If you are injured on the job, you might be eligible for certain benefits under the state-mandated insurance coverage program referred to as workers’ compensation. Your California workmans’ comp lawyer can help you navigate the complex system, helping to determine if your injury or illness is covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
It’s important to be aware that there are strict statutes of limitations that can have an impact on your ability to make a claim, so it’s crucial that you see an attorney sooner rather than later if you are injured or become ill.
Workmans’ comp is a no-fault system; it provides coverage for an injured employee to get benefits without fault. Under the system, the injured employee then waives his or her right to file suit against the employer, even if it was the employer’s negligence that resulted in the injury.
Types of California Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There are five categories of benefits available through a workmans’ comp claim:
- Treatment or medical care for the injury or illness
- Temporary disability benefits if the employee is unable to work for a period of time
- Permanent disability benefits if the employee is no longer able to work
- Vocational rehabilitation services
- Death benefits in the event that the employee loses his or her life because of the injuries or illness
As a law based solely on the employer-employee relationship, negligence factors do not come into play. Regardless of who is at fault, if you suffer an injury at work, you are entitled to coverage according to workmans’ comp rules. You cannot receive any benefits for emotional or mental distress under this law as these aspects of your injury are not considered.
Two Types of Workplace Injuries
There are two types of workplace injuries that involve workers’ compensation: a specific injury and a cumulative trauma. The first type, specific, usually involves a particular incident, such as a fall or injury sustained carrying a heavy object. The section type, cumulative, involves an employee doing a repetitive action that ultimately causes an injury to a part of the body, such as carpel tunnel from keyboarding.
Can the Employer Be Considered Negligent?
If employers ignore unsafe working conditions or equipment after being aware of the issues, they can be considered negligent. When action isn’t taken to fix dangerous work conditions, this could mean the employer would bear some of the responsibility for the accident. Unsafe equipment could also mean the manufacturer of said equipment could be named in a lawsuit.
The Amount of Workers’ Compensation for Which You Might Be Eligible
The formula used to determine benefits can be complex, and there are different types of benefits depending on the nature of your injury and the classification of your job according to work duties.
Temporary disability benefits are untaxed payments from your employer when you are covering from injury or illness that has left you unable to perform your job. If you can do some of the work but not all of it, you might be eligible for partial benefits.
It’s best to have a workers’ compensation attorney help you work through the complex equations and confusing claim forms as well as ensure your side of the story is heard. The maze is complicated and not easy to navigate without guidance from counsel.
Contact Heit Law Group if you have been injured on the job and believe you might be eligible for benefits under California workers’ compensation insurance. Every legal situation is different, but we can deliver real solutions for you. Call (310) 744-5227, email us, or complete our contact form. We never charge for your initial consultation and everything you say will always remain completely confidential, so you never have to worry about anyone knowing you spoke to an attorney.