Concord Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Contra Costa County
If you are injured on the job or develop a work-related medical condition, you are likely entitled to monetary benefits under the California workers’ compensation system. In California, nearly every employee is covered by workers’ compensation—but filing a claim and receiving your benefits can be stressful, frustrating, and time-consuming. To make matters worse, many injured employees encounter various challenges along the way, from employer disputes to terminated benefits.
At Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center, we assist injured employees in all stages of the workers’ compensation process. Whether you were recently injured at work and need to file your initial claim or are already dealing with insurance issues, our Concord workers’ compensation attorneys can help. We are widely recognized as one of California’s leading workers’ compensation law firms and proudly serve clients in and around all of Contra Costa County.
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation in California?
The state of California mandates that all employers with at least one employee must provide workers’ compensation insurance for all employees, including full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers. There are very few exceptions to this rule. In fact, when discussing who qualifies for workers’ compensation in California, it is actually easier to consider who is not eligible for benefits.
The following types of California workers do NOT qualify for workers’ compensation:
- Independent contractors
- Individuals who work for aid rather than wages
- Domestic workers who are related to their employers
- Certain volunteers
- Deputy sheriffs and deputy clerks
- Student athletes participating in amateur events
- Amateur sports officials
Although this is not an exhaustive list, very few other workers are not covered by the California workers’ compensation system. Generally speaking, if you are an employee and are injured at work or while carrying out activities related to your employment, you are most likely eligible to seek benefits.
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available?
The purpose of the workers’ compensation system is to allow individuals who are injured at work or develop medical conditions due to their employment to recover monetary benefits to aid with the various financial losses associated with their injury or illness. Because it is a no-fault system, you do not need to prove that your employer (or anyone else) was negligent or otherwise at fault for your work-related injury; you simply need to prove that the injury or illness is somehow related to your work. In exchange, you are generally not permitted to sue your employer after a workplace accident or injury except in very rare and specific circumstances.
In California, eligible employees may be able to recover the following workers’ compensation benefits:
- Medical Care: Workers’ compensation pays for all medical expenses related to treating your work-related injury or illness, including initial emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgery, therapy, rehabilitation, medications, medical equipment, and other ongoing costs. Medical care benefits also cover mileage to and from doctors’ appointments/treatments.
- Temporary Disability: When an employee cannot return to work temporarily following a job-related accident, injury, or illness, workers’ compensation pays temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. These benefits are calculated at two-thirds the injured employee’s average weekly wage and are limited to 104 weeks (within 5 years) following the date of injury.
- Permanent Disability: Injured employees may be eligible for permanent partial disability (PPD) and/or permanent total disability (PTD) benefits if their work-related injuries/illness result in permanent impairment. PPD and PTD benefits are calculated based on the employee’s “impairment rating,” among other factors.
- Supplemental Job Displacement: Also known as “vocational rehabilitation” benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits are available when an employee is no longer able to work at his or her previous employment after reaching “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). Eligible employees may receive a voucher for up to $6,000 for retraining costs.
- Life Pension: Employees who are severely but not totally disabled, meaning they are given an impairment rating of 70 – 99%, may be entitled to life pension payments through the workers’ compensation system. Eligible employees will receive a small supplemental payment weekly for the remainder of their lives.
Additionally, when an employee dies due to a workplace accident or job-related injury or illness, their surviving spouses and/or dependents may be eligible to receive death benefits through the California workers’ compensation system. Benefits include costs associated with funerals/burials, as well as lost income, wages, earnings, and other employment benefits.
How an Attorney Can Help
Even if you are fully entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, you may have a difficult time actually recovering those benefits. Many initial workers’ compensation claims are denied, and still others are disputed, or benefits are reduced or terminated by insurance companies looking to protect their bottom lines. Even in the most straightforward of cases, filing a claim can be very confusing and overwhelming, especially when you are focused on getting the medical care you need and working on your physical recovery.
At Pacific Workers’ Compensation Law Center, workers’ compensation is all we do. We dedicate our firm’s full resources to helping injured workers fight for the benefits they are owed so that they can get back on their feet. With over 130 years of combined experience and a 98% success rate, our attorneys understand the system and know how to navigate the process of filing a claim and seeking the maximum benefits you deserve.
We are here to help you every step of the way. Our Concord workers’ compensation attorneys are happy to meet with you to discuss the specifics of your case and answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us today to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.