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How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in San Diego, California?

On behalf of Mitchell Law Corporation
September 15, 2022

The workers’ compensation system of California routinely helps injured workers across all industries recover their work-related injuries. Almost every employer in the state must have workers’ compensation insurance, and they are legally required to facilitate their employees’ claims filed in good faith. The workers’ compensation system provides benefits to injured workers and can provide protection to employers, preventing them from facing civil actions from their employees in response to workplace injuries.

If you work in any industry in the state and are a non-exempt employee, you have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits if you suffer any type of injury at work. While the workers’ compensation claim process seems straightforward to many injured workers at first, the unfortunate reality is that many injured workers face unexpected challenges in their recovery efforts, and anyone in this situation needs legal counsel they can trust to reach the best possible results.

How does workers compensation work in San Diego, California?

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in the State

The injured worker should report the incident to their supervisor whenever a workplace injury occurs. State law requires employers to formally document employee injuries with incident reports. The employer must then provide the injured employee with the materials needed to file their workers’ compensation claim. If the employer refuses to provide these materials, fires the employee, or takes any type of retaliatory action against the employer, they are likely to face severe consequences for these actions.

Most work-related injuries are covered under state law. However, a claimant could have their claim for benefits denied if they caused their own injury through horseplay, carelessness, or a violation of a workplace safety policy. Otherwise, they can expect compensation for their medical expenses and the lost income they face during recovery. The amount they receive in benefits and the length of time their payments continue hinges on the severity of their injury and the long-term effects they face.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is similar to filing any other type of insurance claim, but unlike most other types of claims, a workers’ compensation claim involves the employer-employee relationship, and an injured employee’s ability to secure the benefits they need is likely to hinge on their employer’s cooperation and honesty.

Benefits of Hiring Legal Counsel for a Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you or a loved one has been injured while working in the state, you likely have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. Some employers attempt to avoid liability for workers’ compensation by misclassifying their employees; others will go so far as to interfere directly with their injured workers’ recovery efforts in illegal ways. An injured worker could also have more avenues of recovery available to them than just a workers’ compensation claim. For the best chance of maximizing your recovery after a workplace injury, you need an attorney you can trust to guide you through the workers’ compensation claim process.

Ultimately, you have no legal requirement to hire an attorney for a workers’ compensation claim or even a personal injury action in response to your workplace injury. However, hiring legal counsel you can trust makes all your recovery efforts easier to bear and more likely to succeed. Your attorney can guide you through the claim process, resolve any disputes that arise with the insurance carrier, and verify that you receive appropriate benefits that reflect the scope and severity of your injury. If you have grounds to pursue further legal recourse, your attorney will be especially helpful in these efforts. The Mitchell Law Corporation can provide the comprehensive legal representation and support you need after any workplace injury in California.

FAQs

Q: How Much Can I Receive in Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

A: State law requires almost all employers to have workers’ compensation insurance, and if you are covered for your recent injury, you can expect two forms of compensation. First, the insurance carrier will cover the cost of all medical treatment you require to heal from your injury. Second, you can receive ongoing disability benefits if you are unable to work or face diminished earning power from your injury.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits in San Diego?

A: When you have a straightforward claim, a responsible and ethical employer who meets their legal obligations under the state’s workers’ compensation law, and an experienced attorney representing you, you could potentially secure a settlement offer from an insurance company within a few days to a few weeks after your workplace injury. Disputed claims can take much longer to resolve, and you will need experienced legal counsel if an insurance company contests your claim in any way.

Q: Can I Sue While on Workers’ Comp?

A: State law typically prevents an injured worker from filing a civil suit for a workplace injury, but this rule has some exceptions. For example, if an employer does not have appropriate workers’ compensation coverage, or if the employer intentionally caused the employee’s injury, the employee would have grounds to file a civil action on top of their workers’ compensation claim. In addition, if someone outside of your work caused your injury, you could file a third-party personal injury claim against them to recover any damages that workers’ compensation can’t cover.

Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?

A: State law limits the amount an attorney can charge their client in a workers’ compensation case. Your attorney will only be able to take a percentage of your final case award. A good attorney should carefully explain all elements of their billing policy and address any concerns you have before you sign a contract for their representation.

The Mitchell Law Corporation has years of experience representing clients in their workers’ compensation cases. We know the stress and anxiety that any workplace injury can cause and the many questions you probably have about how you can recover. If you’re ready to meet with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your case, contact us today and schedule your consultation with our team.

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