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California Workers’ Compensation Benefits: An Overview


Let's say that you suffered an injury on the job. Workers' compensation insurance covers you from losing out on your paycheck in the event you suffer an injury.

After a workplace injury, you will doubtlessly have a lot of questions, and hiring a workers' compensation lawyer can help to clarify some of the questions that you may have. Let's have a look at some of the things you need to do to receive compensation.

Report the Accident

After you suffer an injury, you’ll need to report it to your employer and file a workers' compensation claim. To file the claim, you will fill in the information for application for adjudication of claim with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board.

You have time limits to each of these steps. For example, in California, you have 30 days after the injury to file a workers' compensation claim. You need to report the injury in writing. Failure to meet the deadlines could lead to you losing your claim.

It’s a good idea to file a claim right away if you have suffered a serious injury. Do it as soon as possible to ensure that you fall within the deadline.

Medical Treatment

Once an injury takes place, your employer's insurance company should start paying benefits for your medical treatment. As the claim is under consideration, the insurance company has a responsibility for up to $10,000 in medical costs, even if they were to ultimately deny the claim. If the insurance company fails to reject or approve the claim within a deadline of 90 days, it will be assumed that the claim has been approved. Based on California law, you're automatically entitled to benefits.

All medical treatment reasonably required will receive coverage. This includes:

  • Hospital bills

  • Doctor's bills

  • Medical equipment and supplies

  • Acupuncture

  • Prescriptions

Meanwhile, California will automatically cover you for up to 24 chiropractor, occupational, or physical therapist visits.

Beware of Changing Laws

States have a reputation for changing laws as needed. In fact, new laws come out every year, and some laws that were previously in effect are removed. In understanding this, you can acquaint yourself with some of the latest laws.

Speaking with a lawyer will be your best bet when it comes to changing laws because they have made it their business to get involved in these matters. You can also use thissearch tool to learn what works and what doesn't work.

Why a Claim May Be Denied

There are a few reasons why your claim may be denied. The reasons for this include the following:

  • No one witnessed the injury.

  • Failed to report the injury within the deadline.

  • Refused to give the insurance company an authorized statement.

  • The initial medical record indicates illegal drugs in a person's system.

  • Filed the claim after being laid off or fired.

Temporary Disability Benefits

Let's say that you are injured in such a way that it makes you unable to do your work efficiently and effectively. Your doctor goes on the record to give a statement.

In this case, you will qualify for temporary disability benefits. These benefits are intended to cover your lost wages, and you will usually receive two-thirds of your average paycheck per week.

Important to remember, after you have been injured on the job, the clock will start ticking away for your right to file a claim. We generally recommend that you file a claim as soon as possible to avoid the risk that your claim might be denied.

What Happens When Benefits Get Delayed or Withheld

There are some cases where your benefits might be delayed or withheld. You have a right to challenge this decision when the employer's insurance company refuses to provide benefits.

In these cases, you may be able to collect a penalty for their lateness. The system built for resolving these cases will require an experienced and qualified lawyer because of how these cases have a deep complexity that can make them difficult. Having a good lawyer can help you to navigate these problems.

What Benefits are Available?

You have a few key benefits that you can take advantage of with workers' compensation benefits in California. Some of the benefits include:

  • Covering the cost of medical expenses.

  • Permanent disability benefits if you don't recover.

  • Partial wage replacement from those recovering from an injury.

Keep in mind, if you suddenly suffer an injury, you may not be allowed to use your own doctor for treatment. In some cases, insurance companies have an established network for workers' compensation treatment, and they will require that you visit one of these doctors. Normally, that's to cut down on costs for them. Usually, the doctor you see will come from this network.

There are some exceptions to this rule; for example, if you provide a written notice to your employer ahead of time that you prefer to use your own doctor. In those cases, they can't deny you the right to your own doctor.

If you find yourself injured at work, the skilled attorneys here at the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley are here to help. Our team works tirelessly for clients to provide the best quality representation possible. Just take a look at our gleaming reviews from some of our cherished clients. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm with your case right away. After all, it’s your health that’s on the line.

Contact the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley today at (530) 413-0245 to speak with an attorney about your workers’ compensation case.
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