Workers’ Compensation Claims
In most cases, if you sustain a work-related injury or illness, your employer must provide you with workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, the obligation to provide benefits is not always honored, and valid claims are often unjustly denied or undervalued. There are many facets to a workers’ compensation claim, and trying to determine the benefits that your employer owes you can be overwhelming. If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, you should seek the assistance of an experienced Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer. At Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C., our attorneys have the knowledge and skills needed to assist individuals who have suffered work-related harm with obtaining the workers’ compensation benefits that they are rightfully owed.Covered Injuries and Illnesses
California law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits to most employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness. The first step in recovering workers’ compensation benefits is to show that you are an employee, since independent contractors cannot recover workers’ compensation benefits. You must then show that your injury or illness arose out of and occurred in the course and scope of your employment. In many cases, such as when an employee suffers injuries due to a fall or a car accident, it is easy to show that the employee’s harm is work-related. In other cases, however, such as when an employee sustains an illness due to repeated exposure to harmful chemicals, it may be more difficult to prove that workplace conditions caused the impairment. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney in Orange County may engage in discovery to obtain evidence to support the position that your injury or illness is work-related, which may enable you to recover the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled.Temporary Disability Benefits
If you are unable to work due to a job-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to disability benefits. The amount of benefits that you can recover depends on the nature and duration of your disability. A temporary disability is a disability that an individual can reasonably expect to be cured or improved with treatment. A temporary disability may be partial, meaning that you can perform the duties of your job in a reduced capacity, or total, meaning that you are unable to work. Under California law, if you are dealing with a temporary total disability, you may be entitled to recover disability benefits at a rate of two-thirds of the average weekly wage that you earned before your disability. If you are dealing with a temporary partial disability, you may recover two-thirds of the weekly loss in earnings due to your injury or illness. Temporary disability benefits may be paid for up to 104 weeks. Temporary disability benefits may end if the employee returns to work at full capacity or if the disability is deemed permanent.Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If you are found to be permanently disabled, you may recover permanent partial disability benefits with the assistance of an Orange County workers’ compensation attorney. Similar to a temporary disability, a permanent disability may be partial or total. If you are deemed permanently disabled, you may receive a permanent disability rating, based on an evaluation of your injury, the nature of your occupation, and your age. If you have a permanent partial disability, you may be entitled to weekly payments. Your permanent disability rating determines the amount and duration of the payments.Additional Benefits Recoverable
In addition to disability benefits, if you have suffered a workplace injury or illness, you may be entitled to the cost of any medical treatment, including prescriptions and adaptive devices, and the costs incurred in traveling to and from treatment appointments. If you are permanently disabled, you may be able to recover supplemental job displacement benefits, which are benefits that allow you to obtain skills and training to pursue other employment. If a person dies due to a work-related injury or illness, his or her dependents may be able to recover death benefits.Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Orange County or Beyond
The attorneys at Law Office of Joseph Richards, P.C. have substantial experience recovering California workers’ compensation benefits and can aggressively pursue benefits rightfully owed. Our offices are located in Orange and Riverside Counties, and we assist employees suffering from work-related injuries and illnesses in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Irvine, Moreno Valley, Corona, Temecula, El Centro, Long Beach, San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, and San Diego, as well as other areas of Orange, Riverside, Imperial, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. We can be contacted at (844) 562-2667 or through our online form to schedule a consultation.