Have you or a loved one been injured on the job in El Cajon or the surrounding areas? A workplace injury can be a stressful and traumatic situation on many levels, in both the immediate aftermath of an accident and over the long term. This can be made even worse when employers and insurance companies look out for their own bottom line to try to stall your workers’ comp claim or deny the benefits you are legally entitled to receive.
Thanks to California’s “no-fault” workers' compensation insurance system, most cases can get resolved simply and smoothly without the need for a lot of back and forth between you, your employer, and state officials. Like any other legal issue, however, workers’ compensation cases can become extremely complicated, seemingly out of nowhere with the introduction of a single twist or complication. This is where an El Cajon workers’ compensation attorney can help keep your claim on track and ensure a timely and appropriate payout.
The first thing you need to do after a workplace accident is take care of your immediate medical needs, of course. You should also make it a point to gather any evidence available to you, however. This includes taking photos of the accident scene, gathering statements from first-hand witnesses, and saving yourself a copy of any communications pursuant to the event. After that, consider contacting a high-powered workers’ compensation lawyer as another early step in the process. The top-notch workers’ comp team at Mitchell Law Corporation of Southern California offers you access to the services of such attorneys without the need for an upfront payment–in fact, we don’t charge a fee until after your case is resolved successfully.
The workers' compensation insurance system is in place so that injured workers have access to benefits, including the financial support they need to get through the healing period following their injury. While this system is robust and incredibly valuable to the working families of California, workers' compensation claims, unfortunately, do not always go as smoothly as one would hope.
High-quality workers’ comp representation isn’t the only service we offer to the working people of El Cajon, CA. While we do indeed pride ourselves on being your trusted, full-service workers' compensation law firm, we are also ready to help workers with a variety of other workplace law issues:
The total legal fees you can expect to pay for legal representation in a workers’ compensation case in the State of California can vary quite a bit. Total costs from case to case fluctuate based on a complex web of interconnected factors, including:
The quality of legal services - It stands to reason that you will typically pay more for the highest quality legal services. An attorney’s track record, reputation, and real-world effectiveness often allow them to raise their rates significantly above the competition while still garnering sufficient business from high-end clientele. There are exceptions to this rule about quality legal services being prohibitively expensive, however. For example, Mitchell Law Corporation has a track record of success and a reputation for great outcomes for injured workers but uses competitive rates and creative fee structures to ensure their high-end services are available to everyday working Californians.
In most cases, standard workers’ compensation benefits in California can last up to 104 weeks or two full calendar years.
This timeline can get muddled by the fact that the cases themselves can sometimes take many weeks to drag through court. The law imposes specific timelines in an effort to help move the process along to the maximum extent possible. For example, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier needs to approve or deny your request (or apply for an extension) within 90 days of your initial claim. If they fail to do this, the claim will then be automatically approved.
There are some important exceptions to the two-year rule. For example, there is no set time limit on continuing to receive medical benefits pursuant to a workplace accident. So if your on-the-job injury requires lifelong medical treatments, these should continue to be covered in perpetuity.
A qualified workers’ comp and personal injury lawyer can tell you more about the full extent of the benefits that may be relevant under your unique claim.
Yes and no. While this seems like a straightforward question, California laws leave some room for nuance when attempting to answer it accurately. Let us explain:
In California, workers’ compensation exists under a “no-fault” system. While you may balk at this idea at first (especially in cases where your employer was obviously negligent or otherwise at fault for your injury or illness), the no-fault paradigm actually helps both employers and workers in the majority of cases by resolving cases quicker and more simply and getting resources to workers who need them without the need to assign legal responsibility to either party. Under the “no-fault” system, you cannot actually sue an employer for your workplace injury directly. The beneficial flip side of this coin is that you are under no obligation to prove your employer was at fault in order to receive your workers’ comp payout. With a no-fault workers’ compensation system, suing your employer for an injury is both impossible and unnecessary because all you have to do is file your claim correctly and demonstrate that the injury was work-related.
That being said, when an employer fails to comply with this legally mandated no-fault workers’ compensation process, they can be held accountable. This can indeed involve aggressive litigation in court when necessary (although you should also consider that keeping your case out of a courtroom to the greatest extent possible is often better for expediting things).
Speaking very broadly, you “can” sue (or attempt to sue) just about anyone for just about anything in the United States of America. That doesn’t mean that every lawsuit will be taken seriously or end up in court, however. Under California’s no-fault workers’ comp system, any lawsuit wherein a worker tries to sue their employer directly pursuant to an injury is likely to be thrown out. But when an employer flagrantly violates this important law that protects citizens, it becomes an entirely different legal situation that may indeed require a formal lawsuit to resolve.
Formally suing an employer is almost never necessary as part of California workers’ compensation cases. In addition to the no-fault system making the very idea of a workers’ compensation lawsuit largely irrelevant in most cases, most employers also know better than to put resources into a case they won’t win. In the end, it is usually more financially sensible for an employer to cooperate with the workers’ compensation system (in addition to simply being the right thing to do).
If you are having trouble accessing your rightful benefits due to questionable (or outright criminal) behavior from an employer or insurance carrier, the highly skilled workers’ comp law team at Mitchell Law Corporation can help you design and implement an airtight legal strategy, including a formal lawsuit if it should come to that.
Californian workers have a variety of rights under state and federal law. When zooming in on the workers’ comp system specifically, some of your rights include:
For a more complete understanding of your rights and responsibilities under California’s no-fault workers’ compensation laws, contact the team at Mitchell Law Corporation for a free, no-pressure consultation. Our knowledgeable and empathetic staff would be happy to hear about your circumstances and let you know how we can help move your case to a favorable conclusion while you focus on your healing.
If you’re having issues with a workers’ compensation case in El Cajon or elsewhere in Southern California, Mitchell Law Corporation can help. Our talented and reputable employment law and personal injury team can steer your case to the most favorable outcome on the fastest possible timeline so that you get the resources you need when you need them. Better yet, we don’t charge any upfront fees for most cases, so we don’t get paid until you do. This flexible system allows you to put your case in competent hands while you focus on recovering from your injury instead of budgeting for an attorney.