Understanding California Workers Compensation Law
LIGHTNING RELEASES 01/08/15– The State of California established a system of workers compensation to provide a valuable safety net to individuals who suffer injury or death as a result of their occupation. Under the law, all employers in California are required to carry workers comp. insurance to fulfill their obligation as an employer and to continue to conduct business within the State. When an occupational hazard causes injury to an employee, that employee is likely entitled to claim benefits under their employer’s workers compensation insurance policy. This is generally true regardless of whether the employer was at fault, or in other words negligent, so long as the injury was not intentionally inflicted by the employee against themselves.
The law covers many mechanisms (the way in which an injury comes about) of injury that may arise out of and in the course of one’s employment. Such mechanisms include but are not limited to cumulative trauma (repetitive work activity), specific trauma, and toxic exposure. When an injury is found to arise out of and in the course of employment, it is to be compensated in accordance with the California workers compensation law, with few exceptions. Where exceptions are proven to exist, the employee is left without the ability to collect anything within the workers compensation system. Where exceptions are not proven to exist, the employee is entitled to claim benefits under the employer’s policy. In all scenarios, where one is harmed at work by the intentional act of anyone or through the negligence of a third party (someone other than the employer or themselves), the victim could potentially have a civil personal injury lawsuit for battery and/or negligence against the person or entity who caused the harm to come about. For most accidents, however, workers’ compensation is the only remedy available because the law bars (or disallows) most types of civil personal injury lawsuits by an employee against their employer.
Why Hire A California Workers Compensation Lawyer
Individuals who suffer injury while on the job or who develop an adverse health conditions due to repetitive work activity often choose to hire a California attorney to represent them in a court of law on their claim. People are motivated to get a lawyer for a variety of reasons. Having a good lawyer can be an extremely effective and valuable tool to obtain the appropriate compensation and benefits. One reason a lawyer might be hired is to fight for a meritiorious claim that has been completely and outright denied. Another reason an attorney could be retained is to help the injured worker navigate the entire claims process so that the claimant obtains as much as possible under the law. In most cases, having proper legal representation will likely increase the cash value of a claim, giving the claimant a good cash out option when completely leaving the system is desired. Cash value maximization is an extremely desirable effect that an experienced attorney can have on a case. Whatever the motivation, a large majority of those who find themselves dealing with an insurance adjuster eventually do search for and retain a workers compensation California lawyer for their legal case.
Remember that the adjuster is on the side of the insurance company, period. Some rights and benefits that should be provided might include:
- Temporary Disability Checks (TD) to help financially while off of work
- Permanent Disability Checks (PD) to help financially where an injury never gets better
- Medical Treatment, now and in the future, to cure or relieve the condition
- Job Retraining Voucher to be used where the injury prohibits reemployment in the same occupation
- Death Benefits to be paid to the employees dependents
- Reimbursement for miles traveled to and from therapy and doctor appointments
- Reimbursement of out of pocket expenses
- Second opinion doctor (PQME or AME)
- Medical attention from a specialist
- Inclusion of secondary body parts to obtain more treatment and compensation
- Approval of denied treatments (when insurance denies on utilization review)
While all benefits are not always available to every applicant, an experienced attorney will have the knowledge to know which ones likely apply and how to get them. They will also have tested strategies and tactics to maximize each benefit and ultimately the cash out value of a claim. Without a professional representative, it can be extremely difficult to obtain a fair outcome in any given case.
Retaining A Workers Compensation Lawyer in California
Finding a competent and accommodating lawyer can be extremely difficult to accomplish in and of itself. Many will search on the internet to decide which lawyers to call about their case. Others will ask friends, family members and co-workers for referrals. While a referral from someone a friend or family member might be a good start, that probably should not be what be the only factor used in deciding who to hire. All people and all claims are different, unique animals. This means that a good outcome for one case might not mean a good outcome for yours. Claims vary widely in value and come with varying levels of difficulty. If a friend had an easy slam dunk case, the outcome would be the same regardless of what lawyer they retained. With that said, it is important that you call each office you are considering to speak directly with the lawyer who will oversee your claim. Pick one where you can speak with an attorney who you believe you can trust to give you an honest, down to earth opinion about your legal circumstances, and who offers to set out realistic goals to accomplish with the representation. This way you ensure that you adequately prepare for the future on the basis of realistic expectations about the outcome of the legal proceeding instead of on hopes and dreams of a windfall (extraordinary amount of money).
How To Get In Touch With Our Law Firm
Napolin Law Firm is based in Claremont California and serves all the surrounding cities and communities in the Inland Empire, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County – Azusa, Baldwin Park, Chino, Chino Hills, Claremont, Colton, Covina, Diamond Bar, Fontana, Glendora, La Puente, La Verne, Los Angeles, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Dimas, Upland, Walnut, and West Covina California. Our philosophy is to be committed to the client by providing them with honest legal advice and strong advocacy inside (hearings and trials) and outside of the courtroom (navigating the claims process). We have helped hundreds of ordinary people successfully get in and out of the workerman’s comp process and may be able to help you get through too. For a free, no obligation consultation directly with Alexander D. Napolin, just call 909-325-6032. He will speak with you about your ongoing or possible work compensation claim to help you make a decision on what to do next. Remember, important rights can be lost through your inaction. Do not hesitate to call us if you are in need! California Workers Compensation Lawyer – NapolinLaw.com