Every year, thousands of California workers are injured on the job. By law, any employee who is injured or contracts a work-related illness or condition while performing any act that benefits his or her employer is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits, which are offered through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, are designed to cover your medical costs and compensate you for lost wages while you are out of work. Unfortunately, obtaining your rightful benefits is not always easy.
At Rancaño & Rancaño, APLC, we help injured workers with all aspects of their workers’ compensation claims. From initial filings to appealing denied claims, our Modesto workers’ compensation attorneys can guide you through the process and ensure that you understand all of your legal options. With three office locations—Modesto, Sacramento, and Stockton—we serve clients throughout California’s Central Valley.
Were you injured at work? Do you need help with your workers’ compensation claim? Contact Rancaño & Rancaño, APLC online or by phone at (209) 850-7379 for a FREE consultation.
Workers’ compensation in California is what is known as “no-fault” coverage. In other words, you do not need to prove that your employer or another party acted negligently, leading to your injuries. In fact, many work-related accidents occur even when all proper safety precautions have been put into place. Sometimes, it’s the very nature of the job that makes it hazardous to a worker’s health and/or safety. Take, for example, a migrant farm worker who must constantly bend down to pick crops—such a worker may suffer debilitating repetitive motion injuries. Under California workers’ compensation law, he or she is entitled to workers’ compensation if his or her injuries ultimately require medical treatment and/or prevent him or her from returning to work.
In other cases, workplace injuries can occur due to unsafe conditions, hazardous environments, or even defective products. There are a variety of conditions that can lead to workplace accidents and injuries. The important thing to remember is that if you are injured while you are working, you are almost certainly covered by workers’ compensation. This is true regardless of how many employees your workplace has, how many hours a week you work, and your immigrant status.
- Wet floors or cluttered walkways, leading to slips, trips, and falls
- Failure to follow safety regulations, leading to serious accidents and injuries
- Improper training and/or supervision
- Failure to maintain premises and/or work equipment (including vehicles)
- Defective work equipment and tools
- Motor vehicle accidents involving commercial vehicle drivers
Costs Related to Your Workplace Injury
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to assist you with certain costs related to your workplace injury. Note that workers’ compensation benefits do not cover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Workers’ compensation will cover all costs related to your medical care for your workplace injury or illness. This includes things like hospital services, physical therapy, prescriptions, laboratory tests, and more.
Temporary Disability Benefits
While you recover, temporary disability benefits can help make up for wages you lose as a result of being unable to work. In most cases, temporary disability benefits are limited to no more than 104 weeks within 5 years of the date of injury.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Supplemental Job Displacement BenefitsIf 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.
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
If your workplace injury leaves you permanently disabled and unable to return to work within 60 days after your temporary disability benefits end, and your employer does not offer you modified work, you may be able to receive a voucher for state-approved job re-training. Exceptions apply; contact us for more information.
If your loved one died as a result of a work-related accident, injuries, or illness, you may be able to recover workers’ compensation death benefits. These benefits are provided to certain family members and dependents; contact Rancaño & Rancaño, APLC to learn more.
What to Do If You Are Hurt on the Job
If you are injured on the job, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Even if you believe you were not seriously injured, it’s important that you see a medical professional who can assess your injuries and recommend treatment.
The next most important thing you should do is inform your employer that you were injured. In California, you only have 30 days from the date of the accident/injury to notify your employer if you wish to obtain workers’ compensation. If you suffer a work-related illness or a condition that is not immediately noticeable, such as a repetitive motion injury, the clock begins on the date you receive a diagnosis from a physician or another medical professional.
Once you have notified your employer of your injury, your employer has the right to choose your physician for the first 30 days. After this time, you may be able to request a new physician to treat your injuries. Different rules apply for different types of employers; contact our firm to learn more about your rights and options.
Throughout the process, always follow all instructions provided by your doctor. This could prove critical if your claim is later denied or if you have any issues getting your rightful workers’ compensation benefits.
When to Contact an Attorney
If your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider has denied your workers’ compensation claim, contact an experienced attorney right away. It’s a good idea to work with a skilled lawyer if you are having any difficulties with your claim at all. The process can be complicated, but an attorney can help ensure your rights are protected and work with you in an effort to secure all of the benefits you are entitled to receive.
Since 1989, Rancaño & Rancaño, APLC has been helping injured workers with workers’ compensation claims and benefits issues. Our Modesto workers’ compensation attorneys are prepared to answer your questions, address your concerns, and work tirelessly to obtain your rightful benefits.
Give us a call at (209) 850-7379 or contact us online for a free consultation; se habla español.
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