Workers Compensation Law in California
Occupational injuries and illnesses as a result of doing work are fortunately declining given how employers right now are placing importance on workplace safety. But then again, many workers either suffer from ailments caused by overwork or repetition or from injuries caused by an unfortunate event in the workplace. In most instances, these injuries or illnesses are nonfatal, and they are usually required to recuperate. It is quite difficult for them to be in such a situation since they won’t be doing work indefinitely, and that would also depend on the severity of the injury or illness.
If you get injured while performing tasks in the workplace, or you suffered an illness while doing so, you may be entitled to receive benefits under workers’ compensation. This insurance program, which is mandated by state law, allows eligible workers were suffering from work-related injuries or illness to obtain payments to cover medical bills and lost wages while they are out of work. The benefits under workers’ compensation insurance include medical care, rehabilitation costs, and disability coverage, some or all of which can be provided depending on the illness or injury incurred and its severity.
The State of California is one of the many states that have a definitive no-fault workers’ compensation program. This essentially means that when you file your workers’ compensation claim and have been approved upon meeting certain requirements, you cannot sue your employer in court whenever liability arises.
Also, it is worth noting that your employer must have carried its own workers’ compensation insurance to ensure that you can immediately file one in case of an accident.
Below is a list of the benefits that California employees like you may receive after getting approved of your workers’ compensation claim:
- Benefits are covering costs of medical treatment. A staple coverage under most workers’ compensation programs, these include payments for medical evaluations and tests, treatments, and surgical procedures, as well as drug prescriptions, use of medical devices, and even transportation costs.
- Payments for temporary disability. Under these benefits, you are provided amounts for all your time off work from the date of your injury or illness. What you may be receiving would be based on two-thirds of your weekly average wage plus weekly maximums as mandated by California law. You may be able to obtain payments up to two years, but sometimes up to four years depending on the injury or illness you have.
- Payments for permanent disability. These benefits may be received when the injury or illness that you have affects your ability to resume your job duties in your previous job. The payment amount you may receive would be based on the disability rating that takes into account the type of injury or illness you sustained, your age, your occupation, and the restrictions imposed by your treating physician. Payments may be received within four weeks to 14 years.
- Cost of vocational retraining. These benefits are provided to you if you are no longer able to return to your previous work, and your employer did not offer you alternate or modified employment. At an accrued vocational school, you learn a mixture of hands-on skills and theoretical knowledge directly related to the occupation you want to have.
- Death benefits. In case you died because of your work-related injuries or illness, your immediate family members may be able to receive death benefits, including burial expenses.
It is worth noting that once you have been injured or caught an illness because of doing work, you need to file a claim for workers’ compensation right away. That way, your employer would be able to facilitate the process of receiving your benefits.
But if you are having issues with your company with regards the insurance program, especially if you have been denied the right to file such claim and that you have been retaliated against for exercising this right, then it is a must that you contact an attorney who is capable of handling your workers compensation lawsuit in Los Angeles.
Why Should I Hire a Workers Comp Attorney?
There are workers’ compensation advocates who help injured workers be able to receive benefits under the insurance program faster, but there are also others who provide representation to those employees who faced discrimination or retaliation for filing for such claims. If you are one of the latter, then you need to hire one of the many worker's compensation lawyers in California.
By doing so, you are provided the chance to assert your rights against your employer that denied you the right to file your claim and was subjected to further discrimination or any adverse employment decision such as demotion or wrongful termination. With the focus on winning your lawsuit against your employer, your chosen attorney who has experience in handling similar cases will make sure that you paid a significant amount of damages, which covers your lost wages and emotional distress you suffered.