Understanding California Workers' Compensation

The no-fault insurance program benefits employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses, providing medical treatment, disability benefits, and lost wage coverage to eligible workers. However, California workers' compensation laws are complex and challenging to navigate. Working with a Pasadena workers' compensation lawyer can make the process easier and get you the compensation you deserve.

California Workers' Compensation Laws

Overall, the California Workers' Compensation system is an important safety net for employees who are injured or become ill due to their jobs. It provides them the financial support to recover and return to work while protecting employers from personal injury lawsuits and other legal actions.

California Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system, meaning employees are entitled to compensation regardless of who caused the injury or illness. Even if the employee's negligence caused the injury, they are still eligible for benefits; if the employer's negligence caused the injury, the employee remains qualified. The system is funded by employers, who are legally required to carry workers' compensation insurance and provide a safe work environment. They must also post information about workers' compensation in a visible location in the workplace. When they fail, they must report work-related injuries or illnesses to their insurance carrier within a specified period. California Worker's Compensation covers most employees in California, including full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers. It also covers both legal and illegal workers.

However, there are some exceptions to workers' compensation coverage:

  • Workers' compensation does not cover Independent contractors
  • Business owners, partners, and sole proprietors are not automatically covered, but they can choose to include themselves in their coverage

Failure to provide coverage can result in the following:

  • Legal penalties
  • Fines
  • Criminal charges
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How to File a California Workers Compensation Claim

Employees must report the injury to their employer as soon as possible. It is also essential to seek medical attention for the injury and inform the medical provider that it is work-related. Once the injury has been reported to the employer, they should file a workers' compensation claim with the California Division of Workers' Compensation, either online, by mail, or in person at a local DWC office. The claim should include the following:

  • The employee's personal information
  • The date and location of the injury
  • A description and proof of any medical treatment received

After the application has been filed, the case will be assigned to a workers' compensation judge who will schedule a hearing. The employee should be prepared to present evidence and testimony to support their claim at this hearing.

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What to Do if Your California Workers' Compensation Claim is Denied

There are several reasons why a workers' compensation claim may be denied. Some of the most common reasons include the following:

  • Someone did not report the injury promptly
  • The injury did not occur while the worker was on the job
  • The injury was caused by the worker's misconduct or use of drugs/alcohol
  • The employer disputes that the injury happened on the job
  • The worker did not receive medical treatment for the injury

If your claim is denied, it can be a frustrating and stressful experience. However, you can appeal the decision to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and potentially receive the benefits you are entitled to. You can do this by applying for adjudication of the claim with the DWC. The application should include the reason for the appeal and any supporting documentation. However, you only have one year from the injury date to appeal. After you file the claim form, a hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence and argue your case. Having all relevant medical records and documentation to support your claim is essential.

You can continue to appeal the decision to higher workers' compensation system levels, including the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and the California Court of Appeals.

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Workers’ Compensation Representation From a Real Trial Firm

Most lawyers want to settle your workers’ compensation case quickly. Settling a claim means that you agree to accept money in return for dropping your action against the person who injured you. And, you'll sign a release absolving the other side of any further liability. 

Fiore Legal is not your average law firm. We are a real trial firm looking at your issue from a different perspective than lawyers who will pressure you into settling, whether or not it’s your choice. Because we always have your best interests at heart, we would never settle a case unless for the total value. We’re here to represent you in your pursuit of justice, whatever that takes.

Fiore Legal Fights For Pasadena Workers

It’s vital that you receive the compensation you deserve when you’re injured on the job, but that can be difficult to obtain, and you may be discouraged from pursuing legal action. You deserve a personal injury lawyer invested in your case as a confidant, not just someone looking to make a quick buck from settling for less. You deserve Fiore Legal.

Our dedication to representing our Pasadena neighbors has resulted in eight locations with over thirty team members invested in their community, providing extensive experience, empathy, and a tireless work ethic. We’ll fight for you to receive what you are legally entitled to and make the process as easy as possible. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

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Experts in Injury Law Protect Your survival. future. family.

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