Virtually every employee working in California has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim if they sustain an injury while working. California enforces very strict workers’ compensation laws and recently enacted new regulations designed to further protect workers’ rights in California. Previously, many employers attempted to circumvent their responsibilities to provide workers’ compensation coverage by mischaracterizing employees as independent contractors.
If you or a family member recently sustained an injury at your workplace or while performing your job duties, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. While the workers’ compensation system exists to streamline an injured worker’s recovery from a job-related accident, navigating the claim process is more challenging than many claimants expect. An Anaheim workers’ compensation lawyer is the ideal resource in this situation. The team at Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio, Inc., has the experience necessary to handle the most challenging workers’ compensation cases in the Anaheim, CA, area.
The right Anaheim workers’ compensation lawyer can streamline your recovery significantly after a job-related accident. While the workers’ compensation claim process may seem straightforward at first, your attorney can help make filing your claim much more manageable. They can ensure all claim forms are completed correctly and that your claim has the necessary supporting documentation required by the insurance carrier.
Dealing with insurance companies is rarely easy, and filing a workers’ compensation claim is similar to filing any other type of insurance claim. First, you must notify the insurance carrier of your intent to file a claim, and they provide the instructions for doing so. Your Anaheim workers’ compensation lawyer can handle interactions with the insurance carrier on your behalf and ensure they handle your claim in good faith.
Many workers’ compensation claimants face unfair denials and meager settlement offers from their employers’ insurance carriers when determining benefits. Your Anaheim workers’ compensation attorney can ensure the settlement from the insurer is suitable for your situation. In addition, if you must appeal the insurer’s decision or take your case before the California Division of Workers’ Compensation, your attorney will make these processes much easier to complete.
Ultimately, hiring the right legal counsel can not only significantly improve your chances of securing a fair settlement to your workers’ compensation claim but may provide valuable legal support if you must take further legal action. The attorneys at Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio, Inc., take time to learn as much as we can about every client we represent, ensuring personalized legal counsel throughout all stages of the client’s case. We can guide you through the workers’ compensation claim process and determine if you have any additional options for recovery.
Virtually every employer in California must have workers’ compensation insurance, and employees have the right to file claims if they are injured at work or while working outside of their workplace. As long as the claimant was performing job-related duties when their injury occurred, they may file a workers’ compensation claim. The claim process begins once the injured worker notifies their supervisor of their injury. In an emergency, the victim will likely require immediate medical attention.
Once the injured worker reports their injury, their employer should provide them with instructions for their workers’ compensation claim. The employer’s insurance carrier will provide a list of local doctors the claimant can visit for a physical examination. While an injured worker can see any available doctor in an emergency, a workers’ compensation claim will require an examination from a physician approved by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
A workers’ compensation doctor assigns injured workers disability ratings that reflect the seriousness of the injuries and how likely it is that people will face long-term or permanent complications from them. Claimants’ disability ratings are crucial in the final determinations of benefits from the insurers.
In California, workers’ compensation generally offers two forms of payment to injured workers. First, a claimant can typically expect their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier to cover the cost of any medical treatment they may require for healing from their injury and managing their symptoms during recovery.
Second, the claimant can receive temporary disability benefits if they cannot work or earn as much income due to their injury. Finally, some workers’ compensation claimants do qualify for permanent disability benefits for severe workplace injuries. Still, the term “permanent” is a misnomer in most cases, as workers’ compensation insurance carriers will typically limit the time that ongoing benefits can continue. In some cases, insurers attempt to settle claims with large lump sum offers instead of ongoing benefits arrangements.
When a workers’ compensation claimant qualifies for temporary disability benefits, they generally receive about two-thirds of their average weekly wages each week in benefits. These payments can continue for up to 104 weeks. However, some claimants may qualify for benefit payments to be disbursed over five years if necessary.
California’s workers’ compensation laws typically prevent injured workers from suing their employers for workplace injuries. While workers’ compensation exists to protect employees who are injured at work, it also serves to shield employers from civil liability for injured workers’ damages. However, there are exceptions to this rule and a few situations where injured employers would have grounds to file personal injury claims against their employers or co-workers. For example, if an employer or co-worker intentionally caused the victim’s injury, or if an act of egregious negligence caused the injury in question, the at-fault party could face civil liability for damages that workers’ compensation does not cover.
Similarly, it is also possible for an injured worker to have grounds for legal action against a third party outside of their workplace. For example, if any other third party caused the claimant’s injury, the claimant could obtain workers’ compensation benefits because their injury occurred at work. In addition, a personal injury claim against the third party could enable them to recover damages that workers’ compensation won’t cover.
Your Anaheim workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine whether you have grounds for a third-party personal injury claim after a workplace injury. Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio, Inc., has years of experience assisting clients with workers’ compensation claims and third-party personal injury claims. We will help you build your complaint and calculate the damages you can seek from the party responsible for your workplace injury.
Proving fault in a third-party personal injury claim requires identifying the party responsible for your injury and proving a failure to act with reasonable care that directly caused your damages. While workers’ compensation can potentially cover the medical treatment you require and provide some compensation for your lost income, a successful third-party claim can enhance your overall recovery. For example, California law allows you to seek compensation for lost income not covered by workers’ compensation insurance and your pain and suffering. In addition, some defendants may face punitive damages depending on the nature of the behavior that caused a workplace injury.
In a straightforward workers’ compensation case where the claimant faces no adverse treatment from their employer and no unexpected interruptions in their claim, the injured worker can receive a settlement offer within a few weeks of filing their claim. However, more complex cases can take much longer to resolve, sometimes several months to a year. In addition, if a workers’ compensation case escalates to any litigation, this will significantly increase the time required to resolve the case.
California state law limits the amount an attorney can charge in a workers’ compensation case. Generally, the attorney may only take a percentage of the client’s final case award, and this percentage fee can fluctuate based on the total value of the claim. As a result, some workers’ compensation claimants may have grounds to seek compensation for their legal fees from the parties responsible for causing their injuries.
The maximum time you can expect to receive ongoing disability benefits from a workers’ compensation insurance carrier is 104 weeks. However, there are exceptions to this, and some injured workers could qualify to receive benefits for much longer. Consult your Anaheim workers’ compensation attorney to determine how long you can likely expect to continue receiving disability benefits.
Hiring legal counsel will significantly improve the quality of your overall experience with the workers’ compensation claim process. While you will need to pay your attorney for their services, reliable legal counsel can potentially yield a much better claim determination than you could have reached on your own. Additionally, your attorney may reveal opportunities to claim compensation for your legal fees or pursue further legal action outside the workers’ compensation claim system.
Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio, Inc., can provide the personalized legal representation you need to navigate California’s most challenging workers’ compensation claims. Contact us today and schedule your consultation to discuss your situation with an Anaheim workers’ compensation lawyer.