Getting injured is never a pleasant experience. Thankfully, if a person is injured while at work in California, they have the right to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. All workplaces that have at least one employee are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance so all people who are not self-employed qualify. Usually, workers’ compensation claims are filed, treatment is received, and benefits are paid without a problem.
However, if a worker is unsatisfied with the insurance company’s findings, or the employer disputes the benefits to be paid, either party can appeal the result. A California workers’ compensation lawyer can represent individuals in appeal situations to either defend their benefits, or to make sure the benefits that they deserve are issued. Get in touch with a skilled job compensation attorney who can help you and your case right away.
California Workers’ Compensation Procedure
If a worker is injured while on the job, the first thing that they must do is notify their employer or supervisor. Workers cannot be fired or otherwise retaliated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim. California law requires that this be done within 30 days of the accident, but it is best that a worker inform their employer immediately. This is because all medical treatment, after an emergency room visit, will be provided by a doctor selected for the worker by the insurance company. This treatment cannot be provided until the necessary paperwork is filed.
The doctor will ultimately provide their opinion on the worker’s ability to return to work and any permanent effects that the injury has on the employee’s work future. This opinion is sent to the insurance company and payments will commence if a worker misses time at work, will continue to miss time at work, or suffers a permanent harm.
Once this determination is made, either the worker or the employer has the right to appeal the findings to a local district office for a hearing. That hearing may then be appealed again to a local appeals court for review. Individuals should then reach out to experienced California workers compensation attorneys for help pursuing their claim.
Reasons for an Appeal
Either the employer or employee may request a hearing office review of the case. Employees will generally appeal a finding which states that they may immediately return to work, or that their injury did not result in any permanent loss of ability to work. Employers may argue that the injury did not happen while the employee was “at-work” and thus payments should not be issued at all. The concept of “at-work” means that an employee was on the clock at the time of the injury and performing work duties.
Commuting to work, lunch breaks, and horseplay are examples of time spent in an activity that will not be considered “at-work.” If the injury is found to occur while not at-work, workers’ compensation benefits cannot be paid.
Contact a California Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
A workers’ compensation lawyer can represent an injured worker who wishes to appeal the initial findings of the insurance companies. The attorney will file the necessary paperwork with the district appeals offices and argue the case in person to get the worker the benefits warranted by their injuries.
The lawyer also represents individuals whose benefits have been outright denied, either as a result of insufficient medical evidence for disability, or for employers’ allegations that the injury did not happen while “at-work.”
People who have been denied benefits from the outset, or whose benefits are being threatened by an employer-driven appeal should contact a lawyer today. A California workers’ compensation lawyer will work to get you the compensation that you deserve for your workplace injury.