California sheriffs have unique duties in comparison to regional and local police officers working throughout California communities. Sheriffs conduct surveillance of their areas of jurisdiction, respond to calls from citizens, keep the peace, and maintain county jails. They also participate actively in the criminal justice system in several capacities, often playing critical roles in courthouse operations throughout the state. In addition, Sheriffs have vital legal and professional duties enshrined in the California State Constitution, and many of these vital workers face injury risks every day on the job.
When an employee of a California Sheriff’s Department sustains an injury at work, they have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim just like any other California employee. California law requires all employers to maintain workers’ compensation insurance, and this law applies to government agencies as well as private employers. Unfortunately, the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and obtaining workers’ compensation benefits is far more complicated than many injured workers realize.
Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio Inc. provides comprehensive and compassionate legal counsel to injured sheriffs who file workers’ compensation benefits claims in Santa Ana, CA, and surrounding areas. We understand the unique risks that sheriffs face every day on the job and that a workplace injury can easily cause substantial medical bills and interfere with the victim’s ability to work. If you or a loved one is a California sheriff who has sustained a workplace injury, we can confidently guide you through the workers’ compensation claim process.
Sheriffs, like all police officers working throughout California, face innumerable risks every day on the job. They have unique duties that often place them at greater risk than other police officers, such as transporting dangerous prisoners through the criminal justice system, responding to calls, and serving arrest warrants. A California sheriff can sustain many different types of injuries when dealing with criminal suspects, including gunshot wounds, stab wounds, and blunt force trauma from interpersonal violence,as well as stress-related injuries from repetitive motions, slip and fall injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.
When a California sheriff sustains any injury in the line of duty, their Sheriff’s Department must facilitate a workers’ compensation claim and help them secure any other job benefits that might apply to their situation. Some workplace injuries can cause long-term or permanent disabilities that interfere with victims’ ability to work and financially support themselves and their families. The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is responsible for handling workers’ compensation benefits claims that these injured victims need to recover from job-related injuries and illnesses.
Filing for workers’ compensation benefits in California is much easier in theory than in practice. The claim process is time-consuming and tedious, and most claimants must provide supporting documentation to accompany their claims sent to the California DWC. An injured sheriff must report their injury as soon as possible after it occurs, even if they think it is minor at first. The Sheriff’s Departments operating throughout California must maintain meticulous records of all incidents involving injuries to sheriffs and Sheriff’s Department employees. These incident reports are typically required alongside workers’ compensation claims from injured workers.
Once a claim is filed, the DWC investigates and processes the claim. The injured claimant must visit a physician approved by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier to receive a medical examination and disability rating. This rating will determine the scope of the benefits for which they qualify. A low disability rating will generally mean the claimant can expect coverage for their medical expenses and short-term disability benefits while recovering from their injury. Typically, the DWC limits disability benefits to 104 weeks, which may be extended over five years. However, higher disability ratings may entitle claimants to long-term or permanent disability benefits depending on the severity of their injuries.
An injured sheriff is likely to face substantial medical bills and may be unable to work for an extended time while recovering from their injuries. Dealing with a complex workers’ compensation claim while also managing recovery from a severe workplace injury can be incredibly taxing, and a California workers’ compensation attorney can assist an injured Sheriff’s Department employee in many ways.
First, your legal team can help you complete your claim forms and gather the supporting documentation you must submit to the California DWC. When your initial claim paperwork is complete and in order, this will significantly reduce the time required for your claim to complete the investigation and approval processes. While most Sheriff’s Departments in California support their employees who must file workers’ compensation claims, there is always a chance that a supervisor might interfere with or mishandle an injured employee’s workers’ compensation claim.
Your California workers’ compensation lawyer can not only assist you in dealing with the DWC but also address any unjust resistance against your claim from your employer. If your claim is denied, or if the DWC’s determination of benefits does not provide the financial support you expected, your legal team can also address these issues on your behalf.
The California workers’ compensation attorneys at Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio Inc. each have more than 20 years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims on behalf of clients in Santa Ana and throughout the surrounding areas. For example, suppose you are struggling with a workplace injury you sustained while performing job duties as a member of a California Sheriff’s Department. In that case, we can provide the legal counsel you need to navigate the workers’ compensation claim process successfully.
Our team can not only help you secure benefits in a timely fashion but also assist you in exploring additional avenues of recovery that may be available to you, such as a third-party claim against the party responsible for causing your injury. If you are ready to file your workers’ compensation claim after an injury you suffered while working for a California Sheriff’s Department, contact Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio Inc. to schedule a consultation with an experienced and compassionate Orange County, California Sheriff’s workers’ compensation attorney.