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 was passed to protect seamen who are injured or killed while working on a vessel in navigable waters. Jones Act is a fault-based system, and you must prove negligence to get compensation under the Jones Act. The Jones Act also covers injuries caused due to an employer’s negligence and vessels that are unseaworthy. A vessel is unseaworthy if it is not properly built or maintained, thereby creating an unsafe working environment for the crew. Employers may also be negligent, or careless, for failing to provide reasonably safe working conditions for their crewmembers.

Who is covered?

To qualify for Jones Act benefits, a seaman must:

  • Work at sea more or less permanently – spent at least 30% of the time on a vessel at the time the injury occurred. This is the definition the court will look at.
  • Be assigned to a vessel or fleet of vessels (i.e. cargo boats, tug boats, crew boats, drilling ships, transportation vessels, and supply boats) Other vessels may also fall under this category, depending on what the vessel is used for. ·
  • Work on a vessel that is still in navigation. ‘In navigation’ means that a vessel is still capable of moving about with a few modifications.

What benefits does the Jones Act cover?

Under the Jones Act, the injured seaman is eligible for financial compensation for a variety of damages, including “maintenance” and “cure.”

The Jones Act covers:

  • Maintenance: Living expenses while off work due to injury
  • Cure: Medical treatment, medications, and rehabilitation
  • Vocational training for a new job if an injury prevents the seaman from returning to the previous job
What Should I Do If I am Injured?  
  1.  Notify your employer immediately and seek medical assistance for your injury.
  2.  Give written notice of your injury or death to your employer within 30 days of the accident.
  3.  File a written claim for compensation within one year after the date of injury.

A claim for survivor benefits must be filed within one year after the date of death. The time for filing claims in certain occupational disease cases has been extended to two years

It is important to act quickly; otherwise, you may lose your chance to get the compensation you deserve.

San Diego Personal Watercraft Injury Lawyer

In the early 1990’s, jet skiing reached its peak in popularity. Today, it still is a widespread trend among all age groups, because of its affordability and speed. Though it is advertised as being easily handled, most people who ride a jet ski for the first time are unaware of how to maneuver a personal watercraft or PWC. Jet skis, unlike other vessels or vehicles, do not have a braking mechanism. As a result, many people are injured every year because of their lack of steering knowledge. A jet skier is 7.2 times more likely to get hurt than a motor boater and 31.6 times more likely than a canoer or kayaker, according to a survey commissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard and published in 2002.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a jet ski or PWC, accident because of someone else’s carelessness, contact a San Diego PWC injury attorney immediately to get the money damages you deserve. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping you seek reparations for your injuries.

Jet Skis Do Not Have A Braking Mechanism. As a Result, Many People Are Injured Every Year Because of Their Lack of Steering Knowledge.

Personal watercraft, also known as PWCs, has become a popular pastime in the warm San Diego waterways. PWCs are small, fast, easily handled, affordable, and their propulsion systems do not have external propellers, making them safer for swimmers and wildlife. However, accidents are common. Though jet skis are no more dangerous than any other watercraft, it is the way that people operate them that causes many injuries.

Jet ski riders have a high risk of being ejected and drowning. Research from the University of Florida shows that jet ski accidents cause greater injuries than other boating mishaps. The study found that patients sustain more closed-head injuries, trauma to the chest and abdominal injury riding jet skis.   

Crashes with Jet Skiers Often Produce:

  • Head injuries
  • Nerve damage
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Facial lacerations
  • Fractured extremities
  • Burns
  • Hypothermia

All of these types of injuries tend to be serious and may induce unconsciousness and end in drowning. What adds to this cycle is the fact that jet ski injuries are one of the least publicized dangers in the recreational boating industry. Hence, most people do not properly educate themselves on the correct way to operate a jet ski because they are unaware of the dangers.   

Why Are Jet Ski Accidents So Common?

Operator errors can be deadly because jet skis are designed to achieve speeds of more than 60mph. This may result in a loss of stability and increased risk of flipping over.

However, one of the most compounding reasons for jet ski accidents is that they do not have a braking mechanism. Instead, the operator must keep the throttle down and actually accelerate to turn quickly and avoid hazards in the water.

Though, the natural tendency of most operators is to slow down when facing a hazard. Because this reduces the thrust from the jet nozzle, the operator often cannot turn the craft in time, resulting in a collision with another boat, a dock, a swimmer or the shoreline.   

Contact a Jet Ski Accident Attorney

A jet skier is 7.2 times more likely to get hurt than a motor boater and 31.6 times more likely than a canoer or kayaker, according to a survey commissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard and published in 2002.