If you are in the process of applying for workers’ compensation benefits, or if your initial claim has been denied, you can benefit from having an El Monte workers’ compensation lawyer by your side. This type of lawyer will have the experience with the claim system that you need for a successful claim.
Workers’ compensation lawyers work with individuals in pursuit of a settlement or in the midst of a lawsuit to represent your interests against the insurance companies for your employer. Your workers’ compensation attorney will help you receive the proper medical care your injury deserves, in addition to lining up whatever short or long-term disability benefits you might be entitled to. We can also help you with vocational rehabilitation or vouchers, as well as a possible settlement in the event your impairments become long-term.
Types of Covered Work Injuries
You might be injured on the job from a variety of individual instances of incidents. These can include a soft tissue injury from a slip and fall, a machine error that leads to a laceration on your hand, or getting hit by an object that results in a concussion. These are incidents that cause injury from a single occurrence and lead to issues that can impact your ability to work and live out your personal life. If you are unable to return to work or a position that pays a similar amount, you should be entitled to benefits to cover your losses.
Other injuries that might develop are from the same motion over and over again. These are called repetitive stress injuries. This happens when you engage in the same activity repeatedly as part of your job, and as a result of the repetitive motion, you develop an injury or disability.
For example, a worker might be required to place substantial tension and torque on their wrists without the assistance of tools to accomplish their task. In time, their wrists and hands may begin to hurt, and nerve damage can develop, often referred to as carpal tunnel syndrome. When someone has developed carpal tunnel syndrome, they can experience ongoing pain in their wrists and hands and may not be able to return to the same work as before the syndrome developed.
The Filing Process for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
All employees in California are required to have workers’ compensation coverage, so you know that you will be protected if you experience an injury or illness on the job. In the state of California, the workers’ compensation system is “no-fault,” which means that you are covered regardless of who is at fault for the accident - even you or your employer - so long as it happened while you were on the job.
Most injuries are going to be covered by workers’ compensation, including diseases, illnesses, asbestos poisoning, injuries from accidents, and death that happen as a result of employment. The types of injury that are covered are not limited by workers’ compensation - what matters is whether your injury happened while you were employed at your job. When your injury happens on the job, you are entitled to benefits to help you recover from your injury and make up for lost earnings while you recover.
Some people worry that they are not covered by workers’ compensation because of their job title or position. Know that all employees are covered - for example, in a hospital setting, everyone employed is covered, from the parking lot attendant to the front desk receptionist, the janitor, the x-ray technician, on up through the surgeon.
What Happens if My Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, the State of California will cover your claim through the Uninsured Employer Fund. It is illegal for a company to not have workers’ compensation insurance, but as we know, companies don’t always follow the law in pursuit of profit. Companies can be targeted with penalties for not having insurance, but that doesn’t impact your ability to collect your benefits from the Uninsured Employer Fund. You should still be able to get coverage for your medical needs.
Workers’ Compensation Claims and Cases
Your workers’ compensation attorney can help you with a variety of on-the-job injuries, including but not limited to:
- Hearing loss
- Respiratory illness
- Head injuries from falling objects, falls, or collisions
- Toxic exposure
- Repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel or tendonitis
- Loss of vision
- Trucking accidents
What Benefits Am I Entitled to Receive Through Workers’ Compensation?
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will be required to pay for necessary medical treatments, testing, and prescriptions associated with your work injury. You can also be covered for temporary total disability payments if you cannot return to work while you recover.
Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
You cannot be fired for filing a claim. If you are fired, you have up to one year from the date of your injury to file a 132a claim against your employer to collect what you are entitled to.
Can I Sue My Employer for My Injury?
As we mentioned above, in the state of California, there is a “no-fault” system, which means you can generally collect even if you caused the incident that led to your injury. The trade-off is that you cannot sue your employer for the same injury. While you cannot file a civil lawsuit against your employer for your workplace injury, if a third party contributed to the accident, you may be able to file a third-party claim.
Temporary Total Disability Covers You When Your Injury Prevents You from Working
When you are unable to return to work while recuperating from your workplace injury, total disability covers your full life needs from food to rent to living expenses. The California State Legislature limits your temporary total disability benefits to a 104-week period. This is only available to qualified injuries, and if your claim has been denied, your workers’ compensation lawyer can help you to collect the full benefits to which you are entitled to, whether through appeal or in court.
If you need assistance with your claim, do not hesitate to reach out to a skilled attorney in El Monte worker’s compensation lawyer today.