Believe in Your Right to Fair Benefits
At Pacific Workers’, The Lawyers for Injured Workers, we believe in every worker’s right to fair benefits through workers’ compensation after being hurt on the job. But insurance companies and corporations do not always see eye-to-eye with us. When they make life difficult for an injured worker in San Jose, we know we have to step up and fight for them, just as we would expect if the situation was the other way around.
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Workers’ we represent run the gamut of employment options, such as:
- Full-time workers
- Part-time workers
- Seasonal workers
- Remote workers
Unfortunately, California law does not require most independent contractors to be covered by employer-provided workers’ compensation insurance. However, you might be misclassified as an independent contractor when you should be an official employee, so don’t assume you do not have a case just because of your employment status. You should always check out your options by calling on a professional attorney for help.
Pacific Workers’ in San Jose can assist you throughout the workers’ compensation claims process. From the beginning to the end, we want to be the legal team you call on for help when it matters the most.
In a typical workers’ compensation claims process, the following basic steps will happen:
- Get medical treatment: No matter how mild or severe your work-related injury is, you should see a medical professional as soon as possible. Your employer should arrange for you to go to urgent care for mild or moderate injuries or the emergency room for severe injuries.
- Tell the employer: You should notify your employer about your work-related accident and injury within 24 hours. However, you must give them an official accident report within 30 days. If you do not, then your case could end before it gets a chance to really begin.
- File a DWC-1 form: Once your accident has been reported, your employer should give you a workers’ compensation claim form (DWC-1) within 24 hours. This claim is the official start of your case, so let us know if you need help filling it out.
Discover the Advantages of Hiring a Lawyer
The workers’ compensation system in California is not exactly designed to be easy for injured workers to use. There are many steps in place, and each one can be a problem if you do not know what to do. To overcome those challenges before they ever happen, get our San Jose workers’ comp lawyers on your side right away.
Please feel free to contact us onlinewhenever you need us.
If you are covered by workers’ compensation as most workers in California are, then you should be able to get its benefits without much trouble. The system is no-fault, which means you can admit to accidentally causing your injury and still get coverage. Of course, insurers and employers alike can make this seemingly simple system much more complicated than it needs to be, and you might find yourself struggling to get the benefits you are owed.
Important benefits available through workers’ compensation include:
- Medical care: Every dollar of necessary medical care should be paid by the insurance company with no cap. Problems can arise, though, if the insurer tries to argue that some of the treatments you received were elective or optional, rather than required.
- Wage replacement: If you cannot return to work due to your injury, then you can become eligible for temporary or permanent disability benefits. Temporary disability benefits pay you equal to two-thirds of your average pre-injury wages. Permanent disability calculates your weekly pay based on the severity of your impairment and other factors.
- Job retraining: You can receive employment retraining courses at no cost to you if you can’t return to your previous job but can complete work in a different capacity. You might even be eligible to receive credit for certifications or educational classes that will help you begin a different career that can accommodate your disability.
You must notify your employer within 30 days of your work-related accident. If you do not, then you can expect both your employer and their insurance company to deny your claim and will probably even tell you that they do not believe that the accident ever occurred. At the least, they will say that your injury likely happened outside of work and, therefore, is not eligible for workers’ comp.
In California, insurance claims adjusters have only 90 days to approve, deny, or react to a workers’ compensation claim once it has been filed. If there is no response or solid next step established by the insurer within those 90 days, then the case ends in favor of the claimant by default. Also, necessary medical treatments must be provided at no cost to the claimant for as long as the claim is pending or unresolved.
If you receive disability payments through workers’ compensation benefits, then you must be provided a minimum weekly amount, no matter how much you were paid before. Although, you cannot be paid more than a cap, regardless of your previous salary. California law updates these amounts frequently to adjust for inflation and cost-of-living increases.