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San Diego CA Workers Compensation Attorney
Get Just Compensation for Your Work-Related Injuries in San Diego, CaliforniaIf you have been injured on the job, our San Diego CA workers’ compensation attorney can answer your questions and help you resume your life. An accident at work can cause pain, confusion, and even emotional distress. You must seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney who can defend your right to fair compensation. When filing a claim, many injured workers are either denied benefits or receive insufficient benefits. Consult with our San Diego CA workers’ compensation attorney who will defend your rights throughout the entirety of the claims process. Even if you are denied benefits, Benner Law Firm can assist you with an appeal.
Why Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in California?The California workers’ compensation system provides injured workers with financial assistance. You do not need to demonstrate negligence to recover benefits. You are eligible for benefits regardless of your actions. Nevertheless, the law favors employers. The insurance provider will not always make it simple to obtain the benefits you are entitled to. Your physician may even urge you to return to work before you are prepared. Our personal injury lawyers at Benner Law Firm can assist you with every aspect of your workers’ compensation claim. Our San Diego CA workers’ compensation attorney will:
- Assist you in filing your initial claim for workers’ compensation
- Manage any disputes concerning your benefits
- Determine the fair value of your claim
- Defend you if your employer claims that your injuries were not work-related
- Evaluate your right to file a lawsuit for personal injury
- Manage all negotiations with insurance providers
What is California’s Workers’ Compensation System?The purpose of the California workers’ compensation system is to provide financial assistance to injured employees. Workers’ compensation can provide coverage for medical expenses and weekly benefits while an employee recovers from a workplace injury. In theory, the process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits and medical coverage is simple, but in practice, it is challenging. The initial step in filing a workers’ compensation claim is for the injured worker to notify their employer of their injury. Suppose the workers’ compensation board discovers a significant delay between the date you filed and the date you claim you were injured, this will cast doubt on the veracity of your claim. Technically, an injured employee has 30 days from the date of injury to file a workers’ compensation claim form. After the California Department of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) determines your claim’s validity, your employer will direct you to an accredited physician. The workers’ compensation physician will conduct a physical examination and assign a disability rating based on the severity of your injuries. This disability rating is crucial in determining the amount of your benefits and the length of time you can expect to continue receiving them. If you encounter any issues during the filing of your workers’ compensation claim, you must contact our San Diego CA workers’ compensation attorney immediately. We can help you determine the best available course of action and secure the workers’ compensation benefits you need and deserve.
What Injuries Are Covered by California’s Workers’ Compensation Claim?Under California law, a variety of occupational injuries are compensable. Included among covered workplace injuries are:
Specific InjuriesThe simplest cases involve a specific workplace accident, such as being struck by a flying piece of equipment, slicing yourself on something sharp, or falling down the stairs, resulting in injuries such as broken bones or head trauma.
Injury Caused by Repetitive Motion and OveruseLong-term and repetitive performance of the same task can result in repetitive strain or stress injuries, which are covered by workers’ compensation. These injuries can be caused by a variety of occupations, from factory workers with back pain or tendonitis to desk workers with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Work-Related Illnesses and Dangerous ExposureEven if the illness develops over time, workers’ compensation will cover all occupational illnesses. For instance, workers’ compensation will cover black lung caused by exposure to coal dust or any other condition resulting from exposure to a toxic chemical at work.
Psychiatric InjuriesWorkers’ compensation in California does cover emotional harm caused by stressful working conditions. The employee must demonstrate that the psychological condition was caused by the job at least 51 percent of the time, as opposed to external stressors such as a recent divorce. Workers’ compensation in California also covers emotional distress caused by a physical injury.
What Injuries Are Not Covered by California’s Workers’ Compensation Claim?There are certain types of injuries that do not qualify for workers’ compensation. These include any injury that occurred while:
- The employee violated a safety rule by, for instance, drinking on the job
- The employee was taking a lunch break
- The employee was present at a company event, such as a picnic or holiday party
- The employee was commuting to or from work. However, accidents on business trips have frequently been covered
What Are the Most Common Types of Accidents That Can Lead to a Workers’ Compensation Claim?The DWC maintains that any injury sustained on the job or while performing job-related duties or tasks is compensable by workers’ compensation. In addition, the DWC permits workers to file for workers’ compensation if they develop medical complications due to repetitive stress resulting from the nature of their employment. Among the most frequent causes of workers’ compensation claims in California are the following:
Slip and Fall AccidentsA slip and fall may sound like a relatively minor injury, but in reality, it can result in severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, internal organ injury, broken bones, and more.
Commercial Vehicle CollisionsDue to their sheer size, large commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailers are inherently hazardous. When commercial vehicle drivers are involved in collisions while driving for work, they typically qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if their injuries prevent them from returning to work.
Machinery AccidentsComplex machinery in factories, refineries, fabrication centers, and assembly lines can cause severe injuries to operators. Malfunctions and other unpredictable events can happen anytime and can result in catastrophic injuries, such as severe lacerations, crushing injuries, and even amputations.
Industrial AccidentsEven when employees and supervisors maintain the highest standards of workplace safety, all industrial workplaces are inherently hazardous. Oil spills, machinery malfunctions, forklift accidents, and numerous other industrial accidents continue to be prevalent causes of workers’ compensation claims in the United States.
Construction AccidentsSeveral factors make construction one of the most dangerous industries. Malfunctioning safety equipment, crushing injuries, construction vehicle accidents, unforeseen accidents involving power tools, slips, trips, and falls are a few of the injuries construction workers face daily.
Unsafe PremisesAll property owners must ensure the safety of their premises for lawful guests. An employee may sustain injuries while working at a property other than their place of employment, such as a plumber performing work at a private residence or a mail carrier delivering mail to a private homeowner.
Dangerous Work EnvironmentAll employers must take the necessary precautions to make their workplaces as safe as possible for their employees. If a supervisor or business owner is aware of a hazardous condition in the workplace, or if an employee reports such a condition to their supervisor, they must take the necessary precautions to eliminate the hazard and prevent employee injuries.
What to Do Following a Work-Related Accident?Being injured on the job can be a frustrating and perplexing experience. You may be unsure of your next course of action. If you have been injured on the job, you should take the following steps:
Obtain Medical CareYour health and well-being should be your number one concern. Urgently go to the hospital or call 911 if your injury is severe. Alternatively, you can visit a doctor or urgent care clinic. Inform your doctor that the injury occurred on the job.
Notify Your Employer About the AccidentThe injury should be reported to your employer as soon as possible, preferably in writing. This will ensure that they are aware of the situation and can begin filing a claim for workers’ compensation on your behalf. You must notify your employer of your injury within thirty days.
Collect EvidenceAfter notifying your employer, you should begin gathering evidence to support your claim. This may involve taking photographs of the accident scene, obtaining witness statements, and keeping track of your medical expenses and lost wages.
Consult a LawyerOur San Diego CA workers’ compensation attorney can assist you with navigating the claims process, negotiating with insurance companies and appealing denials. While it is possible to file a workers’ compensation claim on your own, it is always advisable to let a professional handle it to ensure that no money or benefits are overlooked.
Can I Take Legal Action If I’m on Workers’ Compensation?State law in California mandates that all employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. This rule exists not only to protect workers and provide them with economic relief following workplace injuries but also to shield employers from employee lawsuits. If you have filed for workers’ compensation benefits, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury. There are two significant exceptions to this rule:
- If your employer intentionally caused you harm, you may file a lawsuit. The employee must determine whether the harm was intentional or caused by negligence. Under California law, negligence, no matter how severe, does not constitute intentional harm.
- If your employer lacks workers’ compensation insurance, you may sue them. Employers who do not carry workers’ compensation insurance violate California law.
Can I Take Legal Action Against the At-Fault Party If My Work-Related Injuries Were Caused by a Third Party?Third parties are individuals who are not employers or co-workers. In situations where a third party injures a worker, the worker may be able to file a claim against the third party for injuries or illnesses sustained on the job. You must keep in mind, however, that filing a third-party claim can affect your workers’ compensation benefits. Therefore, you should consult with our San Diego CA workers’ compensation attorney before filing. Typically, the following parties are liable for a work-related injury:
ContractorsNumerous contractors work on the majority of projects and jobs. These independent contractors do not qualify as an employer. However, if they cause the worker harm, they may be held liable.
Site OwnersIn the event of an accident on the job site, the site owner may be held liable for an employee’s injury especially when the property owner was aware or should have been aware of the hazardous condition onsite.
DriversIf an employee is injured in a car accident while driving a company vehicle or performing work-related tasks on the road, the at-fault driver may be held liable for the employee’s injuries.
ManufacturersIf a worker uses a defective piece of equipment or tool and is injured as a result, the manufacturer of the equipment or tool may be held liable for the worker’s injuries.
SupplierIf a product poses an unreasonable risk to an employee’s health or safety, the manufacturer may be held liable for the worker’s injuries.
Co-WorkerSometimes, co-workers can be held liable for a work-related injury if the injury was caused by their intentional actions or gross negligence.
Am I Required to Prove Negligence to Claim Workers’ Compensation Benefits in California?The workers’ compensation system is no-fault. In other words, proof of negligence is not required to file a claim for benefits. Typically, to receive workers’ compensation, you must demonstrate:
- You were a worker
- You were injured during your employment
- Your injury or illness was brought on by something at work
What is My Workers’ Compensation Case Worth?Workers who are injured on the job in California are not permitted to sue their employer. During their recovery, workers must rely on California workers’ compensation benefits. Your workers’ compensation case’s value will depend on:
- The seriousness of your injuries
- The price of your medical care
- Duration of your recovery
- Whether or not you can work in a restricted capacity while recovering
- Whether or not your impairment is permanent
- Your average weekly salary before disability
- Identification of the accountable party
What Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available to Workplace Accident Victims in California?In California, employers are required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance to protect their employees in the event of a workplace injury. There are a variety of benefits available for injured employees and workers, but you must follow the Department of Industrial Relations and California Labor Code procedures. Depending on the severity of your injuries and the duration of your expected recovery, you may be eligible for the following workers’ compensation benefits:
Medical CareEmployees who sustain a work-related injury are entitled to medical care and complete treatment for the injury. Employers are prohibited from requiring an injured employee to pay in advance for any medical expenses. If rehabilitation is deemed medically necessary, it is also covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Mileage and Travel CostsInjured employees may be eligible for reimbursement for hospital transportation, therapy visits, prescription pickups, and doctor appointments. This may include mileage to and from care-related locations, tolls, and parking.
Temporary Disability PaymentsThe workers’ compensation benefit guidelines permit this payment for injured workers who are temporarily unable to return to work. This temporary disability payment is intended to assist the injured worker in making up for lost wages.
Permanent Payments for DisabilityIf your injury has resulted in a permanent disability, you may be eligible for monthly disability payments. The temporary or permanent disability payment amount is determined using a percentage of the disabled employee’s wages. The payment for a permanent disability takes into account a percentage of permanent disability determined by a physician. The payment rates are routinely adjusted and determined as of the date of injury.
Additional Employment Retraining BenefitsIf an injured worker is permanently disabled and unable to continue regular job duties, the worker may be eligible to receive job displacement vouchers to cover the costs of job retraining at a state-approved school or within an accredited program.
Death BenefitsSurviving spouses, children, and other dependents of a worker who dies as a result of a work-related injury are entitled to a variety of death benefits, including monetary benefits and money to assist with burial costs. Do not delay in contacting our personal injury attorney. You have a limited amount of time to apply for workers’ compensation benefits, and failure to act promptly could be extremely expensive. Our San Diego CA workers’ compensation attorney has fought vigorously for years on behalf of injured workers. Contact us today for answers.
What Are the Available Damages Under California Personal Injury Laws?If a negligent third party caused your work-related injury or illness, California’s personal injury laws may entitle you to additional compensation. You have the right to recover non-economic damages for your physical and emotional suffering if you file a claim against a third party. The victims are entitled to the same types of damages available to victims of car and truck accidents, including:
- Past and projected medical costs
- Lost income
- Reduced potential future earnings
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
- Disfigurement and scarring of the body
- Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Loss of consortium
What to Do Following a Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim in California?One of the greatest concerns following a work-related injury is whether you will be able to cover your medical expenses, ongoing treatment, and lost wages. The purpose of workers’ compensation is to provide these benefits, but legitimate claims are sometimes denied. While this is a frustrating circumstance, it is essential to remember that you still have options.
Consult Our San Diego CA Workers Compensation AttorneyComplex procedures and laws govern workers’ compensation claims. Our San Diego CA workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the appeals process to ensure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled. You have only 20 days to file an appeal from the date you received the letter denying your claim. If the letter is mailed, it will arrive in 25 days.
File a Formal ClaimThe first step in appealing the initial decision of the claim administrator is to file a case with the California Division of Workers’ Compensation office (DWC). Fill out an application for adjudication of the claim and serve the application to all parties, including the claims administrator.
Wait for NotificationYou should receive confirmation from the DWC that your application has been received and a case number.
Request a HearingTo request a hearing to appear before an administrative law judge, a second document titled “Declaration of Readiness” must be submitted. The mandatory settlement conference, also known as the hearing, will be scheduled.
The HearingYou and our legal team will be present, as will the claims administrator, their attorney, and a judge. During the MSC, the judge will attempt to settle your case. If it fails, you have the option of proceeding to trial before a different judge.
TrialFollowing the verdict of the trial, the judge will mail a decision within 30 to 90 days. If either party disagrees with the judge’s decision, they may file a Petition for Reconsideration.
Request ReconsiderationThis petition will be forwarded to the appeals board, which will have sixty days to accept or reject it. If you do not receive a response within the specified period, your petition has been denied.
Writ of ReviewIf your Petition for Reconsideration is denied, you have 45 days to file a “Writ of Review.” Any issue raised in the Writ must be raised in the Petition for Reconsideration. Our San Diego CA workers’ compensation attorney will submit this petition to the Court of Appeal for your district in California. The appellate court will determine whether the appeals board’s conclusion was reasonable.
What Are the Most Common Reasons Why Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Denied?Among the most prevalent explanations for denied claims are:
- The Accident Was Not Reported in Time. If you fail to notify your employer of your injury within 30 days.
- You Aren’t Eligible. If you were injured while not at work or acting on behalf of your employer, you are ineligible.
- Workers’ Compensation Claim Was Not Filed on Time. The DWC-1 claim form must be submitted within one year of the date of injury. Failure to meet this deadline will result in an automatic denial.
- No Medical Treatments. Before your claim is accepted, you must provide documentation of medical care.
- Your Employer Disputes Your Claim. Your employer may contest your work-related injury or assert that it was caused by another disqualifying factor.
What is California’s Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Claims?California’s workers’ compensation statute of limitations is one year from the date of injury or illness. This means that you must file a claim within one year of becoming ill or injured on the job to receive benefits. Keep in mind that you are also required to notify your employer within a certain time frame. In California, you must notify your employer within 30 days of sustaining a work-related injury.
Work With Our Seasoned San Diego CA Workers’ Compensation Attorney TodayIf you have suffered a work-related injury, you must contact our San Diego CA workers’ compensation attorney, who can assist you in obtaining the necessary benefits to alleviate the financial burden of recovery. The Benner Law Firm has devoted years to seeking justice for injured workers. No two workers’ compensation cases are identical. The nuances of each case determine how it will play out, and the more knowledgeable your attorney is, the greater your chances of receiving the maximum compensation. It is crucial, therefore, that you have an accomplished personal injury attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation law. At Benner Law Firm, we fight daily for the rights of injured workers in a variety of industries, including construction, transportation, education, and healthcare. Our legal team can also get results in Longshore Claims, Defense Base Act Injuries, and Product Liability cases.
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