Santa Rosa Workers' Compensation Lawyers
Let Us Help You Secure Your Entitled Benefits
At Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a workplace injury can take on you and your loved ones. Our dedicated and experienced team of Santa Rosa workers' compensation attorneys is here to help you navigate through the complexities of workers’ compensation laws in California.
Workers' Compensation Laws in California
Workers' compensation laws in California are designed to provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. These laws are administered by the California Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) and are intended to protect both workers and employers in the event of workplace injuries.
California's workers' compensation laws generally cover most employees, including full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers. There are a few exceptions, such as independent contractors who are typically not covered by workers' compensation.
The state operates under a "no-fault" workers' compensation system. This means that employees can generally receive benefits regardless of who was at fault for the workplace injury. In exchange for these benefits, employees usually give up the right to sue their employer for negligence in most cases.
The following are the steps of the claims process
- To initiate a workers' compensation claim, the injured employee must report the injury to their employer as soon as possible, but within 30 days.
- The employer is required to provide the injured employee with a claim form (DWC-1) within one working day of the injury report.
- After receiving the completed claim form, the employer must report the injury to their workers' compensation insurance carrier.
- The insurance company will then investigate the claim and determine if it is valid. If approved, they will provide benefits to the injured worker.
Workers' Compensation Benefits
Injured workers in California have the right to receive comprehensive medical care to address their work-related injuries or illnesses. These benefits cover a wide range of necessary treatments and services aimed at curing or alleviating the effects of the injury.
- Doctor Visits: Injured employees can consult with medical professionals, including primary care physicians, specialists, surgeons, and other healthcare providers, to diagnose and treat their injuries.
- Surgeries: When surgery is medically necessary to treat the injury or condition, it is typically covered. This includes both major and minor surgical procedures.
- Prescription Medications: Workers' compensation may cover the cost of prescription medications prescribed to manage pain, treat infections, or facilitate recovery.
- Rehabilitation Services: Rehabilitation services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and vocational rehabilitation are often provided to help injured workers regain their physical abilities and return to work.
- Diagnostic Tests: Necessary diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and lab work are covered to help diagnose and monitor the progress of the injury.
- Durable Medical Equipment: Workers may receive coverage for durable medical equipment like crutches, wheelchairs, or prosthetic devices if they are needed for recovery.
It's important to emphasize that these medical benefits are not subject to deductibles or co-pays, and the injured worker should not have to pay out-of-pocket for these treatments.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Temporary disability benefits in California serve as a wage replacement program for employees who are temporarily unable to work due to their work-related injuries or illnesses. These benefits aim to provide financial support during the recovery period.
The key points include:
- The amount of temporary disability benefits is typically calculated as a percentage of the worker's pre-injury wages.
- Benefits are paid periodically, often weekly, and continue until the worker reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI) or returns to work.
Temporary disability benefits are divided into two types:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): This applies when the worker cannot perform any type of work due to the injury.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): This applies when the worker can perform some work but not at the same level as before the injury, resulting in a partial wage replacement.
- There are minimum and maximum benefit limits set by law, and these limits may change from year to year.
Permanent Disability Benefits
If a work-related injury or illness results in a permanent impairment that affects the worker's ability to perform their job or daily activities, they may be eligible for permanent disability benefits. These benefits compensate workers for the ongoing impact of the injury on their earning capacity.
Key points include:
- The amount of permanent disability benefits is determined by a rating system that assesses the severity of the permanent impairment.
- The disability rating is conducted by a qualified medical evaluator (QME) or an agreed medical evaluator (AME).
- Benefits are calculated based on a formula that takes into account the impairment rating, the worker's age, occupation, and future earning capacity.
- Permanent disability benefits can be paid as a lump sum or in periodic payments.
If a worker's work-related injury or illness results in their death, their dependents may be entitled to death benefits. These benefits are designed to provide financial support to the surviving spouse, children, or other dependents who relied on the deceased worker for financial support.
Death benefits can include:
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Ongoing financial support for the dependents, typically calculated as a percentage of the worker's wages.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits for surviving dependents who were financially dependent on the deceased worker and need job training or education to support themselves.
Why Choose Us?
Our firm specializes in representing workers who have been injured on the job. Our services cover everything from filing initial claims to appealing denied claims. With our expertise and fierce advocacy, we strive to ensure that all your rights are protected during this challenging time.
Our team believes that every worker deserves fair treatment. We are committed to providing personalized attention to each case while fighting relentlessly for your rights.
If you or a loved one has been injured at work in Santa Rosa or surrounding areas, don't hesitate! Contact us immediately for a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.
Thank you for being so kind and completely sympathetic to my case!- Jazzie D.
They took care of me!- Gabi O.
Pacific Workers' Comp is one of the best places to get help from when you need help with an injury from work!- Lamar B.
Bilal is very professional, caring and committed to his clients!- Guy H.
The most down to earth team I have ever met!- Nekealla C.
PWC has provided me with exceptional care!- Jaaziel B.