Your ability to support your family depends on your ability to work, and when you are injured or become ill on the job, you not only lose your earnings, but also might face significant medical bills in association with your injury. When you have been injured in a workplace accident or become ill due to a workplace condition, workers’ compensation benefits are available to you to cover the associated costs.
Having a workers’ compensation lawyer on your side as soon as possible after the injury will help you focus on recovering and getting on with your life while your attorney focuses on negotiating with the insurance company to achieve the highest and fastest payout of benefits possible on your claim. Contacting a Tustin workers’ compensation lawyer will support your claim in any step of the process.
Common Job-Related Injuries
Being injured on the job is all-too-common in the United States, with some 2.8 million nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses having happened in a recent year, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These millions of Americans experience a wide range of job-related injuries from a variety of accidents or work conditions. Some common injuries are:
- Traumatic brain injury and concussions
- Damage to the bones and joints of the body
- Neck and back injury
- Amputation or loss of the use of limbs
- Illness due to exposure to toxic chemicals or other harmful substances
- Repetitive stress injury
Some industries have accidents that happen more often than others, like falls in construction or motor vehicle collisions in trucking. Office workers even face the risk of injury by performing the same simple tasks over and over in the workplace, like typing in a non-ergonomic environment. However you might have been hurt on the job in Tustin, workers’ compensation benefits are available to cover you.
CA Workers’ Compensation: Brief Overview
The state of California has a no-fault workers’ compensation system in place, which means that you are entitled to benefits regardless of whether you or your employer was the cause of the accident or condition that caused your injury or illness. This is beneficial to the employee as they can collect even if they are liable, and the employer has the benefit of not being sued for the injuries.
Employers in CA are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide you these benefits, as provided for by the rules of the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, which a local workers’ compensation attorney will be especially familiar with and can use this knowledge in support of the outcome of your claim.
What Workers’ Comp Benefits Can I Seek in Tustin?
The benefits available to you for your workers’ compensation include your medical bills and your lost earnings. Medical bills include not only your emergency medical care, but any follow-up treatment, surgery, hospitalization, medications, medical devices, or ongoing rehabilitation or treatment your injury or illness might require. The extent of your injury and its impact upon your short and long-term health will also affect what amount of replaced earnings you are entitled to.
When you cannot return to work - or cannot return to work that pays as much as before the injury - you can be entitled to disability payments. These can include temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability. The severity of your injuries and unique facts and circumstances of your situation will determine how long you are out of work, with the opinion of an occupational expert especially helpful here. Your workers’ compensation attorney will have a network of such professionals to suggest.
How to File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
The process begins by filling out your portion of the claim documentation and providing whatever evidence you have from your doctors. Such evidence should determine the extent of the injury and how it will impact your ability to work and your future earning ability. You submit this portion to your employer, who then must fill out their portion and submit it to the insurance company.
It is useful to use a date-stamped letter for your application to the employer to ensure timely processing, which is something your workers’ compensation attorney will handle for you. Once the insurance company has received the application, their team of insurance claim specialists and attorneys carefully review it to determine if it meets the strict criteria to be approved, and if so, what payments the evidence provided justify.
The filing of your claim does not guarantee it will be accepted, even if it is rightful and proper. Insurance companies sometimes initially deny claims in an effort at delaying payments or negotiating a lower amount in exchange for a faster settlement. These negotiations can be difficult to handle when you are recovering from your injury or illness, and a workers’ compensation attorney can step into your shoes and handle all the difficult communications and negotiations for you.
Issues Your Claim Might Encounter After Filing
A workers’ compensation insurance company generates profit by collecting as much in premiums as possible while paying out on as few claims as they can, for as little as they can get away with. You are not the insurance company’s priority, and your claim might be denied for a variety of reasons.
If you did not complete the paperwork accurately or completely, it may be denied. The insurance company may challenge the severity of your injury or its impact on your ability to return to work. The insurance company sometimes also requires that you visit their doctor for an additional assessment, a doctor who might find that your injury is much less serious than your own doctor, and justify lower payments or a denial.
Connect with a Tustin Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
Knowing what evidence to include the first time you file your claim will support timely and complete payout, and your workers’ compensation attorney can process it for you. To learn about the various options available for your claim, schedule a consultation now.