If you are injured at work, your California employer is obligated to provide you with workers’ compensation benefits. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be complicated, however, and it may be unclear what you need to do to recover benefits for your medical treatment and other needs. If you have suffered a workplace injury, you should retain an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. The Orange County work injury lawyers at the Law Office of Joseph Richards have extensive experience in helping injured workers pursue benefits and have a thorough understanding of the nuances of workers’ compensation law. Our primary office is located in Orange County, and we have a second office in Riverside County, from which we assist people throughout Southern California.Covered Work Injuries
Under California law, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers. An employer may choose to self-insure, but most employers obtain workers’ compensation insurance from an outside company. To recover workers’ compensation benefits, you must show that you suffered a job-related injury. This means that you must prove that your injury happened during the course of your employment and arose out of your employment. It is also important to note that you must be considered an employee to recover benefits, since independent contractors are generally not entitled to workers’ compensation. Workplace injuries can arise under any circumstances, but they frequently result from motor vehicle collisions, slip and fall accidents, and machines with moving parts.Procedure for Recovering Benefits
If you sustain an injury on the job, it is important that you notify your employer as soon as possible. If you do not provide your employer with notice of your injury, you may lose the right to recover any benefits. You will also need to provide your employer with a completed Division of Workers’ Compensation Form 1. Your employer will submit this form to its workers’ compensation insurer, which will officially open your claim. You should be notified shortly thereafter whether your claim is accepted or denied. If the insurance company accepts your claim, you may begin receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
If your claim is denied, or if there are any outstanding issues with the evaluation or resolution of your claim, a work injury attorney in Orange County may help you file an Application for Adjudication of Claim, which would open a case with the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. The Application may be filed in the county in which you were injured, the county in which you live, or the county in which your attorney is located. After the Application is filed, the parties may conduct discovery to gather facts regarding the circumstances surrounding the accident and the severity of the injury, and they may attempt to come to an agreement regarding the benefits that are owed. If the claim still cannot be resolved, a hearing may be held in front of an administrative law judge, who will decide any outstanding issues. The deadline as to when the Application must be filed may vary depending on the facts of your case. As a result, if you are pursuing benefits, it is important to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that you do not waive any rights by failing to act in a timely manner.Benefits Recoverable
If you are injured in the workplace, an Orange County work injury attorney may be able to help you recover a variety of benefits. First, you may recover the cost of any medical care or prescriptions necessary to treat your injuries, as well as the cost of transportation to and from doctor’s visits. You may also be entitled to disability benefits. Temporary disability benefits are available if you suffer an injury that renders you temporarily unable to complete the duties of your job. Temporary disability benefits are paid at a rate of two-thirds of your average weekly wage prior to your injury and are subject to a weekly maximum. If you are eligible for temporary disability benefits, payments should begin within two weeks of your injury and are generally paid for a maximum of 104 weeks.
If you are permanently partially or totally disabled, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits. The amount of permanent disability benefits that you receive depends on your permanent disability rating. If you are deemed permanently disabled and can no longer perform your previous job, you may also be eligible for supplemental job displacement benefits, which aid you in obtaining skill enhancement or training. Additionally, if a person dies from a work-related injury, his or her spouse or dependents may be entitled to death benefits.
It can be overwhelming to determine if you are getting all of the benefits that you are entitled to recover following a workplace injury. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can guide you through the process of seeking benefits and assist you in ensuring that you are adequately compensated.Schedule a Consultation with a Work Injury Lawyer in Orange County
The attorneys at the Law Office of Joseph Richards are adept at handling workers’ compensation cases and work tirelessly to assist injured workers. We have offices in Orange and Riverside Counties and represent injured workers in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Irvine, Moreno Valley, Corona, Temecula, El Centro, Long Beach, San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, and San Diego. We also represent claimants in other cities in Orange, Riverside, Imperial, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. Contact us at (844) 562-2667 or via our online form to set up a consultation.