Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Stockton, CA
Standing with Injured Workers from All Industries
If you are employed in California, then you should have workers’ compensation. The state’s rules require any employer with at least one employee, part-time or full-time, to buy workers’ compensation insurance from the state’s program or an approved insurance provider. Being eligible for workers’ compensation benefits does not mean that you are going to get them easily, though.
If you have been hurt at work and need workers’ compensation benefits to get you through the weeks or months ahead, Rancaño & Rancaño, APLC wants to be the legal team that helps you with everything. Our Stockton workers’ compensation attorneys are well-versed in all matters related to work injuries and the claims that follow. Let us be your guides throughout the legal process and rest comfortably as we work towards an optimal conclusion, which could include a lump-sum settlement if your claim was wrongfully denied.
Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation was designed to make it simpler for an injured worker to start on the road to recovery by not needing to prove whether or not another party’s negligence caused their injuries. It should give all the benefits needed to help that worker get back on their feet, both physically and financially.
In your workers’ compensation claim, you could get benefits that provide for:
- Medical treatments: 100% of the necessary medical care you need to recover from a work-related injury should be paid for using workers’ compensation, including copays and deductibles.
- Temporary disability: If you can’t return to work for a while, then you can qualify to get two-thirds of your average weekly wages provided to you each week until you recover, up to a maximum of 104 weeks.
- Permanent disability: If you suffer an injury that leaves you permanently unable to work, either in a partial or total capacity, workers' compensation can compensate you for your lost wages. The amount and duration of these payments will vary depending on how your disability is rated by a doctor.
- Retraining: When an injured worker can’t return to their pre-injury role, workers’ comp can provide benefits to allow retraining, either for a job in the same company or an entirely new career.
- Death-related costs: After a worker passes away due to a work-related injury, surviving loved ones can receive death benefits that pay for a funeral, income the deceased would have earned for several years, and more.
Common Injuries Covered Under Workers' Compensation
Workers' compensation provides coverage for nearly any type of injury or accident that occurs within the scope of your employment, including but not limited to:
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel
- Construction or industrial accidents
- Occupational illnesses / toxic exposure
- Slips and falls from wet floors or cluttered walkways
- Heavy machinery accidents
Injuries that are typically not covered under workers' compensation include:
- Injuries suffered outside of work hours
- Injuries due to worker intoxication
- Self-inflicted injuries
Workers’ Compensation is a No-Fault System
Importantly, workers’ compensation is meant to be a no-fault system of compensation. You can tell your employer that you accidentally caused your injury, and that admission should not affect your ability to get worker’s compensation benefits. In exchange for “guaranteed” benefits, you cannot bring a civil claim against your employer if their negligence caused your injury, in most cases.
Generally speaking, you may only sue your employer for a work injury if:
- Your employer intentionally caused your injury
- Your employer tried to fraudulently hide a hazard that caused your injury
- Your employer did not carry the required workers' compensation insurance
Your workers’ compensation claim could be denied if the insurance company has reason to believe you caused your injury intentionally or due to a wanton disregard of safety protocols. For example, if you were assigned to clean up a puddle of water on tile flooring on aisle 5, and then you ran down that aisle at full speed, slipped, and fell, you might expect that your claim will be denied due to your intentional recklessness.
How to File a Workers' Compensation Claim in Stockton
Filing a workers' compensation claim can be a confusing and intimidating process without the right help. Not only does the process require you to gather and produce documents quickly, but it may often expect you to be familiar with certain legal aspects that can impact your ability to receive full benefits, or even be paid at all. Our Stockton workers' comp lawyers can assist you with every step of this process and can maximize your chances of securing the full benefits you deserve.
Filing a workers' comp claim in Stockton generally involves the following steps:
Report your injury as soon as possible: You need to tell your employer about your work injury within 30 days, or else an insurer in California will have an easy time denying your claim. It is not advised that you wait the full 30 days, though. Notify your employer immediately after you are hurt, even if your injury seems like it might be minor. If you want same-day medical treatments that aren’t paid out of your pocket, then you should tell your employer right away, anyway.
Get medical help: Once you have notified your employer, get medical assistance immediately. Unless you have predesignated a doctor, your employer has the right to choose your treating physician for the first 30 days. Follow your doctor's instructions closely, attend all follow-up appointments, and keep all records of your treatment.
Fill out and submit a claim form: After learning of your injury or illness, your employer should provide you with a DWC-1 claim form to fill out. If your employer does not provide this form, you can access it yourself online. Complete the employee section and and return it to your employer. You should receive a copy of this completed form at this time.
Continue your medical treatment: Once your claim form is received, your employer's workers' compensation insurance company typically has 14 days to mail you a letter detailing the status of your claim. While the insurance company is deciding to approve or deny your claim, you will continue to receive medical treatment up to $10,000.
If your claim is denied, file an appeal: If your case is denied, you can file an Application for Adjudication of Claim to request to have your case heard by a judge. This application should include your required documents, a notice to the parties, and a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed. Your case will be scheduled for a hearing called a mandatory settlement conference (MSC), at which time a judge will hear your side of the case as well as your employer's side. The judge will then decide whether to reverse the claim denial or uphold it. If the judge upholds your claim denial, you may also appeal this decision by filing a Petition for Reconsideration. It is strongly recommended you work with an experienced attorney if you wish to appeal a denied claim.
Why Hire a Stockton Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
California's workers' compensation system is notoriously complex and can be intimidating to navigate without the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney. Hiring a lawyer will give you a far better chance of securing the benefits you deserve.
A workers' compensation lawyer can:
- Gather critical evidence like medical records, expert medical opinions, and eyewitness testimonies to support your claim
- Evaluate the long-term impact of your injuries and negotiate a fair settlement with your employer's workers' compensation insurance provider
- Handle all necessary paperwork and administrative tasks on your behalf
- Arrange or recommend medical treatment from trusted physicians
- Defend you against acts of employer retaliation or discrimination
- Represent you during hearings, depositions, or at trial (if necessary)
Stockton Workers' Comp Attorneys Representing Injured Workers Since 1989
With decades of legal experience under our belts, our Stockton workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to take on any case that comes our way. You can work in any industry – like retail, office, medical, entertainment, etc. – and we can handle your workers’ comp claim. Come to us the moment you need help filing a claim or challenging a denial. We look forward to getting the chance to fight for you!
Free consultations are available to inquiring clients.
“I would tell others if they're seeking legal professional help, that Rancaño & Rancaño helped me and that they can most likely help them in their situation.”- Jose
“There's many people that recommended me to go to Rancaño & Rancaño because they were in the same situation, and they helped them like they helped me in providing excellent service.”- Ancieto
“The office is always clean and welcoming. The receptionist is very professional and nice.”- Denise
Workers' Compensation $2,264,827
Juan Perez Vasquez v. Sonoran Roofing, Inc., CIGA, services by Sedgwick CMS
Workers' Compensation $2,172,000
Sergio Cervantes v. Central Valley Painting, State Compensation Insurance Fund
Workers' Compensation $2,150,000
Julio Calderon v. South Placer Roofing Co., Inc., State Compensation Insurance Fund
Workers' Compensation $1,925,000
Armando Calderon v. A & A Cattle, Intercare Insurance Services
Construction Site Injury $1,750,000
Martinez v. Unger Construction
Obstetrical Negligence $1,500,000
Martinez v. County of Merced
Workers' Compensation $1,302,500
Damian Sanchez v. MG Simms Painting & Decorating, The Hartford
Workers' Compensation $1,300,000
Ociel Garcia v. Capital Builders, National Fire Union Insurance Company
Motor Vehicle Collision $1,300,000
Walls v. Svenhard
Workers' Compensation $1,250,000
Ramon Madriz-Mendoza v. Pacific International Steel, State Compensation Insurance Fund
On the Side of Workers
Our firm is exclusively dedicated to helping injured workers and individuals receive the justice they deserve.
Experienced Support Staff
Our firm is staffed by experienced legal professionals who have been helping us serve injured workers for many years.
Se Habla Español
Our multi-lingual staff is proud to serve clients in both English and Spanish.
Experience on Your Side
Our firm has been serving injured clients throughout California's Central Valley for 30 years.
A Reputation for Excellence
We have received countless testimonials from happy clients since our law firm first opened its doors in 1989.
A Track Record of Success
Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for injured workers and individuals.