Workplace injuries happen every day in the Norwalk, CA, area. Some people work in inherently dangerous fields like construction and manufacturing, while others work in seemingly safe workplaces, only to suffer unexpected injuries from various possible causes. When workplace injuries happen in California, almost all injured employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance through their employers. Unfortunately, filing a workers’ compensation claim and obtaining benefits are more complicated than many claimants expect.
If you or a loved one recently suffered a workplace injury, a Norwalk workers’ compensation attorney is the best resource to consult to determine your legal options for recovering your damages. A successful workers’ compensation claim can potentially yield compensation for your medical expenses and some repayment of lost income while you are unable to work. However, depending on how your workplace injury happened and who is responsible for it, there may be a way for you to take legal action beyond your workers’ compensation claim.
The Canlas Law Group is a team of experienced Norwalk workers’ compensation lawyers who have successfully represented many past clients in complex workplace injury claims. Our team can assist you in filing your claim, exploring your other compensation options after an injury at work, and handling any problems that arise with the carrier that your employer uses for workers’ compensation insurance. Our goal in every case we accept is to help our client recover as fully as possible, and we can put our experience to work in your case.
The claim process for workers’ compensation may seem straightforward at first, but the reality is that a lot of injured workers in Norwalk and surrounding areas face unforeseen difficulties with their claims. Some claims are unfairly denied or denied because of paperwork errors and other administrative issues. Other claims are met with lowball settlement offers, and these claimants may not know how to respond to insurance companies in these situations. It’s even possible for an employer to directly interfere with an employee’s claim, potentially going so far as to fire the employee before they can obtain appropriate benefits.
Hiring an experienced Norwalk workers’ compensation lawyer is the best way to prevent some of these issues and address such issues when they do arise. Your attorney can assist you with the preliminary steps of filing your claim and interacting with the insurance carrier. Your legal team can ensure your settlement offer from the insurer is fair and reasonable, and if any issues arise, they can handle correspondence with claim adjusters on your behalf. Once you obtain a settlement, your attorney can then help you determine whether you meet the criteria for additional civil actions that may enhance your final recovery.
Ultimately, while there is no strict legal requirement to hire a Norwalk workers’ compensation lawyer after a workplace injury, hiring an experienced attorney significantly improves your chances of success with your claim. They are also more likely to maximize your final recovery. Canlas Law Group strives to help every client we represent recover as much compensation as possible for their workplace injuries. This sometimes requires both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim.
An injured worker should report their workplace injury to their immediate supervisor as soon as possible after the injury occurs. If the worker suffered a severe injury, they would need emergency transportation to the nearest hospital for treatment. Some employees sustain workplace injuries that seem mild at first, only for symptoms to worsen rapidly in the weeks following the injury. Therefore, it’s always best to report a workplace injury immediately, even if it seems minor at first.
Once an employee reports their injury, they can start the claim process for workers’ compensation. Their employer may not interfere with this process and is legally required to provide the employee with the forms and other materials they need to file their claim. An experienced Norwalk workers’ compensation lawyer will make the claim process faster and easier for the injured worker. They can also identify opportunities for further legal action that may enhance the injured worker’s recovery.
An injured worker will be required to visit a physician approved by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. They can see any doctor in an emergency but must attend a physical examination from a workers’ compensation doctor after their condition stabilizes. This physician will assign the injured worker a disability rating. The rating is based on the severity of the injury and whether the worker is likely to experience long-term or permanent complications. The higher the employee’s disability rating, the more substantial their benefits allotment is likely to be.
Workers’ compensation typically provides two benefits to injured workers: medical expense coverage and temporary disability payments while they recover. An injured worker can usually expect their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy to cover all medical expenses for healing their injury and managing symptoms during recovery. However, an insurer may deny coverage based on how the injury occurred. For example, while it’s possible for an injured worker to still qualify for workers’ compensation if they accidentally caused their own injury, they may have their claim denied if the injury resulted from working while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or some other violation of workplace policies.
Temporary disability benefits are generally awarded at two-thirds of the claimant’s average weekly wages. So, for example, if the claimant usually makes about $1,000 per week, they can expect to receive about $750 per week in temporary disability benefits payments. These payments can continue for up to 104 weeks in California, but some claimants may be eligible for permanent disability benefits after catastrophic injuries.
When a worker has suffered a severe injury that will prevent them from returning to work in the future, the insurance company may attempt to settle this type of claim with a “clincher” offer of a large lump sum. Your Norwalk workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine the fairest possible settlement for your claim and guide you through your interactions with the insurance company. In some cases, injured workers must take legal action outside of the workers’ compensation system.
Most employees are legally prohibited from suing their employers for workplace injuries in California. This is because the workers’ compensation system protects employers from civil liability and ensures benefits for injured workers. However, there are exceptions to this. For example, an injured employee could meet the criteria for a personal injury claim against their employer after a workplace injury if:
Your Norwalk workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine whether your case meets these criteria and if you have the right to sue your employer. Depending on how your injury happened, you could alternatively meet the criteria for a third-party personal injury claim. This would apply if someone other than your employer directly caused your injury. For example, if you were driving as part of your job duties and a drunk driver hit your vehicle and injured you, you would qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim because the injury happened while you were performing work duties. However, you would also meet the criteria for a personal injury claim against the drunk driver, and you could obtain compensation for damages not covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Success with a third-party personal injury claim or a personal injury claim against an employer is similar to any other personal injury case. The plaintiff must identify the party or parties responsible for their damages and prove the full extent of those damages. A workers’ compensation claim can potentially provide compensation for the cost of the victim’s medical treatment and some of their lost income. A successful personal injury claim filed in tandem with their workers’ compensation claim could help them recover the remainder of their lost income as well as compensation for pain and suffering. Some plaintiffs may also recover punitive or statutory damages based on how their injuries occurred.
An experienced and responsive attorney is a vital asset for any injured worker in the Norwalk, CA, area. Navigating the claim process for workers’ compensation while managing recovery from a serious injury is incredibly difficult. The right attorney can help their client successfully file their claim and handle interactions with the insurance company on behalf of the client. If there are any problems with the insurance company’s determination, the attorney can help their client address these variables as efficiently as possible.
Canlas Law Group believes in client-focused legal representation. We will investigate the details of how your workplace injury happened and help you determine the best legal options available to you that can enhance your overall recovery. We can also help you explore recovery options outside of the workers’ compensation system. Our team has extensive experience with both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims, and our goal is to help you recover as much compensation as possible for your recent workplace injury in Norwalk, CA.
Unfortunately, job security is not guaranteed while you are on workers’ compensation. If you cannot work, your employer has the right to hire and train a replacement while you are unable to work. While many employers strive to rehire injured workers once they recover, this is not guaranteed. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated following a workplace injury, you need to speak with a Norwalk workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.
California’s workers’ compensation law prevents employers from firing employees simply because they sustained injuries at work or filed for workers’ compensation benefits. However, California upholds an at-will employment law, meaning any work relationship can be terminated at will by either the employee or the employer, with or without notice or any specific reason. An employer may try to justify firing an injured worker due to company restructuring, company financial strain, poor employee performance, or other legal reasons.
Hiring an experienced attorney to help you with your workers’ compensation claim can dramatically improve the quality of your experience with the claim process. Your attorney can handle the procedural side of your case and help you determine the best strategies available to you. They can also clarify complex legal statutes that apply to your case so you can approach the situation with greater confidence. Ultimately, the right attorney can ensure a fuller recovery from your injury than you could have secured on your own.
The claim process for workers’ compensation is multifaceted and complex, and there are injured workers who are unprepared for the difficulties they will face as they work toward obtaining compensation for their injuries. It’s possible for an injured worker to receive a settlement offer from their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier within a few weeks of filing their claim. If they must take further legal action, such as a personal injury claim against their employer or someone else, this may take several months to resolve.
It’s understandable to have lots of legal questions after a workplace injury in Norwalk, CA. No matter how your injury occurred or what long-term complications you are likely to experience from it, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim in alignment with California state law. Legal guidance from an attorney you can trust is an invaluable asset in this situation. Contact the Canlas Law Group today and schedule your consultation with a reliable Norwalk workers’ compensation lawyer.