California Workers’ Compensation
For employees who suffer serious injuries or illnesses on the job, workers’ compensation benefits can mean the difference between lost wages and getting the medical care you need to return to work. While there are workers’ compensation regulations mandated by the federal government for federal and certain other employees, each state has its own laws regarding workers’ compensation and the payment of benefits to injured workers. In California, the Division of Workers’ Compensation is charged with monitoring the administration of workers’ comp claims and resolving disputes related to claims for workers’ compensation benefits from employees injured in work-related accidents. If you have been injured in an on-the-job accident in California, and you believe you may be entitled to benefits, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer today for legal help.
Pursuing Workers’ Comp Benefits in California
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to provide employees with the medical treatment they need to recover from their work-related injury or illness, and partially replace any lost wages the employee sustains while recovering, so he or she can return to work. Not all injured employees are entitled to workers’ comp benefits in California, so it’s important to understand your rights under California workers’ compensation law. If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness in California, follow these steps to pursue the workers’ compensation benefits you and your family deserve:
- Get emergency medical treatment, if needed. If your work-related injury or illness is an emergency, seek immediate medical care. Tell the medical staff that your injury or illness is job-related. If it’s not an emergency, make sure you get first aid or see a doctor if necessary.
- Report the injury or illness to your employer. It’s important to notify your employer or supervisor of the injury or illness as soon as possible to avoid delays in receiving benefits. If the injury or illness developed gradually, report it as soon as you learn or come to believe it was caused by your job. If you don’t report the injury within 30 days, you could lose your right to receive workers’ comp benefits.
- File an official workers’ compensation claim. Your employer is required to give or mail you a workers’ compensation claim form within one working day of learning about the work-related injury or illness. Once you complete the claim form, your employer will forward the form to the insurance company. You should be notified of the status of your claim within 14 days.
What Does CA Workers’ Compensation Cover?
California labor laws require that all businesses with one or more employees provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance. In California, workers’ compensation insurance offers five basic benefits:
- Medical care – to help you recover from your work-related injury or illness
- Temporary disability benefits – if you lose wages because your on-the-job injury prevents you from doing your normal job while recovering
- Permanent disability benefits – if you don’t recover completely from your injury or illness
- Supplemental job displacement benefits (for injuries occurring in 2004 or later) – to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you don’t recover completely from your injury and you don’t return to work for your employer
- Death benefits – compensation for the spouse, children and other dependents if a worker dies from a work-related injury or illness
Contact a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in California
After you’ve suffered an injury or illness, getting the medical attention you need and returning to work can help you avoid financial losses from being off work. Unfortunately, receiving the workers’ comp benefits you are entitled to following an on-the-job injury or illness can be a confusing and frustrating process, especially for those who aren’t familiar with workers’ compensation laws in California. It can be especially frustrating for injured employees whose benefits are denied, which means the claims administrator believes the injury is not covered by workers’ compensation. If you suffered a work-related injury or illness in California, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits to cover the cost of your medical bills and other expenses. Consult a reputable California workers’ compensation attorney today to ensure that your rights are protected.