Suffering an injury on the job is terrible. It can lead to so many repercussions for your life beyond the injury itself. As you’re trying to do everything you can to recover, you’re probably also going to have to deal with concerns about how to return to your job, how you’re going to pay for your care, and so many other worries that you didn’t have before the injury. Here at the ODG Law Group, we want to do everything we can to help our clients and prospective clients. Our workers’ comp attorney in Los Angeles team can be here for you, and all you have to do is schedule a free consultation.
Workers’ Comp Attorney in Los Angeles Advice
One thing our workers’ comp attorney team wants you to know: you can get workers’ comp treatment and benefits for your work related injury. That’s very hard for some people to wrap their minds around and we absolutely understand. For many, the idea that “if you’re injured at work, it’s your fault and you get nothing” has been so internalized. There’s a feeling that you aren’t entitled to anything, just because you were hurt on the job. It’s important to know that nothing could be further from the truth. If you suffered an injury because of your job, you absolutely may be entitled to benefits.
No one wants to be injured, obviously. On top of that, when you have been injured, for many, the last thing anyone wants to do is file for workers’ comp. This is also understandable. Many of us take pride in our jobs. You go to work, you work hard every day. The people in your life that count on you know that you’re reliable. You do your job, go above and beyond, and then go home at night. When you’ve been hurt at work, it’s natural to feel like you shouldn’t file for workers’ comp. You don’t want to show them you’re weak or that you’re complaining because they might fire you. That’s a common misconception. It’s not true. If you’re hurt at work, you should contact an attorney about filing for workers’ comp to fully understand your rights and options.
One of the major reasons that you should file for workers’ comp is that it’s very hard to diagnose yourself. Even if you’re a doctor, when you’re injured, it’s incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to know exactly what your injury is. From the moment you’re hurt, you may guess at the severity of your injury, but there’s essentially no way to know the full extent. So, with this in mind, you might be able to see how filing for workers’ comp is really just protecting yourself. Basically, it’s protecting yourself and everyone else in your life who may be counting on you.
Workers’ Comp Thought Experiment
Use an experiment: say that you work in a factory. You’re good at your job, one of the best in the factory really, and you’ve been doing this for some time. One day, the machine you’ve used for so many years breaks down. Before you can yank your hand out of its way, disaster strikes: your hand is hurt. It doesn’t feel broken, it doesn’t seem broken, but wow does it hurt. You put some ice on it, take some personal time and go home. You aren’t going to let this kind of thing keep you down, so you choose not to see a doctor. You’re back at work the next day.
Hopefully, in this scenario, you’re right. It would be great if your hand wasn’t really hurt, it just stings quite a bit. Then, you can go back to your life and everything’s fine. Unfortunately, when something like the above scenario occurs (and it happens quite often) it doesn’t always have a happy ending. Many people who do go back to work without reporting the injury they suffered are fine… for a while. Then, over time, their injury gets worse. When it’s not treated or dealt with in any way, injuries tend to worsen. Remember: workers’ compensation is not like state disability insurance, it’s different.
Maybe someone does go to the doctor for a work related injury, but the doctor says something to the effect of “take it easy at work, take a few days off and baby your hand.” But, too many people don’t listen to that advice, and go back to work as they had been before. Again, this kind of behavior is perfectly understandable: you have to work hard to bring in the money for you and your family. That’s your main priority and it should be. That being said, that same compelling reason is why you should file for workers’ comp; or at least discuss the issue with experienced attorneys.
Time and Money to Recover and Heal
If you do go back to work quickly and just try to get through your injury, it could get worse. In many cases, it gets so much worse that it can become extremely difficult to do your job. When that occurs, then you can’t provide for your family anymore. If your injury leads you to not be able to do your job, then you have to find an alternate means of making the money that you and the people in your life count on. Workers’ compensation can help you to get the money you need while giving you that critical space and time to heal in some cases.
One of the main reasons we’re harping so much on the idea of “file for workers’ compensation or talk to an attorney about it after you’ve been injured” is that workers’ compensation claims have a time limit. Compared to other kinds of law, it’s a very short one. To file for workers’ comp in many cases, you have to do so within one year of the date of the injury. In some other cases, it may be the final day when your employer provided you with medical benefits, or even the day when your temporary disability benefits end. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. To help with additional question, here’s a link to the state’s workers compensation guidebook.
As you’ll see when you peruse that book, there are multiple kinds of injuries at work that you can receive workers compensation for. Slip and fall accidents, ones with a specific date and injury are pretty easy to figure out, comparatively. Where it can be a bit trickier is with what are called “repetitive stress injuries.” Those are ones where the injury built up over time. There was never one big moment where the injury happened (like falling off of a ladder or a computer monitor falling on your foot) but the actions of your job caused you to be hurt over a set period of time.
To use the example from earlier of the factory worker, perhaps it using the machine over and over again that caused you to be hurt. Maybe you’re an administrative worker and typing all day on your computer, day after day for years on end gave you carpal tunnel. Perhaps you’re a delivery person and all that driving, lifting and carrying finally did a number on your legs and back. When these things happen as a result of your job, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Workers’ compensation may be an answer.
The ODG Law Group
The last thing you want is to regret not filing for workers’ compensation. That’s a genuine nightmare scenario. Then, you’re dealing with the pain and diminished capacity from your injury with no possible financial recompense for it. That’s to say nothing of the regret. No one wants that. That’s part of the reason we offer free consultations. It doesn’t cost anything, and really these consultations are fairly short. We love sitting down with potential clients and just talking about their cases. We can do that and figure out in short order whether or not you should file a claim as well as how things should go moving forward. You can give us a call at (818) 975-3080 or head to our site.