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City and law firm contract to manage workers' comp claims

Recently, the city of Upland, California, and a Los Angeles-based law firm have entered into a contract to administer workers' compensation claims filed against the city. The spokesperson for the city council claimed that while the cost of the service would increase by $19,000, there would be long-term savings gains for the city in terms of the changes in the way that bills would be administratively reviewed. The city staff unanimously chose the law firm to administer the city's workers' compensation claims out of six proposals for firms. The law firm will work to provide online training courses to city staff in order to keep them updated on California Occupational Safety Health standards.

Many workers' compensation claims are filed by public employees as a result of the often hazardous nature of their jobs. Police officers, firefighters, and sanitation workers must endure occupational hazards such as gunfights, fire, and toxic waste, and must also deal with other unpleasant work conditions such as adverse weather and dangerous animals. There are many hazards in their line of work, which can cause workplace injuries, thus leading to the need for workers' compensation benefits.

Workers' compensation benefits are designed so that a worker has a livelihood while unable to work due to an injury or illness caused by an unsafe work environment. The benefits are awarded so as to avoid litigation between the employer and the employee. However, injured employees may still be able to bring a lawsuit against their employer if someone other than the employer caused the injury or a defective product used on the job brought about the injury/illness.

Anyone injured on the job is entitled to claim workers' compensation benefits. They may claim these benefits to ensure an income while unable to work due to a workplace accident or injury. Workers impacted by an illness or injury directly caused by their job have the legal right to file a workers' compensation claim and receive the appropriate financial compensation.

Source: Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, "Upland contracts with firm to manage worker's compensation claims," Sandra Emerson, June 12, 2013

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