Many people do not know, unless they speak to a Los Angeles Workers Compensation lawyer, that this form of compensation follows state rulings. It is not regulated by the federal government. Therefore, you need to know how the law will address your needs in the Golden State.
Why You Should Speak to a Los Angeles Workers Compensation Lawyer
If you are entitled to Workers Compensation benefits, speak to a lawyer who specializes in Workers Compensation cases to realize the best outcome. He or she will give your further insight into how the law works and how you need to proceed with the filing.
How Workers Compensation Works in California
In the state of California, employers must provide their workforce with Workers Compensation benefits in case an employee is injured on the job. Employers pay for the insurance by contacting one of the licensed insurers in the state or remit payments through the State Compensation Insurance Fund or SFIC.
It does not matter how many employees work in a company. All employers are subject legally to buy the insurance. If a worker gets hurt on the job or becomes sick because of their working conditions, workers’ compensation pays for the costs of medical treatment, temporary/permanent impairment, or lost wages. In some instances, the employee may receive compensation for getting retrained.
For example, in California, you can receive supplemental job displacement benefits through the California Department of Industrial Relations. You can also receive a voucher if you have not been offered another work assignment by your employer or you suffered a partial disability from your work accident. A Los Angeles Workers Compensation lawyer can help you with the details.
Receiving Compensation for Retraining
The SJDB voucher is used for gaining extra skills or job retraining at accredited or California-approved schools. The voucher may be used toward receiving additional payments from the Return to Work Supplement Program as well.
What Happens if an Employer is Not Insured?
If an employee is injured at a worksite where an employer is not insured for Workers Compensation coverage, the state’s Uninsured Employer’s Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF) is used to cover the costs covered by the insurance. At the same time, the UEBTF attempts to collect the money owed by the uninsured employer.
The California Lawyer Association goes over the steps for collecting compensation for clients through the UEBTF and supporting the UEBTF’s efforts. Therefore, it is important, when filing a Workers Compensation claim, that you use the services of an experienced Los Angeles Workers Compensation lawyer.
You will find that the process can become quite complex, if not grueling if you don’t have a legal support system in place.
Common Workers Compensation Injuries in California
In California, Workers Compensation claims are commonly associated with accidents related to falls, car and truck crashes, or resulting from moving or lifting objects. Almost all illnesses or injuries originating on a job site are quality for Workers Compensation benefits. Benefits cover:
- One-time accidents
- Repetitive injuries, or doing the same thing over repeatedly while working
- Sicknesses resulting from a job site’s environment or work tasks
Filing a Workers Compensation Claim
Once you are injured or suffer a work-related illness, contact a Los Angeles Workers Compensation lawyer so you can start filing your claim. Also, contact your employer immediately. Unless you are involved in a medical emergency, you should talk to your employer before seeking medical treatment. Your employer may refer you to a doctor who is part of a health provider network. Employees who fail to report their injury or illness within 30 days may not be able to receive benefits.
After receiving medical care, you will need to fill out a Division of Workers Compensation (DWC) Form 1 so your employer can give it to his or her insurance company. It is also necessary to file an Application for Adjudication of Claim within a year’s time to file your Workers Compensation claim. In addition, you need to file several other forms, so it is best to talk to a Los Angeles Workers Compensation Lawyer for help in this regard. Not only will the process go faster, but it will also ensure that you will receive your benefits on time.
Also, remember, medical expenses must be authorized for the claims to be paid. If you are temporarily disabled, temporary disability benefits can be collected as well. These payments cover about two-thirds of your weekly salary up to a maximum amount. When an injury is covered and approved, the payments normally start within 14 days.
Covering Partial and Total Impairment – Temporarily or Permanently
If you are permanently impaired, whether totally or partially, you will receive payments, based on the percentage of your impairment. The benefit money you receive is not taxed.
Why Claims May Be Denied
Again, you need to speak to a Los Angeles Workers Compensation lawyer to ensure a seamless process and to avoid problems with denials. You may be denied benefits if the following events occur:
- You don’t provide enough evidence of an injury
- The injury is not considered work-related
- The injury happened because of another job assignment
- You are able to work or return to work
- You did not receive medical care or did not need medical treatment
To avoid denials or to dispute a claim that was denied, you need the expertise of a Los Angeles Workers Compensation lawyer. Filling out all the forms and going through the process takes time – time that is wasted if you try to do it yourself. For example, if you don’t agree with your employer about a benefits decision, you will need to file a declaration with the Workers Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).
The form must be served to the board as well as your employer’s insurance company, plus it must include a proof of service document. By speaking with a lawyer, you can avoid a lot of hassle.
Who You Need to Contact
It is important to have a Los Angeles Workers Compensation lawyer handle all the details of your worker’s compensation claim. If you have questions, need to dispute a denial, or file a claim, call a firm that specializes in filing WC claims. In Los Angeles, call WorkersCompAttorney LA at 213-214-2969. All consultations are free.