What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a benefit provided to any employee who is injured or becomes ill while working. Workers’ compensation provides prompt medical treatment at the cost of the employer, regardless of who or what caused the injury or illness. If an employee is unable to return to work right away due to the injury or illness, workers’ compensation will include other basic benefits such as temporary or permanent disability benefits, and supplemental job displacement or return-to-work supplemental benefits. If a loved one dies due to a work-related injury or illness, workers’ compensation will pay death benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits are governed by California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). There are limits to workers’ compensation benefits. For example, workers are not entitled to recovery for pain and suffering. Also, in exchange for workers’ compensation benefits, employees ordinarily give up the right to sue their employers in civil court for damages related to their injuries or illnesses.
There are guidelines employees must follow to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. For example, employees must complete a claim form and return it to their employer right away. Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can streamline the process. At Webster Law Firm, I will guide you through the process, so you do not miss any steps or the important deadlines. I am attorney Douglas Webster, and I founded my law firm to help injured workers throughout San Diego County get the help they need after suffering workplace injuries or illnesses.
Do I Qualify For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
All employees in California who are injured at work are qualified for workers’ compensation benefits. It is vital to let your employer know right away if you are injured at work, even if you caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. It does not matter who is at fault or how many employees your employer has, if you are hurt, you should be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you do not report your injury within 30 days, you may lose important rights. Therefore, it is important that you notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible.
Your actual benefits will depend on how severely you are injured and whether your injury results in permanent disability. In addition to paying for your medical care, workers’ compensation benefits may include:
- Temporary disability (TD) benefits: These benefits provide you with payments to replace a percentage of your lost wages while you recover from your injury or illness
- Permanent disability (PD) benefits: Payments to compensate you if your sustain permanent disability from your injury or illness
- Supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB): A voucher that can be used to pay for retraining if you sustain permanent disability
- Death benefits: Payments to a worker’s family and/or dependents when the employee dies from the injury or illness.
Sometimes, employers mistakenly classify you as an independent contractor to side-step responsibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Other times, a claim will be denied by an insurance adjuster who misjudges your right to recovery. This happens because the insurance company may not have the right information or medical records needed to show that your injury does qualify for workers’ compensation coverage. If your claim is denied, you have a right to appeal the decision, but you must act quickly.
Can You Help Me?
If you are injured on the job or become ill due to your workplace conditions or environment, I can help you apply for workers’ compensation benefits or fight to overturn the denial of your claim. At Webster Law Firm, I provide personalized legal services so you can get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Call 858-951-1022 or email my firm today to get started.