Have you sustained any workplace injuries? Most workers are entitled to workers' compensation. Employers in California are required by law to offer a secure workplace for their workers. An experienced Orange County Workers Compensation Attorney can help you navigate the sometimes challenging and drawn-out process of filing for benefits under workers' compensation.
Our Orange County Workers' Compensation FAQ is provided here to address some of the more fundamental queries you might have. Please be aware that depending on your particular circumstances, some things could alter slightly. Therefore, it is crucial to look for specialized legal counsel.
Why is workers' compensation insurance important?
When employees get sick or hurt at work, the insurance helps to pay for their medical bills as well as a portion of their potential lost wages. Additionally, it protects businesses from being sued by workers who claim that their working circumstances led to their illness or injury. The dependents of a worker who passes away while on the job might potentially get death payments through workers compensation.
State-specific laws and court rulings govern the system, determining how claims are processed and how disputes are settled under various workers compensation systems.
In rare instances, injured workers may sue their employers in court for willful violations of safety laws. Extreme negligence and cases of not having enough workers' compensation insurance are included in this.
Does workers' compensation cover me?
Despite the fact that employers are mandated to carry workers' compensation insurance, only employees—as opposed to independent contractors—are protected by the policy.
There are no exclusions for seasonal workers or individuals who work part-time in comparison to full-time. Green card holders and undocumented workers are both eligible for workers' compensation, though there are some restrictions on the benefits that are available to undocumented workers. Additionally, immigration status does not impact an injured worker's right to medical care and short-term wage replacement benefits in California.
Who is excluded from workers compensation?
In California, some employees are not covered by workers' compensation. These consist of:
- independent contractors
- entrepreneurs and single proprietors (aside from roofers)
- domestic employees related to the employer
- deputy clerks and deputy sheriffs
- People who work for basic things like food and shelter rather than getting paid
- Several volunteers, including those who work for nonprofits
- Students taking part in amateur athletic events or authorities in amateur sports
What Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Employers may obtain workers' compensation insurance to protect their staff in case of an illness, injury, or accident at work. The regulations governing worker's compensation vary from state to state, however in California, companies are required to have this insurance, and its advantages include:
Health care - doctor visits, tests, medications, medical care, and even travel expenses
Benefits for temporary disabilities - cover lost wages if an injury keeps you from working despite being only temporary.
Benefits for permanent disability - paid if your injury does not fully heal and results in measurable permanent damage.
Death benefits - payment to your spouse, kids, or dependents should injury result in death.
What are the common reasons for Workers’ Compensation claims?
The typical reasons for claims for workers' compensation include:
- Wrongful death
- Injuries that require amputation
- Excessive exertion
- Repetitive stress disorders
- Slips, falls, and trips
- Fire and explosion
- Being hit by falling objects
- Vehicle crashes
- Muscle spasms brought on by bending or strenuous lifting
- Exposure to hazardous materials or conditions
Workers in California who sustain injuries as a result of negligence may be entitled to file a personal injury action in civil court to seek further compensation. Before submitting a workers' compensation claim, it is crucial to speak with an experienced attorney.
What are an employer's obligations if an employee gets hurt while on the job?
Employers are liable for supporting injured workers with lost income and other expenses incurred as a result of accidents while on the job. A portion of the employee's regular wages are covered by workers' compensation insurance while they are recovering from an illness or injury sustained at work.
Independent contractors and railroad employees are not covered by workers' compensation regulations.
Is my injury work-related?
Before pursuing a claim for workers' compensation or employer-provided relief, it is crucial to verify whether your ailment is actually related to your place of employment. It is usually considered to be work-related if you were hurt while doing activities or tasks for your employer, as well as if the accident happened on the premises of your employer or at an event they sponsored, even if it wasn't on company property. You can decide if it is a work-related injury by using the following guidelines:
- Injuries sustained while on the job site as a result of your disregard for workplace safety regulations are frequently covered in no-fault states like California. On this, the courts might not agree.
- Most injuries that happen during lunch breaks are not regarded as compensable unless they happened in the workplace cafeteria.
- Even injuries that were partially brought on by drinking alcohol at work events like holiday parties or sponsored activities may still be regarded as work-related.
- When an employee's emotional or mental condition is proven to have been brought on by their job or as a result of their job, it is treated similarly to physical ailments.
What forms of injuries are covered under workers' compensation in California?
Physical injury that can be linked to working circumstances or expectations is compensable, including:
- lung cancer brought on by passive smoking in an establishment that allows smoking;
- carpal tunnel syndrome brought on by excessive computer use;
- a leg fracture brought on by a construction site accident off a scaffold;
- a dimly-lighted stairway with no rail that caused a slip and fall injury.
- Additionally compensable are psychological injuries, including:
- coercion by a superior;
- defamation, libel, and other similar behaviors by coworkers or employers.
What if my employer harmed me deliberately?
You may file a claim for intentional harm against your employer if you think they harmed you physically or mentally on purpose. False imprisonment, Battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, coercion, fraud, defamation, and trespassing are examples of intentional torts.
Can I file a lawsuit against my employer if they refuse or stop paying me benefits?
Workers' compensation claims are often handled administratively rather than in a courtroom in California. Only once the administrative procedure has been finished and all necessary steps to resolve the claim have been taken by all parties is it possible to appeal the benefits decision.
A worker's compensation board or a court that has been chosen specifically will handle your appeal.
You may file a lawsuit in California's civil court once you have complied with all the requirements of the procedure. To help you with this process, it's necessary to hire a knowledgeable Orange County Workers Compensation Attorney.
Should I appear in court?
Many workers' compensation cases are never brought before a judge. Instead of going to court, settlements are achieved through mediation.
Where can I seek an expert opinion on my case?
An initial case assessment can be provided by an experienced Orange County workers compensation attorney, allowing them to determine whether you have a case.
You shouldn't suffer in silence. Allow one of the knowledgeable lawyers at Barrios & Machado to assist you throughout the procedure and ensure that you receive the just recompense. Call (714) 515-9696 to speak with a workers' compensation lawyer right away.