Westminster Worker’s Compensation Lawyer

You go to work to make money and support your family, not to be injured or become ill, and then be unable to earn anything at all. Being injured on the job can impact your ability to earn in the short term, or you could experience a long-term disability that permanently impacts your earnings ability or capacity to even return to work. When you are injured or become ill on the job, workers’ compensation benefits are meant to cover your damages.

Filing a claim for benefits can be difficult, as can challenging a denial, and a workers’ compensation attorney on your side will support the success of your claim. A Westminster workers’ compensation lawyer can answer any inquiries you might have.

Most Common Work-Related Injuries

Some of the most common causes of injuries in the modern world are motor vehicle collisions and falls, whether on the roads or in the workplace. Some jobs require driving, so they pose both dangers to employees. Work-related injuries are more common than you might expect, as there were 2.8 million nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses in 2019 alone, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While the facts and circumstances of each injury are unique, there are many common injuries experienced in accidents on the job, including:

  • Soft tissue damage to the neck and back
  • Nerve damage that leads to numbness
  • Amputation of limbs due to crushing
  • Burns from chemicals or electricity
  • Illness from exposure to chemicals, toxic materials, or other carcinogens
  • Concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Broken/fractured bones
  • Repetitive stress syndrome

Summary of CA Workers’ Compensation

The state of California has a no-fault workers’ compensation system in place, which means that you are guaranteed certain benefits for your on-the-job illness or injury, and your employer is guarded against being sued for those same injuries or illnesses. If a third party was responsible for your on-the-job injury, though, you might be able to bring a lawsuit against that party for your damages, sometimes beyond those available through workers’ compensation like punitive damages or pain and suffering.

The workers’ compensation program is managed by the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, which enforces rules for the process. When your claim is improperly denied, delayed, or reduced, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney familiar with your local laws and rules will support the success of your claim or appeal.

What Benefits for Workers’ Compensation Can I Seek in Westminster?

The main out-of-pocket expenses associated with your illness or injury are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, namely medical bills and lost earnings. The medical bills that are covered are not limited to the immediate emergency care you might need, but also any medication and medical devices you require and any long-term rehabilitation, treatment, at-home medical care, or therapy the injury also requires.

In terms of earnings, your injury will put you out of work after the injury and during recovery and rehab, and it could limit your ability to return to a position that pays the same as your prior role. When this happens, you could be entitled to disability payments, which can be in the form of temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, and permanent total disability. The extent of your benefits will depend upon the severity of your injury and the unique facts and circumstances of the accident or condition that caused it.

How to File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

While you might need to begin collecting your workers' compensation benefits as soon as possible following your injury, it is important to know that they do not kick in automatically. To begin collecting, you must first fill out a complete and accurate application that has sufficient supporting evidence, which is then submitted to your employer. Once your employer receives your portion of the application, they have to fill in their portion, then it is submitted to the insurance company.

To ensure things are completed reasonably quickly, using a time-stamped delivery method like certified mail is recommended, while an attorney is also an option to ensure speedy processing. When the insurance company receives your application, they will carefully scrutinize it to determine if there is sufficient evidence to approve the claim and at what amount to pay out benefits.

While in an ideal world, all workers’ compensation claims would be paid out in full to cover your medical bills and lost wages, this is not the case. Insurance companies profit by earning as much revenue through premiums as possible from employers and denying as many claims from employees as possible while paying out as little as possible on those claims which are covered.

Issues Your Claim Might Encounter

There are a number of issues that the insurance company might note for denying your claim or reducing the amount that you are paid out on. The insurance company might claim that your injury was pre-existing and not caused by a work-related accident or condition. The insurer may require that you visit their own doctor, a doctor who might find a less significant and impactful diagnosis than your doctor. The severity of your injury may be minimized to reduce the amount of benefits that are paid out.

The best way to ensure that your claim is approved and paid out is by providing sufficient evidence. When you are trying to recover from an injury and figure out how to cover our associated costs and changes in your way of life, figuring out exactly what evidence workers’ compensation insurance companies require to approve claims is likely the furthest thing from your mind.

Connect with a Westminster Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Now

Having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side as soon as possible after your injury will help you collect the evidence and medical and occupational expert opinions you need to present all the evidence the insurance companies need to pay out on your claim, in full and as quickly as possible. To discuss options regarding your workers’ compensation claim and work-related illness or injury, schedule a consultation today.