The California workers’ compensation system exists to provide medical expense coverage and disability benefits to workers who suffer injuries on the job. If you or a loved one recently sustained a workplace injury in Bakersfield, CA, you likely have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. California state law requires every employer to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and employers are legally obligated to provide their injured employees with the materials necessary for filing workers’ compensation claims.
Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio Inc. provides comprehensive and compassionate legal representation for injured workers in Bakersfield, CA, and surrounding areas who need to file claims for workers’ compensation benefits. We understand that you probably have many questions about the claim process, your eligibility for benefits, and what information you may need to provide to the California Department of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) to succeed with your claim. Our team can guide you through the claim process and help you secure the benefits you and your family need after a workplace injury in Bakersfield.
California state law requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Therefore, whenever an employee suffers an injury at work, they should notify their supervisor of the incident immediately and request the materials needed to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. As long as your injury occurred at your workplace or while performing your job duties, you have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits typically include coverage for any medical treatment your injury requires, as well as partial coverage of your lost income during recovery.
The California DWC typically limits short-term disability benefits to a maximum of 104 weeks that can be spread out over five years. However, it is possible to qualify for permanent disability benefits if your workplace injury results in a permanent disability that prevents you from returning to work. The weekly disability payments a claimant receives typically amount to about two-thirds of the claimant’s average weekly wage.
Some of the most commonly reported workplace injuries that lead to claims for workers’ compensation benefits in Bakersfield, CA, include:
Suppose you are unsure whether you qualify to file for workers’ compensation benefits. In that case, a Bakersfield workers’ compensation attorney is the best resource to consult as to the best way to approach recovery from your damages. Additionally, if any party outside of your work caused your injury, you may have grounds for further legal action in the form of a third-party claim. For example, suppose you were hit by a drunk driver while performing a delivery for work. In that case, you could claim workers’ compensation to recover your medical expenses and secure short-term disability benefits. You could also file a personal injury claim against the drunk driver to recover damages that workers’ compensation benefits won’t cover.
Time is a critical factor for any workers’ compensation claim in Bakersfield. California state law allows for a one-year statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims, beginning when an injury occurs. After that, however, the injured worker needs to report their injury and begin the claim process as soon as possible. Any delays in filing your workers’ compensation claim will cause the California DWC to look skeptically at your claim and may delay your receiving benefits.
Once you report your injury to your supervisor, they should provide you with the materials needed to file your workers’ compensation claim. They will also give you a list of physicians nearby that have been approved by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. You can see any available physician in an emergency, but you must visit one of these approved workers’ compensation doctors to obtain your disability rating.
A disability rating is a numerical value assigned to a workers’ compensation claimant that reflects the severity of their injury and whether they face long-term or permanent complications from the injury. Higher disability ratings tend to lead to more expansive benefits. Once you complete your medical examination and submit all necessary documentation with your claim, the California DWC will review it and deliver your determination of benefits.
While the workers’ compensation claim process may sound straightforward, the reality is that many claimants encounter various problems in filing their claims and obtaining the benefits they need to recover from workplace injuries. A Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyer can not only streamline the claim process for their client but also address unexpected issues with the DWC or a difficult employer.
Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio Inc. offers extensive experience with the California workers’ compensation system to every client we represent. We know how challenging it can be to meet the procedural requirements of your workers’ compensation claim while recovering from a painful workplace injury and want to provide the legal support you need to navigate this process as seamlessly as possible.
Our firm can assist you with filing your claim, gathering any supporting documentation you need to submit with your claim, and helping you address unexpected issues in the handling of your claim. If you are ready to submit a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in Bakersfield, or if you need legal assistance to address an unfairly denied or unreasonably delayed claim, we can help. Contact Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio Inc. today to schedule your consultation with an experienced and compassionate Bakersfield workers’ compensation attorney.