Workers’ compensation laws in California protect injured workers in the event of a job-related accident. Workers’ compensation will cover some of a worker’s losses after sustaining an injury in the workplace. According to the rules of workers’ comp, injured workers don’t need to prove an employer was negligent for compensation. Workers only have to prove that they sustained an injury while performing job-related tasks. After the system accepts your workers’ compensation claim, you’ll receive certain benefits.
Workers Comp Benefit #1: Medical Care
California workers’ comp will cover any and all medical care related to your workplace injury or illness. This includes the costs of an ambulance, hospital visits/stays, tests physicians must run, and treatments your injuries require. A workers’ comp insurance company must pay for all medical treatment to cure and relieve your injury or illness, whatever this may entail. Once you receive the company’s approval, workers’ comp pays for reasonable and necessary medical care. In California, you must visit a doctor on the list of physicians that your employer approves.
Workers Comp Benefit #2: Time Off Work
In many cases, a worker’s personal injury causes missed days at work. Workers’ compensation benefits pay to replace a worker’s lost income in these situations. This benefit is “temporary disability” and will cover an injured worker for as long as it takes to return to work. Unfortunately, workers’ comp payments for lost wages only cover two-thirds of the worker’s average working wage. It doesn’t account for lost earning capacity or lost opportunities, such as raises or promotions.
Workers Comp Benefit #3: Permanent Disability or Death
If a workplace injury leaves you permanently disabled and unable to return to work, workers’ comp will pay for permanent impairment. Even a minor injury may qualify for a permanent disability payment, albeit a small one. The amount of a permanent disability benefit depends on several factors:
- Severity of the injury
- The degree of limitation the injury places on daily activities
- Age of the worker
- Earnings at the time of injury
- Type of occupation
- Partial or total disability
Permanent disability benefits will pay for lost wages and lost future wages. A worker with a permanent disability may also be eligible to receive supplemental job displacement benefits. This benefit pays for education retraining or job skill enhancement after a workplace injury. It includes money to pay for computer equipment, tuition, fees, books, and other expenses related to retraining. Regardless of your disability rating in CA, the voucher has a maximum of $6,000.
You’ll receive workers’ comp benefits for a permanent disability for the rest of your life. If workplace injury results in wrongful death, workers’ comp will give the surviving family members benefits such as burial and funeral expenses and a lump-sum payment for the accident.
Workers’ Compensation or a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
While the benefits an injured worker receives from CA’s workers’ compensation program can significantly aid in recovering from an injury, it’s not the only option that workers have. Workers’ compensation doesn’t cover a person’s pain and suffering, mental anguish, or emotional distress. It also reimburses a worker for only two-thirds of lost wages – not the full amount of wages lost. There’s a maximum amount of lost wage compensation that a worker receives too.
If someone’s negligence caused your workplace injury, filing a personal injury claim may be a better option than workers’ compensation. Winning a personal injury settlement can compensate you for all of your losses. If the Division of Workers’ Compensation denies your claim, hire an attorney to help you appeal the decision. Once you file for workers’ comp, you give up your right to sue your employer – and vice versa. Talk to an attorney before deciding to file either way.
Consult a Riverside Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
You should seek the council of a Riverside Workers Compensation Attorney about your workplace injury case. They will know exactly how to handle a workers comp case, can help maximize your compensation, and help speed up the whole process. For a free consultation, contact the Riverside personal injury lawyer team as Estey & Bomberger, LLP today! 951-543-9020