Injuries happen on the job, and when they do, workers’ compensation laws in California entitle you to coverage for your medical bills and lost earnings related to your injury or illness. There can be hiccups in the process, however, and many people greatly benefit from legal assistance with their claims.
If you have been injured or become ill due to a work-related injury or condition, reaching out to a Stanton workers’ compensation as soon as possible can help you achieve the best possible outcome of your claim.
Common Work-Related Injuries
There are a number of common workplace injuries and illnesses that result from a variety of situations, including:
- Amputations or crush injuries
- Bone fractures or breaks
- Spinal cord injury
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Illness from chemical or toxic exposure
- Back injuries
- Soft tissue damage and tears
- Concussion and traumatic brain injury
An Overview of the California Workers’ Compensation Program
In California, the worker’s compensation program is managed by the CA Division of Workers’ Compensation. This is a no-fault system that establishes three very important protections for the California worker, namely:
- Employers must carry workers’ compensation coverage, which guarantees you benefits for workplace illnesses and injuries, regardless of which party was at fault for the accident or condition that caused the injury or illness.
- You are entitled to receive benefits for injuries or illness due to work-related conditions, but that also often means you have given up your right to file a lawsuit against your employer for negligence. You give up this right in exchange for the certainty of no-fault benefits from workers’ compensation insurance.
- If a third-party unrelated to your employer was negligent and caused your injury, you may still maintain the right to file a lawsuit against that third party.
Knowing all of your rights in a given situation can be complicated, and it can be helpful to discuss your situation with a workers’ comp attorney right after your diagnosis.
What Benefits Can You Seek in Stanton?
Workers’ compensation provides California employees with two main categories of benefits: wage replacement if you cannot work and medical treatment required for the illness or injury. After you suffer a condition, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer should provide coverage for the costs of all the medical care you need related to the work-related illness or injury. This coverage includes:
- Emergency medical care
- Hospitalization for the injury or illness
- Appointments with your doctor and necessary specialists
- Surgery due to the condition
- Any rehabilitative therapy and treatment necessary
- Medication and any needed medical equipment
- As necessary, home medical care services
In addition to medical costs, workers’ comp should also provide disability benefits if you cannot work and earn income. The options available to provide compensation for your disability can include:
- Temporary partial disability
- Temporary total disability
- Permanent partial disability
- Permanent total disability
The benefits you can receive will vary based on the severity of your injury, the extent of medical treatment needed, and whether you were unable to work for any period of time.
How to File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation benefits do not begin automatically after your illness or injury. To receive your benefits, you must first properly complete the claim process. This requires that you complete the required form and then submit it to your employer. The form has a portion your employer must also complete after your submission. It must be submitted in person if you are able to, or otherwise best submitted through certified mail. It is important that you keep track of when your employer received the form, as the date of receipt controls certain timelines of your benefits.
Once your employer has your form, they complete their portion and then submit it to the insurance company. Once the insurance company has received the form from your employer, an adjuster will review your claim and make an initial determination as to whether you are entitled to benefits - and if so, how much you will receive. Sometimes, benefits are received quickly with little difficulty, while in other situations, injured workers can encounter ongoing delays or even the outright denial of the claim.
There are Many Issues You Might Encounter with Your Claim
Insurance companies work for profit - not for injured workers who are supposed to have coverage. Workers’ comp insurance companies can maximize their profits by collecting the most revenue in premiums possible from employers while paying out the least in claims possible. This keeps insurance income high and costs low, but can have a serious impact on insured claimants.
Before your claim can be approved, the insurance company carefully combs it over with their teams of trained investigators and insurance professionals. When you decide to handle your own claim, you might not know what the insurance company is looking for in order to grant your benefits.
There are many issues that workers’ compensation insurance companies might state to reduce your payment or deny your claim, including:
- Inaccurate or incomplete application paperwork
- Attributing your illness or injury to a pre-existing condition
- Claiming that your injury is not work-related
- Questioning how severe your injury is and asking you to visit their own doctor for an evaluation
With a workers’ compensation attorney on your side from the start, you have an experienced advocate making sure that your claim is processed as quickly and completely as possible. Your lawyer steps into your shoes and handles all negotiations with the insurance company, so you can focus on your physical recovery. If your initial claim was denied, a workers’ compensation attorney can file your appeal through the necessary channels.
Reach Out to a Stanton Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Now
Workers’ compensation claims can be difficult, and there are many places where your application can go wrong. Receiving your benefits as soon as possible, with the full amount you are entitled to, will help your recovery from your work-related injury or illness. The best way to ensure that your claim and your rights are protected is by reaching out to a Stanton workers’ compensation attorney today.