Did You Suffer an Injury at Work?
California laws surrounding injuries that were sustained in the workplace were implemented in order to protect employees from suffering financial and physical turmoil after a workplace accident. However, employers do not always abide by state laws or follow best practices in the workplace. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney from Riverview Accident Lawyers provides the trusted legal support and knowledge that injured clients need when going up against insurance companies.
If you suffered a serious injury at work from an accident, schedule a free consultation with our work injury lawyer in Santa Ana today to make sure you get the rightful compensation you deserve. Our team of legal professionals will help guide you through the process of filing your workers' comp claim until you get the full and fair compensation owed to you.
Why Riverview Accident Lawyers?
With so many successful workers’ compensation law firms in Santa Ana, as well as throughout Southern California to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down which firm to go with for legal representation.
Riverview Accident Lawyers possesses a success rate of 98 percent and has won over 10,000 cases on behalf of our satisfied clients. A unique quality we possess developed from previously representing claims adjusters, so we know how they strategize and function.
Now, our efforts are strictly focused on securing the best available coverage for injured victims. We specialize in personal injury law and workers' compensation law in accordance with the up-to-date California Labor Codes. In addition, we have been recognized for our legal excellence in the work comp field by the Lawyers of Distinction.
We also work on a contingency fee basis and do not charge our clients unless a favorable settlement is obtained, so we are not paid until/unless you are. To discuss your case or if you have any questions regarding your accident, feel free to schedule a free consultation at your convenience.
How Can a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help My Case?
The process of filing a workers' compensation claim should be straightforward. However, when abnormalities arise, collecting benefits could become very challenging. Legal recourse with the help of an attorney is necessary when:
- Medical treatment and/or other benefits were denied
- Benefits have not been approved
- Fired after filing for benefits
- The claim has not been filed with the insurance company
- An employer broke the law by not being insured
There are many other unique circumstances that may arise. At Riverview Accident Lawyers, our law firm defends the rights of victims who suffered work-related injuries. We have made it our responsibility to assist clients obtain the maximum benefits they are legally entitled to.
When working with our attorneys, we review each case in full detail to determine what benefits are available to them. Any person who was harmed on the job should receive benefits–whether that be a single occurrence, a physical ailment that developed over time, or a growing illness. Allow our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers to help you recover damages, like lost income, medical bills, and other benefits.
When to File a Workers' Comp Claim
and How It Works
The process of filing workers’ compensation claims begins with informing a manager or supervisor about the injury within 30 days of the accident. If an employer is not notified within that time frame, the claim could be rejected, and the employee will not receive workers' compensation benefits.
After being notified, the employer must provide the employee with a claim form to complete. That form will then be processed by a claims administrator for approval–or denial. Claims are sometimes denied due to:
- Employees waiting too long to report the injury
- An employer disputing the legitimacy of the injury being work-related
- The insurance company disputing the severity of the supposed injury
- Insufficient medical records or evidence to prove damages
Typically, if an employee is denied benefits, he or she will receive a letter from the claims administrator stating why. In other instances, a claim may not be denied, but the approved benefits may be insufficient. If rejected or if benefits seem scarce, our workers’ compensation attorney can assist in appealing the decision with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If an injury is suffered on the job, an employee must immediately notify their supervisor or manager. Then, they must seek professional medical attention to treat their injuries, which can only be done by an approved medical provider or from a facility that is in-network.
California laws require that employers provide all staff members with access to emergency medical treatment. Upon being treated, the medical staff should also be informed that the injury is work-related, so that information can be logged in the medical record.
After reporting the injury, the employer must provide the injured worker with a claim form. Once completed, the employer will send the form to the insurance company for review; this can span up to a 90-day period. During this waiting period, an employee is permitted to continue medical care.
Our legal team understands that there is much uncertainty in the process. If at any point you have questions regarding your case, please feel free to contact our Santa Ana law offices. We are available to assist 24/7.
Workers' Compensation Injuries and Illnesses
Workplace accidents are considered physical harm that takes place from a one-time occurrence, a contracted illness, or a physical disability that develops over time. Each qualifies for financial benefits and should be covered by insurance. Common workplace injuries are:
- Bone Breaks - Fractures occur from forced trauma and often take place in occupations that involve heavy lifting and machinery.
- Burns - Various burn degrees can be caused by heat, acidic chemicals, or electricity. Any industry that is around a heat source or chemical storage can cause a burn injury.
- Catastrophic Injuries - Injuries that are not properly treated can result in amputation or wrongful death. Fatal accidents can occur at the worksite or at a later time due to injury complications.
- Cumulative Trauma - Repetitive physical movement causes non-impact injuries that can develop over days, months, or years. Examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, or a back injury.
- Deep Cuts - Lacerations or skin tearing can occur in any profession. However, these types of injuries are common in industrial jobs and restaurants when around sharp tools.
- Sprains - Ligaments, muscles, and tendons that are aggravated or torn are often caused by awkward and/or heavy lifting.
Additionally, sustained occupational illness, often experienced by healthcare professionals, also qualifies for benefits. Exposure to toxic chemicals or infectious diseases can seriously affect someone’s well-being and is treated like a physical injury.
Most Common Workplace Accidents
The National Safety Council reports that the most common work-related accidents were exposure to harmful substances, overexertion, and slip-and-fall accidents. In fact, these types of accidents accounted for over 75% of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses.
The occupations that experience the most common types of accidents include service, transportation, healthcare, production, repair, and construction industries. A particular accident may not necessarily be common, but that does not mean that it does not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. For questions regarding your particular case, schedule a free case assessment.
What Does Workers' Compensation Cover?
The Santa Ana workers’ compensation attorneys at Riverview Accident Lawyers are committed to getting clients maximized coverage. Collectible benefits include:
- All medical costs pertaining to medical treatment, including transportation to and from medical appointments
- Temporary disability benefits pay for lost wages while injured workers are recovering
- Permanent disability benefits pay for lost wages if a worker cannot fully recover from an injury and is unable to return to work
- Supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB) cover the cost to learn a new skill for individuals who cannot return to work and are pursuing a new career
- Death benefits to dependents and spouses when family members suffer a wrongful death
Ultimately, an employee who sustains a workplace injury or illness can be eligible for lost income, medical expenses, and more.
Third-Party Claim in a Workers' Comp Case
Unlike personal injury accidents, work comp accidents fall within a no-fault system. This means an employer cannot be held “at fault” for a work-related accident as long as the business is legally insured and provides workers’ compensation benefits.
However, some work-related accidents involve outside parties who have no affiliation with the company. When legal action is taken, a "third-party claim" is filed and is treated like a personal injury case. Under California law, this allows victims to collect work comp benefits while also pursuing additional compensation from a negligent third party.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
For those who suffer a work-related injury, whether from a one-time event or from repeated exposure, employers are legally required to provide benefits for helping injured workers heal from the accident. Medical expenses and loss of income are considered workers’ compensation benefits.
How Long Can I Stay on Workers’ Comp?
In most cases, there is a 2-year limit, meaning that benefits can last roughly up to 2 years or 104 weeks. When looking at benefit coverage in terms of weeks, the 104-week period can be stretched out throughout a 5-year maximum span.
The options can vary based on the severity of injuries. Some injuries allow injured workers to return to modified work, so they are able to work more consecutive days, versus someone who needs to take longer periods of work off to recover.
What Is Not Covered in the Workers’ Compensation System?
Ultimately, any injury or illness that was sustained while working should be covered by the workers’ compensation system. However, under certain conditions, an insurance company may attempt to deny the claim. There are many reasons why this can happen, but the most common is when:
- An employee never notified the employer of the sustained injury
- Deadlines or the statute of limitations were not met
- Injuries were caused by rough-housing with another employee or intentionally self-inflicted
- It cannot be proven that the injury is work-related
- An injury was caused by a pre-existing condition
- The seriousness of the injury is in question
Can I Sue My Employer for My Injuries?
Because workers’ comp laws are no-fault laws, employers who provide work comp benefits to employees cannot be sued. These laws provide injured employees with benefits coverage without having to prove fault, and in turn, employers cannot be held liable for an accident. An exception to this is if an employer is not legally insured. In that case, the company can be sued.
Contact Us to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you were injured while working, you deserve to be fully compensated for your injuries. The workers’ compensation attorneys at Riverview Accident Lawyers have years of experience in personal injury law and work comp law, and we know how to effectively negotiate with insurance companies to achieve the best available outcome.
We will be your legal advocates at any stage in the legal process, whether that is providing assistance in filing a claim or entails appealing an insurance company’s decision to reject a legitimate claim. Schedule a free case evaluation with our Santa Ana law firm today.