In general, Under California law, employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits to any employee who sustains a work-related injury or illness. While the cause of an injury can often be determined easily, proving that health was adversely affected by conditions in the workplace is often a complex and arduous process. If you cannot offer sufficient evidence that your illness arose out of your employment, your employer or its insurer may deny your workers’ compensation claim. If you believe that you are suffering from a work-related illness, it is in your best interest to consult a knowledgeable Orange County workers’ compensation attorney to assist you in your pursuit of benefits. The attorneys at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. are well-versed in the intricacies of California workers’ compensation law and may gather the evidence that is needed to help you recover the full extent of benefits that you may rightfully deserve. Our offices are in Orange County and Riverside County, and we assist employees throughout Southern California.Causes of Work-Related Illnesses
A variety of factors can cause work-related illnesses. Exposure to harmful chemicals, such as silica or asbestos, is a widely known cause of work-related illnesses. Medical professionals can contract diseases if they come into contact with the bodily fluids of an infected patient. In some cases, a stressful work environment can cause both physical and psychological illnesses. Additionally, a physical injury sustained in the workplace may cause psychological distress.Obstacles to Recovering Benefits
In many cases, the biggest obstacle to recovering benefits for an illness sustained in the workplace is proving that the illness is in fact work-related. Often, an occupational illness such as mesothelioma or asbestosis is not diagnosed for several years after the exposure to the harmful condition. As a result, it may be difficult to prove when and how the employee suffered their exposure to the harmful condition. If an employee seeks to recover workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related psychological illness, under California law, he or she must prove that work conditions were at least 51% of the cause of the illness. When the cause of a work-related illness is not readily identifiable, an employer may deny that the illness was caused by workplace conditions, or it may allege that a pre-existing condition caused the illness. If you are suffering from a work-related illness, it is essential to your recovery of benefits to retain a seasoned work injury lawyer who may anticipate any hurdles to your recovery and prove the facts needed to show that workplace conditions directly caused your illness.Disabilities Caused by Work-Related Illnesses
Under California law, disabilities caused by work-related illnesses are classified as temporary or permanent, and as total or partial. A temporary disability is one that can be improved or alleviated with treatment. A disability is permanent when an employee has reached maximum medical improvement. If an employee is deemed permanently disabled, he or she will receive a permanent disability rating. Whether it is temporary or permanent, a partial disability inhibits an employee from working at full capacity, while a total disability prevents an employee from working at all.Benefits Recoverable
If you are suffering from a work-related illness, you may be entitled to the cost of any medical treatment and any costs incurred in traveling to and from any medical appointments. Additionally, you may be able to recover disability benefits. Temporary partial disability benefits are calculated at a rate of two-thirds of the amount of your weekly lost wages, while temporary total disability benefits are payable at a rate of two-thirds of your average weekly wage prior to your illness. You may receive temporary disability benefits for up to 104 weeks. Temporary disability benefits may cease if you return to work at full capacity or if your disability is deemed permanent. If your disability is permanent, you may be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits. Your permanent disability rating may determine the amount of permanent partial disability benefits that you receive and the length of time for which you receive them.Retain an Experienced Attorney in Orange County to Pursue Benefits
At Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., our attorneys have the skills and experience needed to assist people suffering from work-related illnesses with recovering the full amount of workers’ compensation benefits to which they are entitled. Our offices are in Orange County and Riverside County, and we represent individuals suffering from work-related illnesses in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Irvine, Moreno Valley, Corona, Temecula, El Centro, Long Beach, San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, and San Diego. We may assist people in other cities in Orange, Riverside, Imperial, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties as well. Our seasoned attorneys have obtained favorable outcomes in many workers’ compensation claims. Contact us at (844)562-2667 or via our online form to set up a consultation.