San Diego lifeguards recently won a battle with the city to improve their injury and healthcare insurance coverage, a move that many say is a step in the right direction for the group of workers often hailed as “unsung heroes.” The new contract will provide something called “presumptive illness coverage,” a type of insurance that features workers’ compensation benefits for employees who are exposed to a high degree of risk in their jobs.
While still not on par with the coverage police and firefighters receive, the new coverage does expand the benefits given to lifeguards, who are frequently placed in high-risk situations when performing rescues. Additionally, health care coverage is now expanded to protect against things like tuberculosis, pneumonia, meningitis and hernia. However, the coverage still does not extend to diseases contracted by exposure to contaminated water or serious illnesses such as heart attack and cancer.
Lifeguards have argued for some time that they are part of the fire department’s larger rescue network and should receive the same benefits as firefighters. Teamsters Local 911 and the Lifeguard Union’s leadership have been negotiating with the city to increase coverage for lifeguards.
While it may be someone else’s fault that you are injured, having your own coverage is never a bad idea. It may take some time to prove that someone else is liable for your injuries, and in the meantime, your own insurance coverage may pay your medical bills and some other expenses.
However, even if you have insurance coverage, you should still explore the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit if someone else is responsible for your injuries. In many cases, successful personal injury claims are filed even after the victim’s own health insurance has paid part or all of the expenses.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, your insurance company may subrogate your claim and take part of your settlement if you win against the negligent party. This is because your insurance policy may contain a clause that allows the company to take part of your personal injury payments to reimburse them for the money they advanced for your treatment. However, this is not always the case. Your personal injury attorney can help you determine if your policy contains a subrogation clause.
For more information on subrogation and filing a personal injury claim, contact Dan Gilleon in San Diego.