Almost everyone working in San Luis Obispo has access to workers’ compensation benefits when they sustain an injury at work. The workers’ compensation system in California exists to provide disability benefits and medical expense coverage to injured workers while also ensuring their jobs are available once they are medically fit to return to work. The state enforces some of the strictest workers’ compensation laws in the country, and it’s vital for every injured worker to understand their rights when seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
While filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in San Luis Obispo may appear similar to the process of filing any insurance claim, it is vital to understand what the process entails and the value of legal counsel you can trust as you seek your workers’ compensation benefits. Canlas Law Group has extensive professional experience with workers’ compensation claims and can help injured workers navigate the claim process with greater confidence. Additionally, if you need a San Luis Obispo workers’ compensation attorney to help you with your claim, we are prepared to assist you with every stage of your recovery efforts.
If you suffer any injury while working, you are eligible to claim workers’ compensation benefits, and your employer is legally required to facilitate your claim. Your employer should create an incident report detailing how your injury occurred and then provide you with the materials needed to complete the claim process. In addition, most workers’ compensation insurance carriers will require claimants to undergo medical evaluations from local physicians approved by those carriers. During a workers’ compensation medical evaluation, the physician will review the claimant’s medical condition and then assign them a disability rating.
Your disability rating informs the level of benefits you are eligible to receive. This rating is an indicator of the functional capacity to work that you retain after healing from your injury. If you disagree with the first physician’s assessment of your condition, you have the right to seek a second opinion. Your disability rating is one of the most important variables used to determine the level of benefits you can expect for your injury.
Your San Luis Obispo workers’ compensation attorney will be invaluable for every aspect of your claim, especially if you encounter any disputes with your employer and/or their insurance provider. If, for instance, the insurance company delivers an unacceptable determination of benefits, or if your employer interferes with your claim in any way or retaliates against you illegally, you will need legal counsel you can trust to resolve these issues and secure the benefits you legally deserve.
Most injured workers in San Luis Obispo who qualify for workers’ compensation will receive two types of benefits. First, they will have their medical treatment costs covered by their employer’s insurance. This includes both immediate treatment costs and any ongoing expenses for managing symptoms and ensuring maximum medical improvement. Second, they can receive ongoing disability benefits during the time they are unable to work. The amount they receive and the time they can continue receiving these benefits depends on their disability rating. Most claimants will qualify to receive up to 66.6% of their average pay for up to 104 weeks, but this can be extended over a longer period of time if the claimant has suffered a severe injury.
It’s possible for injured workers to qualify for partial disability benefits if they can work but cannot earn as much income due to their injury. With a partial disability benefits determination, the worker must report their earnings and their medical updates to the insurance company to continue receiving benefits.
When you choose Canlas Law Group to help you with your claim for benefits, our team will carefully review the details of your case and the terms of your employer’s policy to ensure you receive the maximum level of benefits available to you. Additionally, if you encounter any problems with your employer and/or their insurance carrier, we can resolve these issues on your behalf so you can recover from your injury with confidence.
While the workers’ compensation system aims to alleviate the financial strain facing injured workers and provide job security, it also serves to protect employers from civil suits from their injured workers. You generally do not have the ability to sue an employer for a workplace injury except under specific conditions. If, for example, your employer does not have appropriate workers’ compensation insurance coverage as required by law, you can file a civil suit against them to recover your damages from a workplace injury.
Unfortunately, some employers are not only unhelpful toward their injured workers regarding their workers’ compensation claims but engage in direct interference or even illegal retaliation against them. If you were harassed, subjected to a hostile work environment, or fired in response to your request for a workers’ compensation claim form, it could form the basis of a civil suit against your employer, and you will need an experienced attorney to guide you through this case.
It’s also possible for you to have grounds for a third-party personal injury claim if anyone outside of your work caused your injury. If, for example, you were driving for work and a drunk driver hit your vehicle and injured you, you would still be able to file a workers’ compensation claim since the injury occurred while you were performing your work duties. Additionally, you could file a personal injury claim against the drunk driver to secure compensation for the damages workers’ compensation doesn’t provide.
Canlas Law Group excels at helping injured workers in San Luis Obispo with their workers’ compensation claims. Throughout the years of our firm’s operation, we have successfully represented many injured workers in their workers’ compensation cases and related legal matters, including both employment law cases and personal injury claims. Whatever your situation entails, we will provide compassionate and detail-oriented legal counsel through every stage of your recovery efforts.
The time your case will require to complete depends on the severity of your injury and whether you have reliable legal counsel advising you. Hiring a San Luis Obispo workers’ compensation attorney to guide you through the claim process will significantly reduce the time it will take you to receive your benefits. In addition, when you hire Canlas Law Group for your workers’ compensation claim, we can provide an estimate of how long it may take to settle your case.
On average, a workers’ compensation claimant will recover the total amount of medical expenses they incur from their workplace injury, and when they qualify for ongoing disability benefits, these will typically amount to about two-thirds of their average weekly wages. Other factors can influence the total benefits you receive from your claim, and you may also have grounds for further recovery through related civil actions depending on how your injury happened.
You should still qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in California if you caused your own work injury through an honest mistake or simple negligence. However, if you caused the injury because you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at work, intentionally violated a workplace safety policy, were willfully reckless, or committed intentional misconduct of any kind, you may be disqualified from obtaining benefits.
While workers’ compensation exists to provide a financial safety net and job security to injured workers, it also serves to insulate employers from civil liability for their workers’ injuries. You typically cannot sue your employer for a work injury unless they caused the injury intentionally. If you have questions about further legal recourse outside of the workers’ compensation claim process, you must consult your San Luis Obispo workers’ compensation attorney.
Technically, there is no legal requirement to hire an attorney to help you with your workers’ compensation claim. However, legal counsel you can trust is an invaluable asset in the workers’ compensation claim process. You are more likely to succeed with your claim and more likely to maximize your benefits with their assistance. Additionally, your attorney can identify any room for legal action you may pursue that could enhance your total recovery.
Canlas Law Group has years of professional experience representing clients in the workers’ compensation claim process. We know you likely have many pressing legal questions in this difficult situation, and our firm has the skills and resources necessary to handle the challenges your recovery efforts will entail. To learn how a San Luis Obispo workers’ compensation attorney can empower your recovery, contact Canlas Law Group today and schedule a free consultation.