Workers’ Compensation: Overview
Despite your job’s description, nobody is spared in getting injured from work. Whether you work at fast-food chains, construction sites, law firms, warehouses, or even small offices, even with the right personal protective equipment to keep you from harm, accidents still happen. According to the data presented by the National Safety Council, the following types of injuries have shown the highest average cost to companies from 2016-2017: motor vehicle, fire and burn, and slips and falls injuries. Moreover, being injured from your workplace could mean facing severe consequences from medical bills to losing the chance of getting back to work.
Workers’ Compensation is an insurance program of every company to ensure benefits regarding the accident in your workplace. This benefit can be acquired by anyone who has experienced injuries, whether it is your employer’s fault or not. This benefit’s common misconception says that it is only eligible for severe injuries from a physically demanding job. Contrary to what is most believed, accidents resulting from severe injuries can happen in any business or company, no matter the nature of work.
Thus, if you are suffering from a work-related injury, it is best to hire Oktanyan Der-Grigorian Law Group, Inc. with the right workers’ compensation lawyer to fight your fight with you. Since your holistic well-being is our top-most priority, we have included the necessary information you need to know about workers’ compensation and how we can help you achieve it.
What is Workers’ Compensation? How does it work?
In simpler terms, workers’ compensation refers to the process of receiving proper compensation due to a work-related injury. There are many laws under this benefit that ensure every injured employee will be given the benefits despite being at fault. Thus, if you are hurt because of your own doing, you can still be eligible for the said benefits.
The workers’ compensation may help you financially recover a portion of your losses; however, it will be challenging to recover what you have lost and suffered fully. Oktanyan Der-Grigorian Law Group, Inc. lawyers ensure that you will receive the compensation needed to help you fully recover from the injury. The kind of compensation depends on the severity of the injury and the nature of the employer’s work. There is going to be a workplace inspection and full assessment to ensure that relevant details are well-noted and included in the process of achieving the compensation you deserve.
What are the most common Workers’ Compensation injuries?
Knowing how accidents occur anytime, every workplace can be a source of these unforeseen events. Although some employees may only get bruises or tiny scraps, other accidents can be fatal despite their impact and cause. Here are the most common severe injuries that can take place in work:
Although most burn injuries are from home fire accidents, work-related burn injuries also hold a large proportion of the yearly data. Burn injuries are one of the worst severe injuries that a person can sustain as it quickly spreads all over the body, and it could reach the in-depth part of the skin that could lead internal organs to be affected. Moreover, burn injuries lead to permanent scarring that could significantly affect a person’s physical appearance.
Brain injury happens when a sudden impact hits your head directly, enabling the brain to hit your skull. This situation leads to brain swelling, bleeding, or brain damage. The severity of brain injury could be mild to severe, depending on the impact and the patient’s condition. However, it is vital to remember how brain injuries could have a lasting effect on the patient and the families involved. Brain injuries could be challenging to diagnose, especially when these are closed head injuries. Moreover, brain injury symptoms are often noticeable weeks or months after the accident. Thus, hiring a reputable law firm to help you with workers’ compensation is definitely a must.
Overexertion happens when a person accidentally strains a muscle or joint by overextending in lifting, pushing, pulling, or turning an object or item. In most cases, injuries like this happen at construction sites, factories, or medical institutes where physical effort while performing the job is required. However, injuries like this happen even while doing the most mundane job, like lifting the file folder and failing to estimate how heavy it is. This example is still overexertion; thus, this type of injury is eligible for workers’ compensation.
Spinal Cord Injuries
If any of the following parts: neck, back, connective tissues, muscles, and nerve cells are injured, it is often referred to as spinal cord injuries. Knowing the importance and function of our spinal cord, having it injured in one way or another could be life-threatening, or it could lead to paralysis or permanent disability. Spinal trauma complications could require 24/7 medical attention, as accomplishing simple tasks could be impossible. Workers’ compensation lawyers work hand-in-hand to provide the necessary medical records to support the claim.
Neck and Back Injuries
According to the data presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, neck and back injuries are among the most common reasons employers miss work and call-out sick. Neck and back injuries may seem ordinary, yet persistent pain could lead to unproductivity due to the inability to focus on work-related tasks. However, neck and back injuries may be experienced due to another person’s negligence at work or while doing a job-related activity. These injuries are usually the result of any vehicular, work, and construction accidents.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls can happen anywhere. The most common examples are slips due to wet surfaces, trips due to uneven surfaces, or falls due to unforeseen height. It can happen to anyone, yet its results could lead from simple bruises and sprains to a traumatic brain injury. Any part of your body could also be affected due to the impact. Suppose an object accidentally falls or stuck the employee and happens to experience any of these three with mild to severe effects. In that case, the employee is still eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Vehicular Accident Injuries
Truck drivers, delivery drivers, or service drivers usually experience traffic accidents while doing their job. Unexpected circumstances commonly happen on the road; thus, even when the driver is doing his best to deliver packages safely, vehicular accidents may still occur. Workers’ compensation can still be granted to those injured while doing their job-related tasks, no matter the location.
Machinery Accident Injuries
Machinery accident injuries happen as a result of misuse or faulty machinery that leads to severe injuries. This type of accidents are most common in construction sites or warehouses; however, this can also happen in office buildings with problems regarding copy machines and shredders as an example. Moreover, machinery accident injuries can happen in restaurants or fast-food chains if anyone accidentally burns or scalds. Electrocution, where electric shock enters the body, can also be one of the severe causes of machinery accident injuries. The damage depends on the amount of voltage and the length of time the body has experienced. It could disrupt one’s heartbeat or cause severe visible burns.
A wrongful death caused by a work-related accident is devastating. The workers’ compensation lawyers of ODG Law Group ensure the family of a lost loved one receives an end of the workers’ compensation benefit. The benefits include the economic and non-economic losses of the family. ODG Law Group works well with the family with sincere compassion and competence while respecting the grievances felt by losing a loved one.
Workers’ compensation benefits cover a variety of injuries that happen in the workplace. The injuries may or may not be included on the list above. As long as you have been injured while you are performing job-related tasks, no matter the severity is, then you are eligible. If you are having difficulty applying for workers’ compensation benefits, the lawyers in ODG Law Group would be very honored to help you with the legal process.
Why there is no need to prove who is at fault for Workers’ Compensation cases?
The workers’ compensation has been specifically made to protect the best interests of both employees and employers. The advantage lies in the employees being eligible for workers’ compensation benefits despite the cause of the work-related accident. On the other hand, the employers do not need to pay for the injury caused by the injury unless they file a personal injury claim towards the company. Thus, workers’ compensation helps employers to be cost-effective in terms of paying the loss. Moreover, through the workers’ compensation system, the processes and benefits are fast and efficient.
What are the primary responsibilities of a Workers’ Compensation lawyer?
A workers’ compensation lawyer’s ultimate aim is to represent the injured worker in successfully obtaining the deserved workers’ compensation benefits. Therefore, ODG Law Group lawyers ensure to perform the following tasks in full commitment:
- Collecting the medical evidence and records
- Ensuring depositions of the injured worker, medical experts, and other parties involved
- Performing legal workers’ compensation research
- Keeping up with the latest improvements and developments in the law
- Drafting of pleadings, discovering facts, motions, beliefs, opinions, and other needed legal documents
- Taking legal action before a judge
Aside from these legal functions, the workers’ compensation lawyers of ODG Law Group provide emotional support towards the injured employees. Being compassionate is what every client needs during the most challenging time of their lives.
What are the Workers’ Compensation benefits that an injured employee receives?
If you are an employee who recently experienced injuries due to a work-related accident, you may receive any of the following workers’ compensation benefits:
- Medical Bills Payment. Having yourself checked by a doctor or any medical practitioner at the emergency room’s medical care, medical bills need to be paid for the service and the medication needed to take for the recovery. Workers’ compensation benefits can cover these kinds of costs.
- Income Replacement. If the result of your injury requires some time away from work, then you can be entitled to a weekly salary that can be almost two-thirds of your full salary. The weekly salary is tax-free. This benefit is possible through temporary disability benefits. However, the income replacement may vary depending on the employer and the condition of the injured employee.
- Permanent Disability Payment. If the work-related injury resulted in permanent disability, the employee might not be able to go back to work. Thus, the employee can be granted lasting injuries compensation to cover job opportunity losses.
- Death. If you lost a loved one because of a work-related injury, the family could receive the death benefits. The benefits may include steady paychecks and funeral expenses.
Most importantly, the California Law protects the job of the injured employees. Depending on the existing conditions, the employee may return to work once the recovery is completed, provided the employee can perform the expected job responsibilities.
Can the Workers’ Compensation benefits pay the medical bills in full?
Regarding the payment of medical bills, California’s legislature has set some limits towards the physical therapy session on which workers’ compensation pays. However, a claim adjuster could disagree and prove that the injured employee must take the extended therapy to recover completely. When cases like this happen, the wisest thing to do is ask legal assistance and guidance from a workers’ compensation lawyer from California like ODG Law Group Inc.
What are Temporary Disability Benefits?
Temporary disability benefits serve as an income replacement once an injured person stops working for a while to recover fully. The benefits could be 75% of your total salary with the specific amount still in subject depending on essential factors. The pay is completely tax-free; thus, it is more likely similar to take-home pay. The injured employee is entitled to the compensation benefits until the employee is fully-recovered unless the doctor says the employee can no longer heal. When cases like this happen, the temporary disability benefits will be stopped, and the employee can seek assistance for permanent disability benefits. Generally, temporary disability benefits are only eligible for up to 104 weeks. Injured employees do not often reach this limit as they tend to recover even before the limit is due.
What are Permanent Disability Benefits?
Permanent disability benefits are only given to injured employees who can no longer heal more than expected or recover from work-related accidents. The employee experiences being stationary, which entails that the healing has been complete, yet the injury has remained a concern. The doctor has the only right to declare the condition of the injured employee. It is vital to note that permanent disabilities do not hinder the employee from working, yet they prevent them from doing the former job responsibilities. Employees who have permanent disabilities can still return to work and receive permanent disability benefits simultaneously.
What does a P&S report mean? How does it work?
The P&S report is given once your doctor determines that your injury is permanent and stationary (P&S). The doctor has to describe the lasting effects of the injury, the limitation of work that causes the impairment, and the extent of whether or not the employee can resume work. Moreover, the P&S report also states a possible needed future medication, with a clear explanation of how much the injury is related to work. The doctor will then pass the P&S report to the workers’ compensation adjuster, and the employee will get a copy as well. In cases where you disagree with a P&S report, you can choose to challenge the report with the guidance of your workers’ compensation lawyer. ODG Law Group ensures to include a medical expert, chosen by the claim’s adjuster and us, to provide a necessary evaluation to support your claim.
What is the process of Permanent Disability Benefits computation?
A disability rating will be given based on the P&S report. The disability rating is based on the following factors: age, the severity of the disability, and the possible decrease in income capacity. The rating is given as a percentage, with 100% representing a total, permanent disability. Most of the disability rating falls between 5% to 30%.
In most cases, the claim adjusters and the workers’ compensation lawyers often disagree with the rating result. Once the rating is finalized, the permanent disability benefits will then be determined once the California Department of Industrial Relations provides a schedule. The benefits are often paid over time; however, a settlement can occur in providing a single lump-sum payment.
Are there other benefits available for Permanent Disability?
The family can receive a death benefit in case the injured employee dies due to a job-related accident. Moreover, employees who can no longer work and are not offered a job by their former employer can receive a job retraining voucher, enabling them to be eligible for supplemental pay.
How can a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer help?
Most employees who have been injured due to a job-related accident usually prefer to file the claim independently. However, requesting a workers’ compensation claim can be too stressful, especially when your proof or medical records are incomplete. Thus, it is best to ask for help from a reputable law firm that can guide you through the entire legal process. Oktanyan Der-Grigorian Law Group, Inc. ensures to place you and your needs first to achieve the benefit you deserve by performing the following diligently and sincerely:
- To explain the in-depth process and the benefits which you are entitled to
- To fill out your workers’ compensation benefits request with the complete documents to support your claim
- To ensure you receive the maximum compensation benefits you truly deserve
- To guide you every step of the way in pursuing permanent disability benefits when it happens
- To appeal on denied claims
When facing retaliation, what are the necessary steps to take?
There are injured employees due to a job-related accident that are fearful of pursuing workers’ compensation benefits because of employers’ possible retaliation. However, it is essential to note that any form of retaliation from the employer regarding the workers’ compensation claims is illegal. As an injured employee, you are protected from threats, discrimination, demotion, termination, or unfavorable treatment. If, in case it happens that you have experienced any of the situations stated, you can ask help and assistance from the workers’ compensation lawyers of ODG Law Group. We would be honored to give a clear explanation regarding your rights as an employee.
Is it possible to get fired while on Workers’ Compensation?
You cannot and should not be fired because of being on a workers’ comp. However, your job can be terminated temporarily when you are on a workers’ comp. Injured workers continuously have the rights despite being on a workers’ comp. To ensure that you understand your rights fully and keep your rights protected simultaneously, hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer from ODG Law Group on your side is all that you need.
What is the process of filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The first thing you need to do is report any job-related injury to your employer as soon as possible. This action ensures that you will be given a claim form one day after you reported the injury. Once you have completed the form, please return it to your employer for the process. As soon as the process for your workers’ compensation claim starts, a workers’ compensation claim adjuster will then be assigned to handle your case.
If your injury is not permanent, the process may be smooth and quick. However, when a permanent injury is involved, it is essential to ask for legal advice and assistance before pursuing the next stage of your claim.
The workers’ compensation lawyers of Oktanyan Der-Grigorian Law Group, Inc. will assist you towards the settlement that you deserve based on the condition of your injury because you may need future medical treatment. Moreover, ODG Law group lawyers will help you decide with regards to the manner of how you wish to receive your permanent disability benefits.
If you are worried about your injury and unsure of what to do next, feel free to contact Oktanyan Der-Grigorian Law Group, Inc. lawyers to help you every step of the way. Contact us at (818) 975-3080.