Every employee in Orcutt and throughout California deserves a safe work environment. To that end, it’s crucial to understand the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ compensation is a valuable form of insurance coverage that virtually every employer is required to carry, and this insurance comes into play whenever an employee suffers an injury at work. Whether you work on construction sites or in an office building, you are likely covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
When an injury occurs while working, the first steps you take after the injury can have a dramatic impact on all the recovery efforts you pursue. An experienced Orcutt workers’ compensation attorney is an invaluable asset in this situation, as they can streamline the process of securing compensation for the injury and facilitating your eventual return to work.
Unfortunately, many injured workers in Orcutt experience unexpected difficulties when filing their workers’ compensation claims. Not every employer upholds their legal responsibilities under the state’s workers’ compensation laws, and not every insurance carrier handles these claims in good faith. When you have Canlas Law Group to represent you in your workers’ compensation case, we will do everything we can to streamline your recovery process and maximize the benefits you receive.
Your employer has certain legal obligations they must fulfill after you sustain any kind of injury at work. First, they must document your injury in an incident report. Second, they must provide you with the materials needed for filing your workers’ compensation claim. Third, they may not interfere with your claim in any way, nor may they take any illegal retaliatory actions against you for filing your claim for benefits.
You should report your injury immediately to your supervisor and seek medical treatment. You can see any doctor if you are severely hurt and need immediate care, but you will need to undergo a medical examination from a physician your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier approved before you can file your claim for benefits. If you see another doctor for emergency care, you will need to see a workers’ compensation doctor after you stabilize.
The workers’ compensation doctor will assign you a disability rating depending on the severity of your injury and the level of functional capacity you are likely to retain after reaching maximum medical improvement. This disability rating informs the level of compensation you can expect for the injury. A higher rating means you qualify to receive more benefits longer. If you disagree with the doctor’s assessment of your condition, you have the right to seek a second opinion.
Once you have obtained a medical report from a workers’ compensation doctor and completed your claim forms, you are ready to file your claim for benefits to your employer’s insurance carrier. Again, an experienced Orcutt workers’ compensation attorney is the ideal asset to assist you in your efforts if you want to streamline your recovery process as much as possible.
Most workers’ compensation claimants in Orcutt can expect to receive two sorts of compensation for their workplace injuries. First, their claim should yield full coverage of all the medical expenses after their injury. This includes immediate treatment expenses and any ongoing medical expenses for rehabilitation and restoring functional capacity. Next, they will receive ongoing disability benefits depending on the severity of their injury.
Medical expense coverage is relatively straightforward, and most medical care will be covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation benefits. However, disability benefits are more variable and more likely to give rise to legal disputes. When a worker qualifies for total disability payments until they recover, they should receive about 66.6% of their weekly pay in weekly disability benefits, and these payments can continue up to 104 weeks. Some claimants might qualify for more extensive benefits if they suffered severe injuries. Your Orcutt workers’ compensation attorney will be invaluable for reviewing your employer’s insurance policy and ensuring their insurance carrier delivers a fair determination of benefits.
It’s also possible for a claimant to be awarded partial disability benefits. This is most applicable when a claimant can still work after their injury but cannot earn as much income. If, for example, you can handle light duty that does not pay as much as your previous position, your partial disability benefits can make up the difference. However, you must provide medical reports to your employer’s insurance carrier so they can track your recovery and report your earnings.
While California’s workers’ compensation laws generally prevent injured workers from filing civil suits against their employers for work-related injuries, this immunity only applies if the employer has appropriate insurance. If they don’t have workers’ compensation insurance, they not only face a civil suit from their injured employee but also penalties from the state.
An employer can also face penalties if they engage in any retaliation against the injured worker. Multiple workers’ compensation claims from the same employer can cause their insurance premiums to rise, and this, unfortunately, encourages some employers to retaliate by way of wrongful termination, harassment, or creating hostile work environments for injured employees.
In the event a third party caused the injury, you could not only file for workers’ compensation since the injury happened while you were working, but you could also file a third-party personal injury claim to enhance your recovery. You could secure recompense for damages that your workers’ compensation claim does not cover through a civil suit, such as your pain and suffering and the lost income your disability benefits don’t cover.
Canlas Law Group can provide comprehensive legal representation for all the recovery efforts you must attempt after your work injury in Orcutt. We have years of professional experience representing clients in their workers’ compensation claims, related third-party claims, and even employment cases against employers who violate state or federal law. Whatever your situation involves, you can expect personalized, responsive communication with our team through every stage of your legal proceedings.
When you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits through your employer in Orcutt, you should expect full coverage of your medical expenses and ongoing disability payments until you can resume your work duties. The total amount you receive depends on the average weekly wage you earned during the year prior to your injury. Your Orcutt workers’ compensation attorney can help secure maximum compensation for your work injury.
Generally, workers’ compensation benefits will continue for up to 104 weeks for most injured workers. However, this limit may be extended to up to 240 weeks if they suffered a severe injury. In the event a claimant was catastrophically injured and suffered a permanent disability that completely prevents them from working in the future, they may qualify for permanent disability benefits.
When you have the right Orcutt workers’ compensation attorney representing you, it should take only a few weeks for you to receive compensation for your work injury. Your attorney can streamline the claim process and help you explore every avenue of compensation available to you aside from the workers’ compensation claim, depending on how your injury occurred. On average, most claimants will receive their first benefits within a few weeks of filing their claims.
Workers’ compensation benefits both employees and employers. While providing a safety net for injured workers, this insurance coverage also protects employers from civil suits for workplace injuries. You typically cannot file a personal injury claim against your employer for a work injury unless they do not have workers’ compensation insurance or if they caused your injury intentionally in any way.
Canlas Law Group ensures that our legal representation is affordable and accessible to those who need it most with a contingency fee billing policy. When you choose us to handle your claim, you do not pay any up front or ongoing legal fees for our representation. Instead, we take a percentage of your final case award as our payment, but only if we win your case. If we are unable to secure compensation for the injury for any reason, you owe nothing in legal fees.
Canlas Law Group has successfully represented many clients in Orcutt and surrounding communities in their workers’ compensation claims. If the aftermath of a work-related injury is causing you to struggle and you want to maximize the results of your recovery efforts, contact our firm. We can assist you. Reach out to schedule your free consultation with an Orcutt workers’ compensation attorney and learn more.