Are You Qualified for Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

It’s unfortunate if you fell sick or sustain injuries while doing your job in Los Angeles. What makes it more burdensome are the bills that you need to pay for your medical treatment and the salaries you’ll have to miss while you’re recovering.

Good thing there’s workers’ compensation that you can count on. But the question is, do you have the qualifications to benefit from this insurance? You may have the qualifications for the benefits if you suffered work-related injuries in Los Angeles or developed an illness because of your job. However, there are a few exceptions.

ODG Law can help you determine if you’re eligible for Los Angeles workers’ compensation. If you suffer injuries or became ill because of your work, contact us at (818) 975-3080 and schedule a free evaluation of your case. 

What is Workers’ Compensation?

According to the Department of Industrial Relations, workers’ compensation is generally based on a mutual concession between employees and employers. Employees are eligible to get immediate, valuable medical care for on-the-job injuries or illnesses regardless of whose fault it was and, in exchange, employees can’t sue their employers.

Consequently, Los Angeles employers must carry workers’ compensation for their employees as mandated by the law. Or else, they will face the consequences, such as:

  • Paying a $10,000 fine
  • Spend a year in prison
  • Pay a $100,000 state penalty

Workers’ Compensation Insurance as Required by the State

Los Angeles requires every business or employer in the state to carry workers’ compensation for their workers or employees. This type of coverage is usually purchased from the state fund or private market. 

However, most large employers (local or state governments) undertake financial risk for their employees’ benefits referred to as self-insurance. Moreover, it’s worth noting that the federal workers’ compensation system governs cases of federal employees instead of the state. 

Work-Related Injuries in Los Angeles: Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Before you qualify to get benefits from workers’ compensation, you must complete the requirements needed. These are:

You have to be an employee. Even if you’re an employee working for a particular company, the state has various definitions of an “employee.” For instance, independent contractors including freelancers or contractors aren’t eligible for the benefits. The same thing goes for those who volunteer their services. 

Your injury or illness is work-related. Generally, it’s easy to identify if your injury is work-related. Examples include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive tasks
  • Chemical exposure to toxic substances
  • Back injuries to lifting and moving heavy objects
  • Overexertion and muscle strain

Sadly, even if you meet the above requirements, there are circumstances in that you may not still be eligible to benefit from workers’ compensation. Example are:

  • Domestic workers (caregivers or housekeepers)
  • Agricultural workers of small farms
  • Undocumented workers
  • Loaned or leased workers through a temporary employment agency
  • Seasonal or casual workers

If you believe that you’re eligible for workers’ compensation coverage but denied by the insurance company, don’t hesitate to speak with one of our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at ODG Law for help. 

Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Injured or sick employees because of their jobs, have insurance provided by their employers to cover any expenses incurred for medical treatment or for replacing lost wages. These benefits include:

Medical Treatment 

Your employer must ensure that you get medical treatment as soon as possible. He’ll pay for your medical care for your work-related illness or injury. It could either be through workers’ compensation insurance or by self-insured. The claims administrator or insurance company will for the medical bills of up to $10,000.

Temporary Disability

If your injury or illness prevents you from doing your typical job while recuperating, you may be eligible for Temporary Disability (TD) benefits. You’ll receive payment for lost wages because:

  • Your attending physician states that you’re unable to do your routine work for more than three days or you’ve been hospitalized overnight
  • Your employer or company doesn’t offer you other work that pays your standard salary while you recover 
Permanent Disability 

When your treating doctor declares that you’ll never recover completely or will have work restrictions, you may have a permanent disability. It also means that you may be eligible for Permanent Disability (PD) benefits. 

Supplemental Job Displacement

A supplemental job displacement (SJD) benefit comes in a form of a non-transferable voucher that will pay for your educational retraining or skill enhancement, or even both, at government-accredited schools. You can redeem up to $6,000 no matter what your permanent disability rating is.

Death Benefits

If the worker dies while doing his job, his surviving family will receive the benefits on his behalf. The amount of the death benefit depends on the number of partial or total dependents. It’s usually paid at the total temporary disability rate, but not below $224 each week.

Work with an expert workers’ compensation attorney at ODG Law to ensure that you’ll file your claim within the statute of limitations. 

Disputes in Workers’ Compensation

More often, injured employees have a dispute with their workers’ compensation benefits for several reasons. However, not all claims get unsettled or go to trial. If it does go to trial, both parties may reach a decision on an agreement beforehand. Working with the best trial workers’ compensation attorney at ODG Law can help you negotiate and maximize the compensation you may get.

Based on the situation, a majority of employees can accept either one of the two types of workers’ compensation settlements:

Stipulated Findings and Award

As an injured worker, you can choose this kind of settlement if you require future medical care due to a permanent disability. Your employer pays for the current medical treatments in this kind of settlement. 

Compromise and Release

When you choose this type of agreement, it means that you agree to receive a one-time payment or a lump sum amount. This resolves the case and you can no longer expect any more payments.

Need Help with Your Workers’ Compensation? Contact ODG Law

Filing for workers’ compensation is a complicated matter let alone determining if you’re eligible to receive benefits. Our knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys will help you determine your eligibility and help you file a claim.

We’ll protect your rights and defend you from the insurance company if it denies your claim. You’ll have a legal representative in court if they don’t want to provide a fair settlement. We always got your back. 

Call us today at (818) 975-3080 for a free evaluation of your case.

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