In California, every employer must maintain workers' compensation insurance coverage to protect their employees hurt on the job. This protection covers both injuries and illnesses caused at or during work, and also covers not only full time employees but often part-time and temporary workers. For protection of employees, it is illegal for an employer to punish or fire any employee for requesting workers' compensation benefits when the employee believes the illness or injury was caused by or while on the job. Further, one does not need to be a legal resident of the United States to receive workers' compensation benefits.
Workers' compensation insurance is the oldest social insurance program in the United States. It is designed to provide injured workers with immediate medical care and other benefits regardless of fault and at the same time eliminates suits against the employer. Not only does this reduce costs, but it is intended to reduce conflict between employees and their employers that most certainly would result if employees were required to sue their employers and prove fault before they could recover needed benefits.
If you are injured at work anywhere in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and California, you should immediately seek medical attention, report the injury to your supervisor and then contact us for assistance. The consultation is FREE and there is NO fee on accident injury cases until you win!
If you have a medical emergency, the first thing to do is call 911. For lesser injuries, report the injury to your supervisor, obtain immediate first aid and see your doctor.
State law imposes time deadlines. Further, you may be worried about medical & hospital bills, losing your job, loss of wages and supporting your family. Therefore, do NOT wait. Please contact us now for a FREE consultation and to start receiving your benefits. Again, the consultation is FREE and there is NO fee until you win so there is NO reason to delay!Workers' Compensation Insurance Benefits
California workers' compensation law requires the employers’ work comp administrator to pay for all medical care that is reasonably required to cure or relieve the effects of the work injury or illness. Your medical care must be paid, even if you do not miss time from work. Be sure to advise the medical office that this is a work injury since, among other reasons, it is illegal for a health care provider to charge the injured worker if they know the injury is or may be work related.
Workers' compensation provides six (6) key benefits:
- Medical care
- Temporary disability benefits – compensation for time missed from work due to your injury
- Permanent disability benefits – compensation for how your impairment that continues after receiving maximum benefit from medical care affects your ability to do your normal work activities in the future
- Supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB) – this benefit helps pay for job retraining or skill enhancement training, or both, at state approved schools for those injured in 2004 or after
- Vocational rehabilitation (VR) - this benefit offers job counseling and retraining for those injured before 2004
- Death benefits – This benefit provides compensation for surviving dependents when the work injury or illness causes death.
Workers' compensation does NOT provide any compensation for pain, suffering and inconvenience, as is permitted in personal injury claims against someone other than your employer. However, when you are injured at or during work due to the fault of another (that is, someone other than your employer), then you also may pursue a personal injury claim (also known as a third-party claim) against that person and recover for pain, suffering and inconvenience. Your third-party personal injury rights are further explained below.Choice of Doctor
While the employer’s work administrator usually has the right to select doctors in the first 30 days, if you properly predesignate your own physician or medical group prior to injury then you may have your regular health care provider treat you after your work related injury or illness. You may contact us for further information on proper doctor predesignation.
If during your claim you have a disagreement with your work comp administrator over your medical care, you may have the right to have your care reviewed by a Qualified Medical Examiner (QME). Your work injury attorney can explain this process to you.Mandatory Insurance
In California, every employer must maintain workers' compensation insurance for their employees.
Every employer must do this even if it has just one employee.
Farther, every roofer must maintain workers' compensation coverage, even if it has NO employees.Third-Party & Personal Injury Claims When You Have a Workers' Compensation Claim
In typical workers' compensation claims, the injured worker is hurt on the job, such as when he or she lifts something too heavy, falls off a ladder, slips & falls, has a car accident or sustains a severe cut, amputation or other injury while using machinery. If this happens at work and no one else causes the injury, then the remedy is usually a workers' compensation claim with the limited benefits listed above in the section entitled “Workers' Compensation Insurance Benefits.”
However, if a worker is injured as a result of the negligence or other wrongful conduct of someone other than his or her employer, then the injured worker may also receive additional benefits and damages allowed under California Personal Injury Law, most notably damages for pain, suffering, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of life activities. Examples include the following:
- When the worker is on someone else’s property and falls or is bit by a dog, then that property owner or dog owner may be liable.
- When the worker is driving and rear ended while working, then the driver and registered owners of the other vehicle may be liable.
- When the workers is on the premises of another person and is furnished an unsafe or defective ladder that breaks or otherwise causes the worker to fall and be injured, then the owner of the ladder and/or premises may be liable;
- When the worker is using unsafe or defective machinery that causes a cut, amputation or other injury, then the manufacturer and supplier of the unsafe or defective machinery may also be liable.
If you believe you have a workers' compensation claim and/or claim against another (a third-party personal injury claim), then you immediately should discuss this with your attorney. Often we work with experts or specialists to handle various aspects of such complex claims.Representative Workers' Compensation & Third-Party Personal Injury Claims
For more than 40 years we have handled claims involving both workers' compensation and third-party rights. Here are just a few of the more interesting ones:
- Employee blown off ladder when rocket at nearby airport exploded, entitling him to both workers' compensation and third party compensation.
- Employee, an insurance adjuster, injured when he slipped and fell in the lobby of his office building, entitling the injured employee to both workers' compensation compensation from his employer and also third party personal injury benefits of $250,000.00 from the responsible parties.
- Package delivery person injured when he slipped on wet paint immediately outside the elevator door in apartment building without any warning signs or barriers, entitling the injured employee to both workers' compensation benefits and third party compensation against the owner of the apartment building and painting contractor.
- Employee injured when exposed to chicken pox, suffering a very serious and debilitating illness (as chicken pox can be very serious when contracted as an adult).
Our injury law firm has handled third party accident injury claims for over 40 years. Here is a brief summary of our experience:
- Over 40 years experience handling serious injury claims
- Settled and resolved thousands of personal injury claims
- Our entire firm handles injury claims
- Recovered over $100,000,000.00 for our clients
- We work with experienced and skilled doctors and attorneys to handle even the most complex cases
- Our senior attorney was selected Personal Injury Attorney of the Year 2010
- Our senior attorney has served as a temporary judge in the Superior Court
- Please see our Testimonial Pages