Your body is the key to your job. Whether you work on a computer or in a factory setting, your body must function correctly so that you can do your work. Unfortunately, it can feel impossible to do your job, among many other important activities, if you are injured. What’s more, medical bills are often astronomical and can send you and your family into financial insecurity and debt.
When you are injured at work, the frustration is often compounded. Not only are you hurt and unable to earn money, but you are also simultaneously responsible for large bills that most people can ill afford. Your job is supposed to provide for you, not take away from what you have.
Luckily, you are not alone if you have been injured at work. There are support options available to help you heal physically, emotionally, and financially after a workplace injury.
One of the first resources you can access is workers’ compensation. These programs exist to help ensure that workplaces do not exploit workers by putting them in dangerous situations that cause irreparable damage. When you get workers’ compensation, your workplace is held responsible for the damage your employers caused, and you gain the ability to heal properly without worrying about how to provide for your family while you do so.
Unfortunately, many workplaces do everything that they can to avoid paying workers’ compensation. In many cases, this means invasive drug testing and other requirements before you can collect funding. In addition, they will try to prove their own innocence and blame you for your injuries.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
The claims process of workers’ compensation is relatively rigorous and often very complicated. For many injured workers, it is just not possible to wait for funding. With time-sensitive injuries and bills to pay, waiting for the system’s slow progress can mean avoiding crucial medical care.
Hiring an experienced San Bernardino workers’ compensation attorney helps ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible, and you receive your payout in a timely fashion.
Who Is at Fault?
One of the main aspects of receiving workers’ compensation payments is determining fault in your claim. There are several options, including:
- The company
- Your coworker or manager
As mentioned, your workplace will likely do everything they can to blame you rather than assuming the blame themselves. Their attorneys will also be vigilant about confirming your injuries, and their tactics to confirm this information can be invasive.
When the Company Is at Fault
Your workplace has an obligation to keep its employees reasonably safe from harm. That means mandatory machinery training, safety protocols, and safety measures in place for some workplaces. This can mean ample time away from the computer, breaks from repetitive motions, and proper ergonomic desks and chairs for other workplaces. If your company fails to provide these things or neglects to keep the offices up to code, and you get hurt, it is at fault.
When Someone Else Is at Fault
Another fairly common occurrence is when a coworker or supervisor is responsible for your injuries. This can happen in myriad ways. Essentially, any time your coworker or supervisor acts outside company protocol while on company property and you get hurt, they are at fault. For example, if a coworker is operating a forklift while under the influence of alcohol and knocks over a shelf that falls on your leg, they are responsible for the accident.
Supervisors and managers can be indirectly responsible. For example, if you have not been properly certified on a piece of machinery and they force you to operate it, and you get hurt, they are at fault.
When coworkers and supervisors are at fault, the company is still responsible for workers’ compensation. If it chooses to press charges against the employee responsible, that is separate from your workers’ compensation claim and does not concern you.
Ensuring Proper Medical Treatment
The purpose of workers’ compensation is to ensure that you can receive proper medical care for your injuries. This can mean more than initial care when you get hurt. Many injuries require ongoing care, and workers’ compensation should be responsible for that as well. For example, if you break your leg at work, you may need surgery and a cast immediately. However, in the long run, you will have a hospital stay, need ongoing physical therapy, and require follow-up care.
Your workers’ compensation settlement needs to cover all of this. It is not enough for the funds to cover initial or immediate care, as long-term care can be just as costly. Having a workers’ compensation attorney on your side ensures that you account for all these expenses and receive maximum support for your bills.
Workers’ compensation is not only for medical bills. This money should recoup the wages you lost while recovering from your injuries. Though some workers’ compensation settlements do not pay out the entire missed wage, you should receive at least some of your regular wages to keep your family afloat.
Do I Need an Attorney After a Workplace Injury?
It is important to seek the guidance of a proper attorney when filing for workers’ compensation. The application, denial, and appeals processes can drag on if you don’t have the proper attorney to speed the situation along. What’s more, your workplace and their attorneys will likely try to give you less than you are owed if you do not have legal representation. By hiring an attorney, you ensure that you can receive proper medical care and that you get the payment you deserve.
Contact Kampf, Schiavone, and Associates
Here at Kampf, Schiavone, and Associates, we pride ourselves on being San Bernardino workers’ compensation law leaders. We have helped hundreds of California workers get the workers’ compensation that they deserve. We believe that you should have access to top-tier medical attention following a workplace accident, and we do everything we can to earn that for our clients.
For more information or to set up a consultation, contact us today.