Our Most Frequently Asked Questions Related to Workers’ Compensation

California’s workers’ comp system can be confusing – especially if you have never suffered a workplace injury before. You might be busy focusing on your injuries and continuous medical treatment. Perhaps you are trying to figure out how to make ends meet because your injuries are preventing you from earning an income. Maybe you are suffering from serious psychological issues as a result of your workplace injury, such as PTSD or depression. On top of all this, you might have all kinds of questions about California’s workers’ comp system. Here are some answers to a few questions you may have:

What “Counts” as a Workplace Injury?

Workplace injuries include a wide range of potential accidents and health problems. As a general rule, any injury you sustain on the job is considered a workplace injury. This includes injuries that occur at the physical workplace, such as falls or electric shocks. It also includes any injuries that occur while you are doing work-related duties. For example, you might have been injured in a car crash while driving a delivery van.

Injuries can also appear long after you finish working for a specific company. For example, you might have worked with toxic chemicals such as asbestos many years ago. 20 years after initial exposure, you may develop lung cancer. In this situation, you could potentially file a workers’ compensation claim because the injury occurred during work – and you only became aware of it much later.

There are some situations in which defining a workplace injury becomes slightly complex. For example, what happens if you were injured on your lunch break at a construction site? What if you fell down your stairs after being sent home to pick up an important work document during working hours? These situations can be difficult to resolve, and this is why it’s so important to work with a qualified workers’ comp attorney for best results.

 What is the Deadline to File a Workers’ Comp Claim?

First of all, you need to report your injury to your employer within 30 days of the incident. This is one of the most important deadlines, and failing to comply may prevent you from receiving compensation. Secondly, you must file your workers’ compensation claim within one year of the incident. While this second deadline might seem like tons of time, it is best to get started with a qualified workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible. Important evidence has a tendency to get lost after just a few months, and crucial witnesses may move out of the state or pass away. The sooner you file your workers’ comp claim, the better – assuming it is property drafted and checked by a lawyer.

 Which Damages Can I Claim in My Workers’ Comp Claim?

Workers’ comp covers virtually all economic damages. As the name suggests, these damages are financial in nature. They include things like medical expenses and missed wages. If your loved one has passed away in a workplace accident, you may also receive compensation for any medical expenses the deceased individual left behind as a result of the accident. In addition, you could receive compensation for future missed wages and funeral expenses. Sometimes, workers’ comp covers vocational training. This allows you to receive training for a new line of work if your injuries are preventing you from carrying out your current job.

That being said, there are limitations that you should be aware of. California’s workers’ comp system only pays out about two-thirds of your missed wages. It also does not provide you with compensation for non-economic damages like emotional distress, PTSD, depression, anxiety, pain and suffering, and so on.

Can I File a Workers’ Comp Claim for a Loved One Who Died on the Job?

 Yes, you can file a workers’ comp claim on behalf of a deceased loved one if they died on the job. This can provide you with compensation for funeral expenses, lost future wages, and unpaid medical expenses.

 What Kind of Employers Need to Get Workers’ Comp Insurance?

 All employers need to get workers’ comp insurance in California – including companies with a single employee.

 Can I Appeal a Denied Claim?

 If your workers’ comp claim has been denied, you can still appeal it. The workers’ comp board often makes mistakes, and your claim may have been wrongfully denied. You can take your case as high as the Supreme Court if necessary.

 What Happens if My Employer Doesn’t Have Insurance?

If your employer does not have insurance, you can still file a workers’ comp claim. First of all, you can file a claim directly through your employer, forcing them to pay your damages despite not having insurance. If that is impossible, you can file your claim and draw upon a special fund set up for injured employees of uninsured employers in California. This means that you are always covered – even if your employer broke the law by not having the right insurance.

Is it True That it is Impossible to Sue Directly for Workplace Injuries?

While it is usually impossible to sue your employer directly for workplace injuries, it is not impossible to file a personal injury lawsuit after one of these injuries. The most obvious example is if negligent third parties caused your accident. For example, you might have been employed by one contractor at a construction site, but your injury may have been caused by another contractor. In this case, you could potentially sue the third-party contractor directly.

Get in Touch With a Workers’ Comp Attorney in California

Although these frequently-asked questions can provide you with some answers, they cannot provide you with results. In order to get the compensation you need for your workplace injury, you need to contact a qualified workers’ comp attorney in California. Choose Los Angeles Workers’ Comp Attorney to get started with a solid action plan today. Even if your claim has already been denied, you can push back and file an appeal with our help. We have been helping injured workers in the Golden State for many years now, and we can do the same for you. Reach out today to get the ball rolling.