San Diego Workers Comp Attorney

Don’t Leave Workers’ Compensation Benefits On The Table In Southern California

Getting injured at work is a serious matter. Not only can workplace accidents be hazardous and impactful to your mind and body, but they can also prevent you from doing your job or even finding future work. Your body is your key to staying active in the workforce, and if it gets compromised, you may find yourself unable to support your family. Luckily, there are options for those who get injured on the job, and taking care of the programs and resources available to you after a workplace accident can help keep you and your family afloat financially.

Although the number of work-related injuries and illnesses is slowly declining, on the job accidents and incidents are still affecting a large number of workers. In 2015, approximately 3 million workers across the nation sustained a work-related injury or illness. More than half of the 3 million work-related injuries and illnesses sustained by workers in 2015 were severe enough for an employee to require either a job transfer or restriction. Individuals who have suffered a serious injury or illness while performing a job may need to take time off or worse, may have to learn a new occupation.

WHAT COUNTS AS A WORKPLACE ACCIDENT?

What types of accidents can lead to a workers’ comp claim? Workplace accidents and injuries are fairly varied depending on your line of work. For those in blue-collar or manual labor positions, hazards range a bit more widely. Here are some potential hazards for those in manual labor positions:

  • Crushed or caught limbs
  • Slips and falls
  • Scaffolding accidents
  • Heavy machinery
  • Chemical exposure

For white-collar or office workers, the workplace can be hazardous in different ways. Significant threats to office workers include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Slips and falls
  • Depression
  • Air quality issues
  • Eyestrain

At the core, workplace accidents encompass any injury at work and because of another’s negligence or misuse of property or machinery. For example, if you work in a stock room and are injured by another employee operating heavy machinery recklessly, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation. If there was a workplace incident that affected your physical ability to perform your job duties, it is worth exploring workers’ compensation policies to see if you may be covered. An expert attorney will help you determine if you are eligible and whether you should take your employer to court to get what you deserve.

WHAT IS NOT COVERED

There are many ways that companies can avoid paying for workers’ compensation in the event of an accident. In many situations, a company will try to claim one of these reasons as an excuse not to pay. Situations in which an injury is not covered include:

  • If the accident happened during horseplay or fighting
  • If the accident occurred while an employee was not following company guidelines
  • If the accident occurred while the injured employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • If the injuries were purposeful or self-inflicted
  • If the injuries are mental or stress-related

Unfortunately, many companies enact policies that use these excuses to their advantage. Many will test for drugs after an accident, which does not necessarily mean that the employee was on drugs at the time of the accident but gets the company out of paying. Companies may also insist that an employee was not following rules or guidelines to avoid paying. Because workers’ compensation is called for in most work-related accidents, companies put significant effort into trying not to pay.

HIRING A COMPENSATION ATTORNEY

Hiring an attorney is a great way to protect yourself against these company efforts and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. An attorney will be able to walk through your case and find the proof needed to hold your workplace responsible for the damage done to your body. Because workers’ compensation can provide such significant financial relief to injured workers, it is worth it to give yourself an advantage by hiring an experienced attorney.

WHY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IS IMPORTANT

As a basic workplace program in the United States, workers’ compensation provides much-needed relief to many families. If the bulk of a household’s income comes from one family member, and that family member is injured on the job, the family has few options to survive until the breadwinner heals. In some situations, the injuries are permanent and may affect the home’s main source of income indefinitely. It would be cruel and unfair for a workplace to inflict injuries upon their workers with complete disregard and lack of responsibility for how those injuries may impact the lives of the worker’s family.

TYPES OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Under the workers’ compensation program, there are different types of compensation an employee or an employee’s family may receive. These different payments depend upon the details of the situation. In all of these categories, the payment amounts will vary depending on the employee and the circumstances of the accident. Generally speaking, workers’ compensation payments are calculated based upon the worker’s wage and the time missed because of the accident. These are the categories that an injured employee may be eligible for:

Short-Term Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation helps cover medical bills, which can be a large drain on resources, and it also helps recoup lost wages. If an employee is injured and cannot work for 12 weeks, workers’ compensation helps make up for the time that the employee is unable to work, paying a sum similar to that employee’s salary for 12 weeks. Short-term or temporary workers’ compensation can last for up to two years’ time, depending on the injury.

Permanent Workers’ Compensation

In some cases, short-term workers’ compensation does not cover the breadth of the issue. Some injuries prevent an employee from returning to work at all, as the injury has made them physically unable to perform their job. For example, if a worker has their arm crushed in a bailer, they may be unable to continue working at a packaging job without both limbs. In these cases, permanent workers’ compensation is appropriate. The worker is permanently unable to return to their old job and must now look for a new one. However, finding a new job is a fairly complex situation. Some people may lack the training or education to do anything that is not prevented by their injury.

In some cases, age plays a factor as well. If a worker is injured three years before retirement, they may be unable to train for and find a job in an appropriate market at their age. Permanent workers’ compensation aims to provide these workers with an income to help make up for the wages lost and the potential jobs that they are unable to perform. It is helpful to understand that permanent disability is not, as the name suggests, permanent. Payments can last anywhere from four weeks to 14 years.

Life Pension Payments

In some extreme situations, a worker may be 70% to 99% disabled due to a workplace accident, meaning that they are eligible for disability payments from the government. In these cases, workers’ compensation calls for an employer to add a small weekly sum to the government disability payments. In these cases, the payments can continue for a lifetime.

Death Benefits

In the most unfortunate situations, a worker may pass away as the result of a workplace injury. In these situations, the family is owed money via workers’ compensation. These funds are in place to cover funeral expenses and to help to compensate for lost wages that the employee would have earned if not for the accident.

Experienced Legal Representation For Injured Workers In California

To ensure that you receive the maximum and proper workers’ compensation payments, you must hire a San Diego workers’ comp lawyer to represent you. It is almost certain that your employer will have a team of attorneys to defend the company and work to get the courts to order the least amount of payment possible. Without an attorney on your side, you will likely get much less than you deserve. Because the payments in question are replacing wages that support your family, it is imperative that you receive the maximum payment possible.

If you are unable to work, many injured or sick workers may struggle to pay costly medical bills and basic living expenses. Financial struggles can be compounded by the challenges of dealing with California’s workers’ compensation system. All too often, injured individuals are denied or delayed medical treatment and financial compensation.

If you or a loved one became ill or suffered an injury on the job, retain the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in San Diego at the Mitchell Law Corporation as soon as possible. We have represented numerous individuals suffering from an injury or illness from work-related accidents, including:

  • A construction site accident, slip-and-fall accident and scaffolding accident
  • A fire, explosion and exposed power lines
  • Malfunctioning equipment, defective machinery and faulty cranes
  • Chemical or gas exposure
  • OSHA regulation violation
  • Aggravation of a pre-existing health condition

Assisting You With Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim

Did you know that you must take certain steps to successfully file a workers’ compensation claim? Filing a claim on your own in Riverside can be daunting, but with our skilled attorneys by your side, you can rest assured we will handle every aspect of your case from filing paperwork to taking your case to trial if negotiations stall.

Because you cannot rush the claims process, do not wait to contact our staff. If you wait too long to take action, you may not be able to file a claim. If you are unable to file a claim, you cannot collect a settlement.

Advocating For You After A Denied Or Delayed Claim

As mentioned, companies will do everything in their power to avoid paying workers’ compensation to their employees. This means that they are working to have your claim denied or delayed so that they do not have to pay for the damage they have done to you and your family. Fortunately, there are legal steps that you can take if this happens. If your claim was denied or delayed, our legal team can provide assistance as well. We will fight for your legal rights every step of the way to ensure you receive the highest amount of compensation possible for the damages related to your injury or illness.

The claims’ process can be complicated and victims who attempt to handle a case on their own or seek unqualified legal help, risk losing their chance to get a fair settlement for medical care and other damages. Several studies have shown that with aggressive legal assistance, victims typically recover four times more compensation than those who have no or inexperienced legal representation.

CAN I REPRESENT MYSELF?

While it technically is not illegal for injured workers to represent themselves in court, it is not wise to do so. The legal system is intricate and hard to navigate on one’s own without the proper education and training. The claims’ process can be complicated and victims who attempt to handle a case on their own or seek unqualified legal help, risk losing their chance to get a fair settlement for medical care and other damages. Several studies have shown that with aggressive legal assistance, victims typically recover four times more compensation than those who have no or inexperienced legal representation. When it comes to supporting your family, you should not cut corners. You may save attorney fees upfront, but you will lose money through significantly lower payments and a shorter payment window in the long run. An attorney will ensure that you get the maximum payment for the longest amount of time, so you can heal properly.

WHY MITCHELL LAW?

For over two decades, the Mitchell Law Firm has been providing southern California workers with outstanding legal services to protect them from corporate greed. We believe that harm done to you by your employer should lead to fair compensation, and we work diligently to ensure that is what you receive. Our attorneys will work hard to help you file for benefits and achieve the maximum payment possible. We will not rest until you get the compensation that you deserve.

Dedicated To Seeking Justice For Injured Workers

At the Mitchell Law Corporation, our workers’ compensation lawyers in San Diego understand the devastating effects a serve illness of injury can have on victims and their families. We are dedicated to helping you through this difficult time and will work day and night to see justice served on your behalf. Call our Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego offices at 619-702-6518 or send us an email to begin the process of seeking quality legal help. Do not worry about the cost of hiring an experienced lawyer. If we are unable to obtain a settlement for you, we won’t charge a fee for our services.

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