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2024 How Does Workers’ Comp Work in California?

Suffering an injury in the workplace is a challenging experience. California law protects injured employees, ensuring that they can receive appropriate benefits to recover physically and financially. However, the claims process can be complex, and those without the necessary experience could overlook significant benefits. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, it is important that you speak with a California workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible.

The attorneys at the Canlas Law Group have extensive experience helping clients receive the maximum possible benefits to which they are legally entitled. We care about every client and want to ensure that they have what they need to fully recover from their injuries. With an individualized approach to each case, we can guide you through the complicated legal procedures of filing a workers’ compensation claim.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

In California, an injured worker has a right to receive benefits that are intended to help them both recover and rehabilitate from their injuries. This system is in place primarily to protect the employee by ensuring that they receive prompt and appropriate medical treatment and won’t suffer any financial loss as a result of performing work duties, even if an accident were to occur.

The state requires nearly all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance and allows most employees to qualify, even if they were at fault for the accident or injury. Compensation includes several types of benefits, such as:

  • Medical benefits. Workers’ comp covers the costs of medical treatments, including emergency services, medical procedures, medication, ongoing treatment, and follow-up care.
  • Rehabilitation benefits. Workers’ comp is intended to compensate as well as rehabilitate. This includes vocational training, physical therapy, and other rehabilitative treatment to help an employee return to work.
  • Disability benefits. Injured workers are entitled to wage compensation to cover lost wages resulting from missed work on account of their injury. These benefits could be temporary for those who are expected to fully recover or permanent for those whose injuries leave them unable to return to work in the same capacity.
  • Death benefits. Tragically, some workplace injuries or illnesses lead to an employee’s death. In these cases, the benefits to which the worker would have been qualified to receive will go to their dependents or other close loved ones.

How Do I Apply for Workers’ Compensation?

If you suffer an injury or illness while at work or while performing work-related tasks, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits through the claims filing process. The steps to do this include:

  • Seek medical attention. The most important thing to ensure if you experience an injury is that you receive proper and immediate medical care, including an examination and treatment.
  • Report the injury. You are required to inform your employer about the injury as soon as you are able, usually no later than within a few days of the injury. The report should explain the nature and extent of the injury as well as the circumstances that led to the injury.
  • Submit a claim form. You will need to complete and return a claim form to your employer, with everything appropriately filled out and included. Your employer will actually be the one submitting the claim to their insurance carrier.
  • Wait for review. The insurance company will then review and evaluate your claim application, making a determination in your case. During this review, they may reach out to gather further information.
  • Follow-up. If the claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. Otherwise, you can continue to receive updates from either your employer or the insurance company.

While many of the steps seem relatively straightforward, making sure that you are meeting all applicable deadlines and including all appropriate documents can get complicated. It is highly recommended that you work with a qualified and experienced workers’ comp lawyer throughout the process.

FAQs

Q: How Is California Workers’ Comp Calculated?

A: In California, workers’ compensation claim benefits are generally calculated at two-thirds of a worker’s pre-taxed gross wages. Some employers offer additional compensation through Disability Leave With Pay programs, which can make up the difference so that you receive the entirety of your income. These additional programs are not legally required and will vary by employer. Typically, the duration of the workers’ compensation will be decided in the settlement agreement between the insurance and the employee.

Q: How Does California Workers’ Comp Work?

A: California’s workers’ compensation system was designed to provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illness. This system involves several aspects.

First, nearly all employers are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees. Second, it is a no-fault system, meaning that employees are entitled to receive benefits regardless of whether they share fault in the accident that caused their injury. Claim benefits generally include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability benefits.

Q: Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Pain and Suffering in California?

A: Workers’ compensation in California does not cover damages for pain and suffering. Generally, pain and suffering is a type of compensation provided in personal injury cases when the injured individual is a victim of someone else’s negligence. Workers’ compensation focuses on rehabilitation and restoring any economic losses associated with the injury. In some cases, if there was a negligent party responsible for your injury-inducing accident, you may be able to recover damages through a personal injury claim.

Q: What Is the Average Workers’ Comp Payout in California?

A: The average workers’ compensation payout falls within a wide range of between $2,000 and $20,000, depending largely on the severity of the injury. Each claim is unique and will vary based on the details of every individual case. It is important to speak with a qualified workers’ compensation attorney to get an idea of what your claim could be worth, what to expect from the process, and to receive help and guidance in the claims process.

Contact Your Los Angeles Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today

If you’ve suffered a work-related injury or illness, California’s workers’ compensation system is intended to help you recover financial losses and receive the benefits you need to recover physically. For help navigating the workers’ comp system and ensuring that you obtain a favorable outcome from your claim, talk to a member of our team at the Canlas Law Group. Our attorneys can guide you through the process. Contact our office to get started.

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