Looking to File a Workers' Compensation Claim

A California Workers' Compensation Lawyer Has the Knowledge and Experience to Answer Your Questions

Employees in California have a right to work in a safe environment that is free from hazards and dangers. Unfortunately, workplace accidents are common, even when employers follow all employment rules and safety regulations. Fortunately, most everyone who is injured on the job can collect benefits with the help of a California workers' compensation lawyer.

However, injured workers often face an uphill battle, finding their claims denied without proper cause. An experienced California workers' compensation attorney can help you fight back by filing an appeal. In order to understand workers' compensation law in California, our attorneys have tackled the most frequently asked questions.

California Workers Compensation Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Workers' Compensation, and How Does it Work

The California workers' compensation system is a no-fault system. This means that employees who are injured at work do not have to prove fault or establish liability in order to collect benefits. To collect benefits, such as medical and disability benefits, a worker must be classified as an employee and must have sustained an injury or illness while performing their work-related duties.

What Does a Workers Compensation Attorney Do

The main goal of a workers' compensation attorney is to help injured workers obtain the benefits they are entitled to receive. This may include investigating the accident, conducting discovery, drafting pleadings or findings and gathering medical evidence. When a workers' compensation claim is denied, an attorney will help the injured worker appeal the denial and collect the money that he or she needs.

When Should I Hire a Workers Compensation Attorney

Ideally, you should hire a workers' compensation attorney immediately after your injury occurs. Without an attorney on your side, you might miss critical deadlines for collecting benefits. If your claim is denied, if you are being pressured to return to work after an injury or if you do not believe you are receiving the benefits or treatment you need, then it is even more important to hire a workers' compensation attorney to represent you.

What Injuries Does Workers Compensation Cover

Workers' compensation covers a variety of workplace injuries and illnesses, including physical injuries, repetitive stress injuries, mental health conditions, occupational diseases and PTSD. In order to collect benefits, your injury must have occurred at work or while performing work-related duties. Even if you are out of the office at the time of the injury or were acting in the course and scope of your employment, then you are still covered under California workers' compensation law.

How Do I Apply for Workers Compensation

Immediately after you are injured, it is important to seek medical attention. After getting treatment, you must report the accident and your injury to your manager and fill out an incident report. In California, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days in order to qualify for workers' compensation benefits. Then you must obtain and complete the claim form, also known as the DWC-1 form.

How Do I Calculate Workers Compensation

When calculating the amount of temporary disability benefits you are entitled to receive in California, you must determine your average weekly wage. To do this, take your annual salary and divide it by 52 weeks. In California, injured workers who are temporarily missing work are eligible to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage. This is the maximum benefit you can receive as a workers' compensation payment.

How Long Can You Receive Workers Compensation Benefits in California

In general, an injured worker can receive up to 104 weeks of workers' compensation benefits in a five-year period. However, certain types of injuries qualify for 240 weeks of benefits. If your injuries extend beyond the 104 week period, then you can file a claim for state disability insurance or other benefits.

Who Can Be Excluded From Workers Compensation In California

If you are classified as an independent contractor, freelancer or consultant, then you could potentially be excluded from receiving workers' compensation benefits. Also, if you were injured outside of performing work duties, then you would also not be eligible for workers' compensation benefits.

How Do I Report Workers Compensation on My Tax Returns

You are not required to pay taxes on income that is gained from a workers' compensation claim. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Always consult with one of our California workers' compensation lawyers to ensure that you are adhering to state and federal tax law.

How Much Is Workers Compensation Insurance in California

In California, all employers are required to purchase workers' compensation for their employees – even if they only have one employee. An employer can purchase this insurance from either a private insurance company or the State Compensation Insurance Fund. When an employee is hurt, the employer must forward the claim form to the claims administrator for processing and authorize up to $10,000 in appropriate medical treatment for the injured worker. Workers' compensation insurance does not cost an employee anything. Only employers pay for workers' compensation coverage.

Contact a California Workers' Compensation Lawyer

If you have been injured while working on the job in Gilroy, or anywhere in the state of California, then it is important to speak to an experienced California workers' compensation lawyer immediately. At Cramer & Martinez, LLP (Formerly Robbins, Strunk & Cramer), we can help you obtain the benefits you deserve after a serious workplace accident. To learn more about your legal options, call our law firm at (408) 848-1113 or fill out our confidential contact form. We offer free initial consultations and are ready to help you.



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