You go to work to earn income to support yourself and your family, and when you are injured, your ability to do so can be limited for some time. Moving past your injuries and recovering as much as possible so that you can resume supporting your family is your natural priority, and a workers’ compensation attorney can help. Below, we’ll explore what benefits might be available to you if you are injured or become ill on the job, and also how a workers’ compensation attorney can help you make the most of your claim and collect on your benefits as soon as possible.
An experienced Alhambra workers’ compensation lawyer can answer any questions you might have.
Common Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
In the United States, injuries and illnesses on the job are very common. In 2019, there were 2.8 million nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses in the U.S., as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Being injured on the job can put your entire life on pause while you seek out the necessary medical attention you need and proceed through recovery and rehabilitation so that you can return to work. In some situations, you may be unable to return to work, depending on the injury.
Common work-related injuries and illnesses include:
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Nerve damage
- Broken and fractured bones
- Loss of hearing or vision
- Illness due to toxic exposure
- Injuries from crashes
- Injuries to the soft tissues of the body
When you have been injured or become ill on the job, it is essential that you pursue medical attention immediately to ensure that your injuries are not worsened. Receiving the medical attention you need will help to support your recovery and return to work, if that is ever possible. Once you have stabilized your medical condition, reach out to a workers’ compensation attorney to support the effective processing of your claim.
An Overview of CA Workers’ Compensation
The California Division of Workers’ Compensation provides structure and governance for the state’s workers’ compensation program, which covers employees who are injured or become ill on the job. The state of California is a no-fault system, which means that you are entitled to collect on your injury regardless of which party was at fault. In exchange for the guarantee of coverage, the employee is unable to sue the employer for damages related to the injury. However, if a third party was at fault and caused the accident and injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the third party for your damages.
The workers’ compensation system is meant to provide employees who are injured or become ill on the job with a streamlined and straightforward process to file and collect upon their benefits. However, this is not always what happens, as insurance companies are motivated by profit not paying out fully on all claims, and you might encounter some difficulty with your filing, as we’ll explore below.
What Benefits for Workers’ Compensation Can I Seek in Alhambra?
The benefits to which you are entitled when you are injured or become ill on the job have two main categories - compensation for the medical bills associated with your injury in addition to any lost earnings that your injury might have resulted in.
Benefits available for your work-related injury’s medical care include:
- ER treatment for your injuries
- Doctors’ appointments
- Specialist appointments
- Any related hospitalization and/or surgery
- Related medical equipment and medications
- At-home healthcare needs
When you are injured or become ill on the job, you should not be responsible for any of your medical bills, and if you cannot return to work, you can also be entitled to disability payments, which include: temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability.
Such benefits are key to helping you get back to your life and over your injuries and/or illness, and filing is the first step.
How to File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
When you are injured or become ill on the job, unfortunately, workers’ compensation does not kick in automatically. Instead, you must complete a relatively extensive application and provide supporting evidence from medical professionals to validate your claim and provide sufficient evidence for it to be approved. First, you fill out your portion of the claim, then you submit it to your employer. This is something you should keep track of (or set a date by using a certified letter) to ensure that your claim is processed efficiently.
That is not the final step, though, as your employer must then complete their portion of the application, then submit it to their workers’ compensation insurance provider for review. Ideally, your application will neither be denied nor delayed, but this is unfortunately not always the case.
Issues You Might Encounter with Your Claim
When you file your claim, it might not process as quickly as you might like, and the amount of benefits you are approved for might not be enough to cover your medical bills and lost income. There are a number of issues that an insurance company might bring up in an effort to deny your claim or reduce the amount that is paid out.
It is important to remember that your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company does not work for you - they work to generate the highest possible profit for their shareholders. Profit is supported by collecting the most possible premiums from the employers that pay them, and paying out as little as possible on the claims that come in.
There are a variety of reasons your claim could be denied or reduced by the insurance company, such as:
- Claiming that your injury was pre-existing
- Arguing that the workplace did not cause your injury
- Claiming that your injury does not prevent you from returning to work
- Questioning how severe your injury is
- Requiring you to visit their doctors and specialists
Connect with a Alhambra Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In order to discuss the options on your case, schedule a consultation today. We can help with an initial claim or at any point during the claims process.