How Can a Workers' Compensation Attorney Help?
Were You Injured in an Accident at Work?
The California Workers' compensation laws were established to financially compensate employees who were injured while working. These laws allow victims to receive the medical treatment that is needed in order for them to heal from work-related injuries without placing them into medical debt.
However, the process is not necessarily simple, and mistakes do happen. Unfortunately, one seemingly small error can result in a workers' comp claim being rejected and medical treatment denied.
At Angeleno Accident Lawyers, we simplify the process of filing a workers' compensation claim. With our help in facilitating the legal procedures, clients are able to obtain a full range of workers' compensation benefits after sustaining injuries while on the job.
If you were injured while working, contact an experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation lawyer today. We provide a free consultation to get started.
Why Hire Angeleno Accident Lawyers for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?
There are plenty of personal injury law firms to choose from in Southern California, especially in the city of Los Angeles. However, not every firm is capable of taking on workers’ compensation cases.
At Angeleno Accident Lawyers, our legal team specializes in California workers’ compensation laws and holds a strong 99% success rate for the cases we take on. Our attorneys are committed to our clients and advocate on their behalf to get them maximum compensation.
Our legal team's accomplishments have earned us a top client satisfaction rating on Avvo, a place on the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and a selection to the Super Lawyers list. The firm’s lead attorney, Mr. Sean Vargas, also served as Pro Tem Judge at the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).
The workers' compensation lawyers at our firm follow a billing structure based on a contingency fee basis, so if we cannot secure maximum compensation, you will not be billed for our services. Our goal is to improve your recovery and ensure you are properly compensated for any and all workplace injuries sustained.
Our firm offers free consultations so make sure the first phone call you make after your injury is to Angeleno Accident Lawyers.
How Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Help
If an employer or employer's insurance company disputes the eligibility for financial recovery, consult with the workers' compensation attorneys at Angeleno Accident Lawyers. When working with an experienced Los Angeles workers' compensation attorney, you will have a legal advocate on your side who will negotiate for full and fair compensation.
Experienced Legal Team in Los Angeles
At Angeleno Accident Lawyers, we measure success based on how satisfied our clients are with our performance and on the outcomes, we are able to deliver on their behalf.
Our attorneys negotiate with the insurance company to ensure clients are covered in all aspects, including current medical bills, ongoing physical therapy, and other related damages.
With our legal team's experience, we know what evidence and proof are needed to get your workers' compensation claim approved. When you’re in pain from serious injuries, which have the potential to debilitate your physical well-being, immediate medical attention is vital.
We will work to get your claim approved, your work injuries treated, and you properly compensated.
When Injured Workers Should Hire a Workers' Comp Lawyer
If you suffered a serious injury or debilitating injury at work, the time to consult with a workers' compensation lawyer is: Now.
The guidance from a local Los Angeles workers' compensation attorney will provide guidance and prevent mistakes from being made. An attorney who is knowledgeable in the field will provide insight into employment law and help injured victims obtain maximum benefits.
Additionally, workers' compensation lawyers protect the rights of injured employees from being taken advantage of by insurance companies. After suffering workplace injuries, employees are entitled to financial benefits. However, missteps or interferences in the case can occur, which is why legal representation is so necessary.
The most common examples of when to hire a skilled workers' compensation attorney are:
- After filing a work comp claim with your employer
- If the workers' compensation claim is denied
- If the settlement does not include all of your lost wages
- If the settlement does not include reimbursement for medical bills
- If injuries prevent you from returning to work or performing job duties
- If your employer is not being proactive in getting your medical treatment
- If a death resulted from the accident, which qualifies families for death benefits
- If you are about to exceed 1 year and still have not filed a claim
Statute of Limitations in California
Like most personal injury accidents, there are state statutes governing how long a victim has to file a claim. The period in which an employee can file a workers’ compensation claim to collect medical benefits in the greater Los Angeles area is one year from the date of the injury.
If the statute of limitations expires, employees lose eligibility.
Additionally, the incident must first be reported to an employer within 30 days of the incident. Then, the employer must report the accident to the insurance company within 10 days of being notified. Because of these stipulations and deadlines, injured victims run the risk of losing workers' compensation benefits if they do not seek legal representation.
At Angeleno Accident Lawyers, our Los Angeles law firm offers a free initial consultation to anyone injured in an accident. Allow us to clear up any confusion or dismay you have regarding your workers' compensation case.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Cases We Handle
Common injuries that our personal injury law firm has represented include back injuries, spine injuries, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, workplace illness, toxic exposure, eye injuries, burns, and other catastrophic injuries.
Qualifying for workers' compensation benefits is not limited to the provided injuries. Any form of injury that you suffered while working should be covered by employers. Similarly, with the various types of injuries that someone can sustain on the job, there are many different workplace accidents that can also cause such injuries.
Most Common Workplace Accidents in Southern California
An accident in the workplace can occur anywhere. Some common examples include construction sites, factories, manufacturers, highways for professional drivers (truck drivers, Uber or Lyft drivers), and even office spaces.
Working with large machinery or power tools can result in serious injuries if the equipment malfunctions or if an employee mishandles the equipment. If an employee is partially responsible for why he or she was injured, that employee can still qualify for workers' compensation benefits, since the accident occurred in the workplace.
Common industrial and factory-related accidents include fires, explosions, exposure to toxins, and hazardous equipment. Injuries at the workplace do not just occur with hands-on work. Employees can also get injured in the office from a slip and fall accident in the restroom, breakroom, hallways, or anywhere else where liquid was spilled and not cleaned up. Another example is developing carpal tunnel from working at a desk for an extended period of time.
Additionally, injury or illness can develop over a course of time, instead of from one incident. For instance, repeated physical stress to the body or consistent exposure to toxic chemicals can also result in a work-related injury. Ultimately, accidents are not limited to industry, profession, or severity. Accidents can occur at any time and to anyone.
What Does Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Cover?
California law requires all employers to be insured in the event of a workplace accident. If an accident does take place, insurance companies are responsible to cover the medical expenses of the employee, as well as other forms of damages.
Therefore, when an employee is injured, workers' compensation covers the following:
- Medical Expenses - Necessary medical care to treat injuries or illnesses at no cost to the employee
- Lost Income - Receive payments for any income that was not collected while recovering from injury or illness
- Temporary Disability and Permanent Disability - Permanent and temporary disability pay for being unable to return to work due to physical and/or mental restrictions
- Death - Compensation to surviving family (spouse, children, etc.) when wrongful death cases are filed
What Is a Third-Party Claim in a Workers’ Compensation Case?
Some accidents that take place in the workplace may involve another individual or entity–a "third-party." Typically, when a workers' compensation claim is filed, employees are legally entitled to workers' comp insurance benefits from their employers.
However, if another party contributed to the accident, causing the worker harm, a third-party claim can be filed and that person or entity can be found at fault.
In this instance, the employee can seek additional damages from the third party. Common third-party scenarios include manufacturer defects, product design defects, and negligent drivers.
Therefore, if someone else contributed to your injury, a personal injury claim can be filed against them, in which that party’s insurance will cover damages. While victims are completely justified in seeking damages, expect the insurance companies to push back.
Additionally, with more people now involved in the workers' compensation case, it will grow to be more complicated. Legal representation will help simplify the claims process and get you full and fair compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Filing any type of insurance claim can be complicated. Attempting to file a claim while injured only makes the process more challenging and confusing. If you were injured in a workplace accident, you may have some unanswered questions.
Provided are some of the most common questions our law firm at Angeleno Accident Lawyers is often asked. If you have any specific questions in mind that have not been addressed, please feel free to contact our Los Angeles workers' compensation lawyers for assistance. We're available to take your call 24/7 and offer a free consultation.
How Long Can I Stay on Workers’ Comp?
The amount of time someone can be on disability for a workplace injury depends on the type of “disability.”
There are four types of disability, consisting of:
- Temporary total disability - when injured workers are too unwell to work, but the injury or illness is not permanent
- Temporary partial disability - when an injured worker is able to return to work but at a limited capacity, performing only some work tasks while healing
- Permanent total disability - when an injured worker is unable to return to work due to permanent injury
- Permanent partial disability - when a worker sustained a permanent injury but is able to return to work at a limited capacity
Workers' compensation benefits will range based on the severity of the injury and if the victim sustained permanent or temporary disability. Benefits can last between 104 - 240 weeks within a five-year span, beginning on the date work-related injuries were sustained.
However, if the victim suffered permanent disability, lifetime benefits, and permanent disability payments may be awarded. One form of compensation the benefits come in is referred to as "supplemental job displacement benefits" (SJDB). SJDB is a voucher given to injured employees and pays for new educational training or job training. This allows employees to pursue a different career after being injured in their previous role.
What Injuries Are Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
There are some types of injuries and occurrences that may appear work-related. However, there are restrictions when it comes to what qualifies for work comp benefits.
Common exclusions that do not fall within workers’ compensation are:
- Commuting to and from work - Getting involved in a car accident while commuting does not qualify for WC. The exception is if the worker is injured while driving a company vehicle. Other examples are performing a work-related errand, like a traveling salesperson driving to meet with a client or a personal assistant picking up lunch for his or her boss.
- Social activities - Being injured at a company party, after-work happy hour, or another type of social event with associates from the same company will not fall within work comp eligibility. The exception to this is if attendance was mandatory or if the event occurred on company property during business hours.
- Intoxication or inebriation - If an injury occurred at work, but it is discovered that the employee had been drinking or was under the influence of a substance, a work comp claim can be denied. These types of accidents could be followed with a drug test to determine if the employee was or was not intoxicated.
- Recklessness or fighting - Playful antics and physical violence that result in injury are not covered, even when on company property. However, bystanders caught in the interaction could be covered. Another exception is if an employer allowed the misbehaviors to continue until they escalated.
Can I Sue My Employer for a Workplace Injury?
In short, no. However, there are two exceptions to when an employee can sue his or her employer and recover compensation.
The two reasons are:
- When an employee is wrongfully denied worker’s compensation - In California, employees must notify their employer within 30 days of the date of injury. The employer is then obligated to report the injury to their insurance provider. If this last step is neglected, if medical treatment is not started, or if the claim is denied, the employee can sue.
- If the employer does not provide workers' compensation coverage - State laws require all employers to be insured in the event of a workplace accident. Therefore, they are liable if an employee is injured while working, responsible for their medical care, and if they do not possess insurance, they can be sued for damages.
Both scenarios warrant legal action against an employer. Additionally, every case is situational, so there is always the possibility of other variations or exceptions. For reassurance and confirmation, it’s best to consult with experienced workers' compensation attorneys in Los Angeles.
Can You Be Fired While on Workers' Comp?
California’s laws protect employees from wrongful termination. Therefore, being terminated if a workers’ compensation is filed. In fact, it is illegal for a company to retaliate by firing an employee who is collecting benefits he or she is entitled to. However, if an employee suffers a permanent disability and is unable to perform the same job functions, the worker can be let go. Although, in that scenario, the employee should have already been granted permanent disability benefits prior.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
If you were injured while working, it’s crucial to understand the full extent of your injuries and the compensation you legally owed.
Schedule a free case evaluation and meet with the top workers’ compensation lawyers in Los Angeles today.
Awards & Recognition
Our award-winning law firm has garnered a winning reputation for success.
Get Help From an Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney
In conclusion, getting help from an experienced workers' compensation attorney after a work-related injury can increase your chances of winning your case.
With our 99% success rate, knowledge and expertise, and our dedication to protecting your rights throughout the legal process, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have a lawyer on your side fighting for the compensation you deserve.