Workplace injuries and illnesses can leave you saddled with medical bills and unable to return to your occupation. Injuries or illnesses can also occur in any type of workplace setting, even an office. You may need medical treatment or assistance covering lost wages. Fortunately, California’s workers’ compensation system can help with these needs. Our workers’ compensation lawyer in Escondido can help you file a claim.
Attorney Anthony Abbott has experience as a judge pro-tem, including for workers’ compensation cases. If you suffered a workplace injury or illness and require workers’ compensation to cover your expenses, then we are here to help.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation in California
California employers must have workers’ compensation insurance. These benefits cover workers when they suffer injuries. In exchange, employees may not sue an employer for an accident that occurs on the job, although there are a few exceptions.
Injured workers do not have to demonstrate that someone else was at fault to recover workers’ comp benefits. However, they must demonstrate they suffered an injury or illness caused by their job duties (arising out of the course of employment). Workers cannot recover compensation for injuries that arose due to drug and/or alcohol intoxication. The same rule applies to self-harm and injuries caused by instigating a fight.
Most workers will not be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against an employer. Instead, they would file a claim through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If the insurance carrier denies your claim, then you will have to appeal through the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in California
Workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational injury or illness may include:
Medical treatment. This can include medical treatment that is necessary to relieve you from the effects of your injury or illness.
Temporary disability. Temporary disability benefits can cover a portion of your wages if you are unable to return to work due to an injury or illness. You may also receive partial temporary disability benefits if you can only work part-time due to your condition.
Permanent disability. If your work injury caused a health condition that is unlikely to improve, then you may qualify for permanent disability benefits. Many factors determine how much compensation you can recover from permanent disability benefits.
Supplemental job displacement benefits. If you cannot return to your current occupation but are still able to work at another occupation, then you may be able to receive a voucher that covers occupational training classes. Our attorney can discuss scenarios where it would be possible to recover job displacement benefits.
Death benefits. If you lost a loved one due to a workplace injury or illness, then you may be able to recover death benefits. The amount you can recover depends on the circumstances, such as the size of your family.
You should not be afraid of seeking workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer cannot fire or demote you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The benefits listed above are very useful for helping cover your lost wages and medical treatment.
Common Workplace Injuries in Workers’ Compensation Cases
Workers’ compensation may be necessary after an accident that results in a permanent or short-term disability that keeps you from being able to work. Types of accidents or injuries that lead to workers’ compensation claims may include:
Slip and fall injuries. Injuries caused by slips, trips and falls may lead to broken bones, lacerations and resulting infections or brain injuries. Slip and fall injuries can occur in most work environments, even in an office.
Construction accidents. Construction accidents can lead to numerous types of injuries, such as brain injuries, severe burns or exposure to harmful substances.
Musculoskeletal injuries. This type of injury may occur while lifting or moving heavy objects.
Accidents in a health care setting. Health care workers can suffer from musculoskeletal injuries caused by lifting heavy objects. Workers in the health care sector may also suffer from health issues caused by slips and falls as well as exposure to pathogens.
Psychological injuries. Certain professions can put workers at risk of developing PTSD and other psychological conditions. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to recover workers’ comp benefits for these conditions.
Repetitive strain injuries. These injuries affect the ligaments, nerves and tendons. Repetitive motions, such as typing, can lead to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Occupational illnesses. Certain professions increase the risk of developing an occupational illness, such as cancers, skin diseases and lung conditions. You may be able to recover benefits after developing an occupational illness.
These are only a handful of injuries and conditions that may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. We encourage you to contact us for a free consultation if you suffered harm on the job and want to file or appeal an existing workers’ compensation claim.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California
There are certain procedures you must go through to file a workers’ compensation claim in California. For instance, you must notify your employer within 30 days of suffering the occupational injury. Your employer would then provide you with a claim form and you would start the workers’ comp claim process.
On the claim form, you would write down information about your injury, such as the date, time and location where the injury occurred. After filling out the form, you must return it to your employer. Your employer has a section on the form that it must complete.
After your employer receives and completes the form, it must return the form to the insurance carrier who handles workers’ compensation claims for the company. The insurance carrier sends you more information about your claim and the claims process after receiving the completed form.
For an injured worker, the process of recovering workers’ compensation can seem confusing and frustrating. This is especially true if the insurance carrier denies your claim for benefits or your employer made mistakes during the initial claims process. Our Escondido workers’ compensation attorney can help you look at options for appealing a denied claim.
Contact Our Escondido Workers’ Compensation Attorney for a Free Consultation
The Law Offices of Anthony Abbott can help with the workers’ compensation filing and appeals process in California. If you suffered an injury or illness on the job, and are having difficulties with the workers’ compensation process, then we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation.
Attorney Anthony Abbott has decades of experience practicing law and can help you understand your legal rights after suffering harm on the job. For a free consultation, call (760) 855-0624 or use the contact form on our site.