A work-related accident can be painful, confusing and emotional. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, it is important to do what is necessary to protect yourself. Workers' compensation benefits exist to help those injured in work-related injuries heal, recover and elevate quality of life. The process can be complex and lengthy. One mistake can result in claim denial or even deeper confusion. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, partnering with a skilled workers' compensation attorney is extremely important.
California employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage for all employees. The law applies to business owners even if they only employ a single worker, and violators can be subject to criminal and civil penalties. If your employer does not provide coverage, he or she can still be held legally responsible for paying for your injury-related expenses.
Workers’ compensation covers all types of employment-related injuries, including conditions that develop over time as a result of repetitive movement or ongoing psychological stress. You are covered whether the injury occurs in the office, while driving on behalf of your employer, or at an offsite location while you perform work-related duties. Fault is irrelevant - even if you unintentionally contributed to your own injury, you are eligible for workers' compensation.
Once it is determined that you were injured on the job, it will be decided what type of injury you have. An injury does not need to be the result of a sudden accident such as a fall. Injuries that result due to repeated physical motions while performing your job are also covered by workers’ compensation. The types of injuries you can sustain are:
- Specific – A specific injury is an injury that has a definite time and place of occurrence. As an example, hurting yourself falling off a ladder or lifting a heavy box are examples of a specific injury.
- Cumulative – These injuries are also known as “repetitive” injuries. Injuries that occur over time and are due to a repetitive action or exposure are cumulative injuries.
If you get hurt on the job, your employer is required by law to pay for workers’ compensation benefits such as:
Paid for by your employer, to help you recover from an injury or illness caused by work. This includes doctor visits and other treatment services, tests, medicines, equipment, and travel costs reasonably necessary to treat your injury.
If you or someone you care about has suffered a work injury, temporary disability benefits (TTD) may be owed to replace wages that will be lost. You may be eligible for up to 104 weeks of TTD for the work injury you have experienced, and in rare cases benefits for even longer periods may be owed by the insurance company to help you with all of life’s expenses.
In the case of temporary disability or death, there is a clear rationale for the payment of workers' compensation benefits, that is, to replace in some measure a worker'slost earnings. The reason for paying benefits for a permanent partial disability is, less clear, however, as is the scope of such benefits.
Permanent Disability Benefits
A voucher to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you are eligible to receive permanent disability benefits, your employer doesn’t offer you work, and you don’t return to work for your employer.