Here in the United States, every employee has the right to be safe on the job no matter what kind of job it is, from construction worker to receptionist. You are entitled to work in an environment that is compliant with standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). And even then, injury can still occur in many different forms – from psychological trauma to cumulative trauma. There’s no doubt, however, that some jobs pose a greater risk for injury. If you have been injured at your job, you may be entitled to legal rights including workers’ compensation benefits and a personal injury claim.
Workers’ compensation is a financial benefit provided to those who are injured at work, and who can no longer resume work due to such injuries. If you are injured in a work-related accident, you may be entitled to legal rights – and we can help.
Call us for your free consultation at 1-858-551-2090 today and we’ll answer all of your questions free of charge.
Making a false statement or fraudulent worker’s compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.
How Does Worker’s Compensation Work?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance provided to employees from their employer if you are unable to work due to an injury as a result of the job. Medical coverage and income replacements are just some of the benefits workers are entitled to when seeking workers’ compensation coverage.
Companies in San Diego and throughout the nation are required by law to pay for medical bills and lost wages of employees that are injured on the job. Each state, including California, determines its own worker’s compensation payment schedule, eligibility requirements and rehab procedures. Guidelines can be different, but there is a similar basic principle: Employers should assume the costs of injuries, illnesses and wrongful deaths that occur on the job as well as supplement income loss.
What Are the Types of Worker’s Compensation Disabilities?
In worker’s compensation claims, there are two types of worker’s compensation disabilities you can collect: temporary and permanent.
TEMPORARY DISABILITY (TD)
There are two types of temporary worker’s compensation disability benefits. If you cannot work at all during recovery, you will receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. If you can do some work, you will be eligible to receive temporary partial worker’s compensation disability benefits (TPD).
Generally, temporary worker’s compensation disability pays two-thirds of the wages before taxes while you recover from a job injury. You cannot receive more than the maximum weekly amount set by law. Your wages are calculated by using all forms of income received from work including wages, food, lodging, tips, commissions, overtime and bonuses.
Temporary worker’s compensation payments begin when your doctor says you cannot work for more than three days or if you get hospitalized overnight.
Worker’s comp payments are made every two weeks and generally stop when you are cleared to return to work by your doctor. Worker’s comp payments for severe personal injuries can last longer, but usually payments last for no more than 104 weeks.
PERMANENT DISABILITY (PD)
While most workers recover completely from job related injuries, there are some personal injuries that never go away. These people are able to collect worker’s compensation for permanent disability.
Permanent disability worker’s comp payment is paid if you suffer from a disability that reduces your earning capacity. These worker’s comp payments continue even after your maximum medical improvement (the condition in which a person recovers as much as they are expected).
If you are living in San Diego and your personal injury or illness results in permanent disability, you are entitled to permanent worker’s comp disability benefits, even if you are able to return to work. PD benefits are set by law, but the worker’s compensation claims adjuster will determine how much to pay you based on three factors:
- Your disability rating (expressed as a percentage)
- Date of injury
- Your earnings before you were injured
Permanent worker’s comp disability benefits are normally paid when temporary disability benefits end, and your doctor states you have permanent disabilities from the injury. Permanent disability payments begin within 14 days after temporary worker’s compensation payments end.
When I’m injured on the job, how do I go about seeking medical care?
Unfortunately, work-related injuries happen to Americans every day, even for presumably “safe” jobs. It doesn’t matter what kind of work you’re in – if you are injured on the job, you can file a claim to seek benefits while and if you recover.
As a part of the claim process, your employer or the insurance provider may require you to see a doctor to assess your condition. The doctor will assess your injury and recommend a course of treatment. Also, the doctor may be able to diagnose you at this time. He or she may also give you a timeline on when to expect full recovery – if even possible – from your work-related injury.
Sometimes cases can get difficult when the employer or insurance provider insists that you see the doctor the company provides.
A personal injury attorney with a specialty in workers’ comp claims can help you during this difficult time. If you hire our workers’ compensation attorneys, we can speak directly with the insurance company to seek a compromise by utilizing an agreed medical examiner (AME) to examine you. Relying on one doctor eliminates a possible disagreement between two different medical opinions in a worker’s compensation lawsuit. Of course, both sides are now bound to one doctor’s opinion unless it can be shown the doctor made a mistake in some way.
If the doctor does indicate that you will not be able to return to your current job, you may be entitled to worker’s comp rehabilitation benefits. The worker’s comp rehabilitation program includes services reasonably necessary to return you to suitable gainful employment.
Can I Still Make a Personal Injury Claim?
Since 1992, the personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC have been helping people just like you deal with worker’s comp and personal injury claims no matter what kind of injury you have sustained.
Call us today and schedule your free consultation: 1-858-551-2090
Make sure you talk to us before talking to the insurance company. While disguising themselves as the “good guys,” insurance companies will often try to rush you into a quick, less-than-fair settlement. Remember, there’s only one chance for justice – and only one settlement. Before you settle, call our workers’ compensation attorneys today and have us fight on your behalf. We’ll fight for pain and suffering, medical bills, and other expenses or damages as allowed by law.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury from work, we urge you to contact our bilingual offices as soon as possible following the accident at 1-858-551-2090 or please click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Diego. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay anything until we recover money on your behalf.