I recall a case I handled for a client who fell from his chair at his security guard position. While he was in his chair, he suffered from an epileptic seizure. His epilepsy had nothing at all to do with his job. He had a long standing history of epilepsy long before he was hired for his security guard job. But this particular seizure happened on the job, and caused my client to fall out of his chair and fall onto the floor, striking his head and his knee. His seizure and fall was witnessed by his supervisor, and called the paramedics. My client was taken to a County general hospital, examined and observed, then discharged several hours later with some doctor imposed physical restrictions.
My client took the doctor’s note to his job, and was told by his employer that they could not allow him back to work with his doctor imposed restrictions restrictions, and shortly thereafter was terminated. My client contacted a Los Angeles labor lawyer to investigate a case of discrimination based upon his epileptic condition. Fortunately, the labor lawyer he contacted had the foresight to identify that the injuries he sustained to his head and knee might possibly be considered an on the job injury, and referred the client to my office for further investigation.
Our Los Angeles workers’ compensation firm is comprised of three attorneys, including myself. Together, counting all the years of each attorney’s practice of the law, we have over 100 years of combined lawyer experience. With this amount of experience, Roland, Pennington & Trodden has a wealth of knowledge of even the most obscure workers’ compensation laws. I accepted the case, and filed a workers’ compensation claim with his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
Not surprisingly, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier promptly denied any liability for my client’s injury, claiming that it was caused exclusively by a condition that was unrelated to his employment – his pre-existing epilepsy. I wrote a letter to the insurance company, advising that under a 60 year old Supreme Court of California case, Employers Mutual Disability Insurance Company v. I.A.C. (Gideon), they were liable for my client’s physical injuries, even though the cause of my client’s fall was because of a seizure, even though the seizure was not caused by his job. (In that case, an employee had an idiopathic seizure which caused him to fall to the ground and hit his head on a cement floor). While the seizure was not caused by the job, the injuries and the disabilities sustained were caused by striking his head on the cement floor in a work area provided by the defendant.
The insurance company then hired a defense attorney to represent them, and keep the claim denied. While the insurance company’s investigation was ongoing, I was able to obtain medical treatment for my client to help cure and relieve him from his head and knee complaints. I was able to discuss my client’s case with the insurance company defense attorney, and provided him the legal citation for the case I was relying on to maintain our position that the insurance company was indeed responsible for my client’s injuries. (The citation to the above case is Employers Mutual Disability Insurance Company v. I.A.C. (Gideon), (1953) 41 Cal. 2d 676, 263 P.2d 4, 18 Cal. Comp. Cases 286.)
After deliberation, the defense attorney conceded that his client, the workers’ compensation insurance company, indeed seemed to be responsible based upon the case to which I referred. He recommended the insurance company accept the claim. They did. Not only was I able to get my client the medical treatment he required and deserved, and get the medical providers paid for their services by the workers’ compensation insurance company, we were able to obtain a just and fair settlement after he was discharged by his doctors.
The story to be learned here is that you never quite know when or what constitutes a workers’ compensation claim. It is important to call experienced and reputable Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorneys like those at Roland, Pennington & Trodden, at www.rolandlaw.com to get a free consultation on what rights you might have under the California workers comp laws.
If you have an work injury or think you might have a work injury, contact the Law Offices of Roland, Pennington & Trodden at www.rolandlaw.com or call 323-INJURY-7 .