The last thing you expect to happen when you are on the clock and trying to earn income to support yourself and your family is to experience an injury or illness that makes you unable to work. When you have been injured on the job, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation coverage for your injuries.
Having an attorney on your side throughout the claim process will help to ensure that your initial claim is accepted and that you don’t have to deal with ongoing negotiations, wasted time, wrongful denials, and low-ball settlement offers. Read on to learn more about how your experienced Garden Grove workers’ compensation lawyer can help you make the most of your claim.
Types of Injuries Covered by Workers’ Comp
What is covered by workers’ compensation, most simply, is any work-related illness or injury that happens in the course of your employment. The illness or injury can occur from a single incident or accident, such as a fall that causes a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI), or a burn from exposure to hot gas or chemicals. An incident or accident that causes you to become injured or ill and unable to work entitles you to workers‘ compensation.
Accidents like falls or explosions are not the only source of injury or illness that are covered by workers’ compensation. When you develop an injury as a result of a repetitive stress injury, also referred to as a continuous trauma, you are also entitled to workers’ compensation. Repetitive stress injuries happen when you perform the same motion over and over again and as a result of the ongoing repetitive motion, you develop soft tissue damage, nerve damage, ongoing pain, and other issues.
One of the most common repetitive stress injuries that you likely have heard of is carpal tunnel syndrome, which can cause pain in the wrists and hands and prevent a person from working when they come down with it. You might also have heard of “tennis elbow,” which can happen off of the court and in the workplace as well.
When you have experienced mental injury, you could also be entitled to workers’ compensation. Injuries are not purely physical, but they can also be psychological. If you have experienced ongoing harassment on the job from management and as a result of having developed stress, anxiety, or even depression, you could have a claim for psychological injury. Discussing the unique facts and circumstances of your situation with a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after your injury or illness will help ensure that you get the best possible outcome of your claim.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Your Benefits
In the state of California, the law requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, meaning you should be covered. In California, this is a “no-fault” system in place, which means that you can usually collect workers’ compensation even if you were at fault for the accident or condition that led to your injury. This is a trade-off, though, as while you are guaranteed your workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who caused the accident or condition, your employer cannot be sued for your injuries as the benefit on their end.
Most injuries on the job are covered under workers’ compensation, including diseases, poisoning from chemicals or substances like asbestos, as well as accidents or fatalities on the job. If you have lost a loved one to an accident on the job, you could be entitled to damages through a workers’ compensation death benefits claim. In this claim, you are able to recover benefits for the lost financial support of your loved one, as well as other losses.
Your workers’ compensation attorney can analyze the unique facts and circumstances of your situation to advise you of the best possible path for your claim. Never accept a benefit settlement offer from a workers’ comp insurance company before discussing the matter with an attorney, as it might leave you with less than your family deserves.
It is important to know that all employees are covered, from the bottom of the hierarchy through the top. Whether the person injured is a part of the cleaning staff or a part of the executive management staff, if you are injured or become ill on the job, you are entitled to file a claim for compensation for your injuries.
What if My Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
You apply for and receive your benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance company your employer is required by law to have. As the news regularly informs us, however, businesses cannot always be trusted to follow the law. Even if your employer does not have insurance, you will still be covered, thanks to the State of California’s Uninsured Employer Fund. While the State of California may pursue your employer for breaking the law, their lack of workers’ compensation insurance will not stop you from receiving the benefits you are entitled to.
Types of Injuries Covered Through Workers’ Comp
A workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure that you are able to collect the best possible benefits for your illness or injury, including the following:
- Injuries the neck or back
- Loss of hearing or vision
- Exposure to toxic chemicals or substances
- Carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and other repetitive motion injuries
- Respiratory illnesses
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can I Collect?
Workers’ compensation is meant to cover your medical treatments, testing, and medication costs linked to your workplace injury, and you may also be able to collect temporary disability benefits if you are unable to work while you are recovering.
Under the no-fault system in California, you cannot sue your employer for your injury, and your employer cannot fire you for filing your claim. If a third party caused your injury, though, you may be able to pursue additional damages from them, which your attorney can advise you of.
Speak with a Garden Grove Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you sustained an injury or illness on the job, your first call should be to a Garden Grove workers’ compensation lawyer. We can assist with every step of the process while you focus on your injury recovery.