If you have suffered an injury on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, understanding your rights in these situations and the amount of compensation you are entitled to can be complex. An Orange County workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the claims process and advise you on your legal options.
Arrange a free consultation today by calling Aegis Law Firm at (949) 379-6250 or sending us a message online.
Valid workers’ compensation claims are often wrongfully denied, or employers’ insurance companies offer unfairly low settlements. To protect yourself from being barred from benefits or accepting an offer that does not accurately reflect the extent of your losses, an Orange County workers’ compensation attorney can be your advocate. They will deal with your employer’s insurance company, reduce or eliminate the hassle of any paperwork, and negotiate fair payment on your behalf.
Going through the workers’ compensation claims process alone can put you at a severe disadvantage. Ideally, you should contact a workers’ comp lawyer as soon as a work injury occurs. Even if you believe your injury is minor and the situation is uncomplicated, scheduling a free consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney in Orange County can help you understand the process, alert you of potential pitfalls, and advise whether you can handle the case on your own.
On the other hand, if you wait to contact a lawyer, hire one as soon as possible if your employer or their insurance company denies your claim, if your employer attempts to stop or modify your benefits, attempts to control your medical treatment, or if there is a third party involved in your work injury. If a third party contributed to your accident, you may be entitled to pursue an additional claim for further compensation beyond what workers’ compensation benefits cover.
The types of workers’ compensation benefits available after a work injury in Orange County generally include the following:
Reasonable medical treatment for your injury and related symptoms, per the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s (DWC’s) guidelines. Your employer’s insurer must pay up to $10,000 even if your workers’ comp claim is eventually denied.
Covers all reasonable and necessary medical treatment for a work-related injury or illness. This includes hospital services, medications, medical equipment, and any necessary rehabilitation.
These are wage replacement benefits that you may receive if you cannot do your usual work while recovering from your injury. Temporary Total Disability (TTD) covers two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $1,619.15 per week. The minimum TTD rate is $242.86.
If a work-related injury or illness causes permanent impairment that affects your ability to work, you may be entitled to Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) or Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits. Your benefit amount will depend on the extent of the disability and its impact on your ability to work.
Permanent disability benefits are available if your doctor confirms you cannot recover fully. The benefit amount will depend on various factors, such as your impairment level, age, and occupation.
If you cannot return to your same job position due to your injury, up to $6,000 may be available to pay for retraining or skill enhancement so you can work in a different position or job.
If you are severely disabled (receive a 70%-99% disability rating), you can receive a small weekly payment for the rest of your life in addition to permanent disability benefits.
You may be reimbursed for transportation expenses for medical appointments related to your work-related injury at the mileage rate of 65.5 cents per mile.
If a worker is killed, their family will receive up to $10,000 for burial expenses and a lump sum, ranging from $250,000 to $320,000. Weekly benefits may also be distributed to minor children until they turn 18, equal to the amount the worker would have received for temporary disability benefits.
Workers’ comp is provided to employees who have been injured in a work-related accident. Compensation is provided by your employer’s insurance provider. Most employers in California are required to carry workers’ comp insurance.
Workers’ comp should cover your injuries and provide income to make up for lost wages from time off work. It is not meant to serve as a permanent source of income for temporary injuries.
If your employer or the insurance company is making it difficult to obtain your benefits, then the state may provide you with disability benefits until the issue is resolved. However, if you have a permanent disability, you could be entitled to lifetime benefits from workers’ comp.
You must meet the following criteria to obtain permanent disability benefits from workers’ comp:
By law, all California employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of the number of employees. Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect employers from being sued for work injuries. As a result, employees can receive benefits for a work injury regardless of who was at fault.
Injured workers are also protected by law against retaliation by an employer for filing a workers’ compensation claim. In other words, a company cannot take revenge by reducing a worker’s hours, terminating their employment, etc. It is a criminal offense if an employer fails to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Under these circumstances, injured employees can file a lawsuit against their employer to recover compensation.
Some of the most common causes of work injuries in Orange County are as follows:
Workplace safety measures and proper training can help prevent many of these injuries.
|% of Total
|Stockers and order fillers
|Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
|Personal Care Aides
|Production Workers, all other
|General Maintenance And Repair Workers
|Total all Occupations
In California, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. This is established under California Labor Code Section 132a, which makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees who have been injured on the job and have either filed a claim, made known their intent to file a claim, or received an award for a claim.
If you or a loved one is experiencing workers’ compensation retaliation, speak to an experienced Orange County retaliation attorney.
Forms of workers’ compensation retaliation can vary but typically include actions taken by an employer to penalize, discriminate against, or otherwise negatively impact an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim or expressing an intent to do so. Here are some common forms:
One of the most extreme forms of retaliation is firing the employee after they’ve filed a claim or even expressed an intention to file one.
Employees may find themselves demoted to a lower position or given lesser responsibilities as a form of punishment for filing a claim.
An employer may illegally reduce an employee’s wages following a claim.
An employer might give an unjustifiably poor performance review to an employee who has filed a workers’ comp claim.
Some employers may change an employee’s work schedule or shift them to less desirable assignments as a form of retaliation.
Employers or coworkers may harass the employee or create a hostile work environment to make them uncomfortable or feel pressured to leave.
An employee might be passed over for promotions or career advancement opportunities as a form of retaliation.
The employee may be excluded from company activities, training, or other opportunities.
Employers may refuse to accommodate an employee’s medical restrictions or modifications recommended due to the injury, making it difficult for the employee to return to work.
Employers may subject the employee to unfair levels of scrutiny, monitoring their activities more closely than other employees in an attempt to find a reason for termination.
In some cases, employers may spread false or misleading information about the employee to justify adverse employment actions.
If you believe your employer has retaliated against you for seeking workers’ compensation benefits, you have the right to file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. They will investigate your claim and take appropriate action if retaliation is found to have occurred.
If it is determined that your employer has retaliated against you, you may be entitled to various remedies, including reinstatement to your job, back pay, front pay, and compensation for emotional distress or other damages resulting from the retaliation.
Collect any evidence that supports your claim of retaliation. This can include emails, text messages, witness statements, and any other documentation that shows a connection between your workers’ compensation claim and the adverse actions you’ve faced.
You can file a retaliation complaint online, in person, or by mail.
When completing the complaint form, provide as much detail as possible about your situation. Explain the circumstances of your workplace injury, the workers’ compensation claim you filed, the adverse actions you’ve faced, and any supporting evidence you have.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office will review your complaint and may initiate an investigation. They may contact you for additional information or evidence during this process.
Contact Aegis Law Firm online or by calling (949) 379-6250 to arrange a free consultation.