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2024 What Is Workers’ Compensation in California?

If you have been hurt at work, you may wonder, “What is workers’ compensation in California?” Many people have some working idea of what workers’ compensation is, but they don’t really take time to understand it until a workplace injury happens and they need to file a claim. The Canlas Law Group can provide guidance and answer your questions if you have been injured in the workplace.

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that exists to serve two important purposes. First, it protects covered employers from civil liability for their injured workers’ damages. This means if you are hurt while working and your boss has this insurance, you cannot file a civil suit against your employer in response except under specific conditions. Second, this insurance provides an economic safety net to an injured worker that can help with their recovery.

State Law Mandates Most Employers to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance

California law requires almost all employers in the state to have this insurance, and an employer will pay a regular premium to maintain their coverage. The premium that the employer pays typically depends on the perceived level of risk their operations entail and the number of employees working for them. Employers are required to facilitate injured workers’ claims and may not retaliate against their employees for filing these claims.

When an employee suffers an injury on the job, they must report the injury to their supervisor and obtain the forms needed for them to file their claim. The insurance company will often require claimants to undergo medical evaluations to assess their level of disability. When you see a workers’ compensation doctor, they will review your condition and assign a disability rating that will then influence how much you receive in benefits.

Resolving Your Work Injury Claim

After you complete the preliminary steps, your case requires you to file the claim, and the insurance company will deliver their determination of benefits. The average injured worker in the state can reasonably expect the insurance company to pay for all the medical care they need to fully recover, and they can receive disability benefits if their injury prevents them from working or diminishes their earning capacity.

Your workers’ compensation attorney can help file your claim efficiently and ensure that you receive appropriate benefits. If any disputes arise, or if you believe your claim has been mishandled, your attorney can know how to resolve these issues for you so you can recover your benefits as quickly as possible. They can also help you explore alternative avenues of recovery that you may have overlooked on your own.

While workers’ compensation insurance typically shields employers from civil liability for their injured workers’ damages, there are exceptions to this rule. It is also possible for an injured worker to have grounds for legal action against a third party who caused their injury at work. Ultimately, you could have more opportunities to recover compensation for a workplace injury than you initially realize, so it’s important to consult an experienced attorney quickly.


Q: How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?

A: Workers’ compensation works similarly to most other types of insurance in California. The injured claimant files their claim through their employer, and the employer’s insurance carrier reviews the claim to determine what level of benefits the claimant should receive. The purpose of this insurance is to protect employers from civil liability for their injured workers’ damages while providing financial relief to injured workers while they recover from their injuries.

Q: How Much Can You Get in Workers’ Compensation?

A: The amount you can get in workers’ compensation in California will vary from case to case. Your workers’ compensation benefits will include medical expense coverage for your injury and disability benefits that reflect your diminished capacity to work following your injury. It’s possible to receive partial or total disability benefits depending on whether you are able to work following the injury. Your attorney can help maximize your benefits.

Q: What Happens if a Work Injury Is Permanent?

A: If a work injury is permanent in California, it is possible for the injured worker to continue receiving benefits beyond the standard 104-week limit. However, insurance companies scrutinize such cases very closely and tend to look for ways to avoid long-term liabilities. If you have suffered a permanently disabling injury at work, you may be offered a clincher deal with a large lump sum, but your attorney can advise you as to the optimal way to maximize your benefits.

Q: Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

A: You need a workers’ comp lawyer to help you file a workers’ compensation claim if you want the greatest chance of reaching a positive result as swiftly as possible. When you have trusted legal counsel on your side, you are more likely to succeed with your claim, less likely to encounter any bad faith tactics from the insurance carrier, and more likely to maximize the benefits you obtain. Your attorney can also help explore alternative recovery options that may be available to you.

Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?

A: The cost to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer depends on the attorney’s billing policy. At the Canlas Law Group, we take these cases on a contingency fee basis, so our client pays a percentage of their case award as our fee, and they pay nothing if we are unable to secure compensation for them. This billing policy makes legal counsel as accessible as possible to those who need it most and poses no financial risk to the injured client.

The Canlas Law Group has years of professional experience handling all types of work injury cases for our clients throughout the state, and we know that you probably have lots of important legal questions about the workers’ compensation system. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with our team so we can listen to your story and provide the guidance you need after an injury at work.

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