Riverside, CA Workers Compensation Lawyer
Nobody expects to be hurt on the job, but it’s important to be prepared if you do suffer an injury at work. As a Riverside, CA employee, it’s imperative to know your rights and how to navigate the world of workers’ comp before it’s too late to file a claim. Knowing what to do ahead of time can help you stay calm in the case of an accident. It can also protect your rights. Though a worker’s comp claim may be the best path forward, it does preclude employees from filing a lawsuit according to California law. To know what your next steps are after an injury at work and whether to file a claim or worker’s comp claim, call our office.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation, commonly referred to as workers’ comp, is insurance paid for by employers. It helps workers during the aftermath of an accident at work. These accidents can happen for a variety of reasons and situations. From faulty equipment and negligence to incomplete safety training and uncleaned spills, injuries at work are common. Workers’ Comp gives employees the financial resources to recover from an injury or accident without sacrificing wages or savings and ensures that employers are not paying out of pocket if someone gets hurt.
Who Is Eligible for Workers Compensation?
Anyone who is injured at a job that has workers’ compensation insurance may be eligible for payments. These injuries can happen on the job, while on an errand for work, at a work function, or as a result of repetitive motion or injury caused by your job over time. It could also include catastrophic injuries that include spinal damage or head trauma. Workers’ comp claims are no-fault, meaning that it doesn’t matter who is to blame for the accident. Workers’ comp insurance does not cover accidents occurring during lunch breaks, on your commute, or if you are intoxicated in any way.
What’s Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
There are many ways in which workers’ compensation can help in the aftermath of an accident. Though many are not aware of this, workers’ comp policies don’t solely cover wages. The payouts can be used for a myriad of expenses that may be associated with a workplace accident.
One of the first things you’ll generally need workers’ comp to cover is medical expenses. This can include specialist appointments, emergency room visits, diagnostic testing, hospital stays, surgery, and more. If you need medical equipment such as a wheelchair or crutches, the insurance will likely pay for those as well. In general, worker’s compensation helps make sure that you’re not responsible for copayments and bills that occurred due to a work injury. In many cases, the workers’ compensation policy requires that you visit specific doctors and hospitals, except in the event of an emergency. Depending on the situation, these professionals may not be in your usual network.
During the time it takes to see a doctor and be fully diagnosed, you may miss out on hours or days of work. Workers’ compensation helps to pay wages for hours that you miss as a result of the accident. These payments usually equal about 75% of your normal wages.
Both Temporary and Permanent Disability
If you are injured and unable to do your job, you should be entitled to disability benefits through your workers’ compensation. These disability assistance programs are separated into two distinct categories: temporary and permanent. Temporary disability benefits apply when your injury prevents you from doing your job, but you are expected to recover and be able to return to work at some point. Temporary partial disability benefits can apply if you are unable to do part of your job or need to work fewer hours but can still complete some tasks and work a limited amount. Disability payments should make up the difference so that you’re not out of income.
Permanent Disability occurs if your injury is going to prevent you from doing your job, or the entirety of your job, indefinitely. If you are able to do some parts of your job but not all, permanent disability can make up the difference between your pre-accident hours and post-injury hours. If you are unable to work entirely, disability should substitute the majority of your wages.
In many cases, disability payments are equal to about 75% of your wages. Though this can seem frustrating at first glance, disability payments are generally not taxable. Hence, the net income on disability ends up being more similar to your pre-accident wages than it initially appears. Generally, California allows disability payments for up to 52 weeks or one year.
Death and Funeral Benefits
If a workplace accident leads to an employee’s death, workers’ compensation has death benefits to help. These benefits will help partially cover the unexpected funeral costs. However, they do not stop there. If you were financially dependent upon someone killed in a work-related accident, you might be eligible for compensation. Workers’ compensation is expected to pay a portion of the deceased’s salary to spouses and dependents, so the loss of income does not devastate the family. In California, you have one year to file for these benefits. As a spouse, these payments will continue until you remarry. As a dependent, the payments will end once you turn 18 years of age.
Unfortunately, the post-death payment system is not as cut and dry as it may seem. The workers’ compensation insurer may try to avoid paying in some cases, such as stepchildren, unmarried partners, and when the beneficiaries are other family members such as parents or siblings.
Talk to a Compensation Attorney for Consultation.
If you or a loved one have been injured on the job, you need the best compensation lawyers on your side to ensure that you’re making the most out of workers’ compensation insurance. Insurance companies will try to get out of payments any way they can, and you deserve to be rightly compensated for what happened to you. For the absolute best in Workers Compensation and Personal Injury law, call Kampf, Schiavone, and Associates. During our 40 years in the business, we’ve helped workers win nearly $3 million in worker’s compensation claims and lawsuits. There is no one better suited to help you get financially compensated on your road to recovery.