Have you been injured on the job in Anaheim? Was this injury severe, and did it leave you unable to do your job? If so, you may be eligible for compensation through a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit.

Contact the Anaheim personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw today, and let us review your case to see if you have a valid workers’ compensation claim. We specialize in helping Southern California residents get the help they need after a workplace accident. Call for a free consultation, and let us help you get back on your feet after an injury at work.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

All employers in California are required by law to provide Workers’ Compensation (WC) insurance for their employees. This insurance provides certain benefits to employees that are injured or killed on the job and protects employers from litigation. WC insurance covers almost any injury an employee sustains while working, whether on-site or off-site, though there are exceptions. By accepting WC benefits, employees usually lose the right to sue their employer for negligence.

Who Qualifies for WC Benefits?

WC benefits are payable to almost any employee in California. A large number of possible injuries are covered, including physical injuries, cumulative or repetitive stress injuries, illness, work-related disease, and some mental health conditions. The exact qualification requirements vary depending on the type of WC policy the employer chooses. Though WC insurance is required by law, it is administered by private companies.

Independent contractors, volunteers, anyone employed by family or their spouse, people working for aid or sustenance, or people working for a wage less than $100 are usually exempt from WC insurance coverage.

What Types of Benefits are Available?

Some of the benefits provided by WC insurance include the following:

  • Temporary disability benefits. These are direct payments made to an employee injured at work in lieu of wages. They are intended to cover all forms of payment for services, including wages, tips, commissions, food, lodging, overtime, and bonuses. Payments are usually made every two weeks, and the amount is determined by your pre-tax wage before you were injured.
  • Permanent disability benefits. These benefits are paid out to employees that receive severe work-related injuries or illnesses that result in a lasting disability. They are limited and may not replace all the income lost. The amount is determined by your age, occupation, the severity of the injury, and the level of impairment the injury caused.
  • Medical benefits. You can be compensated for any medical expenses related to your work injury. This includes any reasonable treatment to cure work-related illnesses or injuries, such as hospital bills, emergency transport, rehabilitation, therapy, or prescription medication.
  • Supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB). These are benefits intended to help you retrain or enter a new industry if your injury leaves you unable to perform the functions of your job at your previous place of employment. They are distributed as vouchers with no cash value and can be used for vocational training, education, new equipment or tools, licensing, certification, or vocational counseling.
  • Death benefits. These are benefits paid to family and dependents of workers that suffer a fatal injury or illness while on the job. The amount is determined by the number of people financially dependent on the decedent and can be used for expenses like burial costs.
  • Return to Work Supplement Program. This is a type of supplemental job displacement benefit that offers a one-time payment of $5,000 to some workers that have already received SJDB vouchers to help make up for the difference between WC benefit amounts and your previous wage amount.
  • Life pension payments. These are payments issued to injured workers to supplement Permanent Disability Benefits after they reach maximum payout.
  • Compensable consequences. You can receive compensation for any subsequent injury that is caused or exacerbated by your work-related injury. For example, if you cut your hand at work and damage the tendons, and this causes you to be unable to hold a handrail which leads to a fall down a stairway later on, you may be eligible for additional WC benefits.

Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured at Work

If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, here are some helpful steps to take to protect yourself and start the WC process:

  1. Get medical help. Even if your injury isn’t severe, this step is necessary to start the paper trail for the WC claims process. Make sure to get a medical report from your doctor detailing exactly what was done and why.
  2. Notify your employer or manager. Let your employer or supervisor know about the injury and that you wish to claim WC benefits. Do this in writing. This is another important step in the WC claims process, as most benefits start paying out the day your employer is notified of your injury.
  3. Apply for WC benefits. Your employer is required by law to provide a WC claim form to you within one business day of you reporting your injury. Fill out this form and submit it to your employer after making a copy for your records. You must file a claim within 30 days of the injury or you risk losing qualification for WC benefits.
  4. Retain legal counsel. Talk to an attorney with experience in WC claims to ensure that you’re protected. WC benefits are still handled by private companies, and they will look for a reason to deny your claim. An attorney can help you deal with denials or delays in receiving benefits.

Workplace Injury Statistics

California is home to a wide variety of businesses and industries, which means workplace injuries are varied, as well. Here are some statistics regarding injuries and fatalities in the workplace in California and elsewhere:

  • 47 percent of workplace fatalities in California in 2017 were transportation-related.
  • California has the lowest rate of occupational fatalities in the country, at 2.9 fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 workers.
  • Almost a quarter of workplace fatalities in the country in 2017 were due to workplace drug overdoses, a 25% increase over 2016.
  • Cleaning and maintenance workers have the highest rates of workplace-related injury and illness in California.
  • In 2017, there were 100,000 fewer work-related nonfatal injuries and illnesses reported nationwide than in 2016.

Why Do I Need an Attorney for My Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Trying to deal with the complex WC claims process while you’re recovering from a debilitating injury can be a difficult undertaking. Rather than spending time recovering, you’re stuck dealing with insurance adjusters that know more about the ins and outs of the process than you do and seek to minimize your experience or your benefits. A good attorney is almost necessary, not just to guide you through the intricacies of filing a claim but to assist with the logistics and overall workload.

When you have an attorney from OnderLaw to assist you, we take on the hard work of investigating the accident and building a claim so you can get on with your life. We will take the calls from the insurance company and seek out the documentation needed to justify your claim so you don’t have to.

Although WC insurance is required in California, the policies are still managed by private insurance companies. These companies are practiced at denying claims and may use dishonest tactics to convince you that your injury doesn’t warrant the level of benefits you’re requesting. They may even tell you that hiring an attorney isn’t necessary when filing a WC claim. If you file it on your own, they may try to take advantage of the fact that you don’t know how to appeal a denied claim. A lawyer can ensure that you get the help you need when you need it.

Why Hire OnderLaw to Represent Me?

OnderLaw has developed a well-earned reputation in California and elsewhere for being the firm injury victims call when they need comprehensive and tenacious legal help. We will represent you with poise, vigor, and relentless attention to detail. We understand fully the strain a workplace injury can place on a family, especially if the victim is the primary wage earner, and we will work tirelessly to see your case through to a positive outcome.

We know that not everyone can afford an attorney for their WC claim, which is why we work on contingency. This means that there are no up-front costs for our services. We take our payment out of any settlement or award you receive. If we don’t get money for you, we don’t get paid.

We provide support for our clients as well as the communities in which we practice. We donate time and money to charitable causes and organizations such as Toys for Tots, MADD, and Lupus Foundation of America.

Our work has yielded fantastic results for our clients. We’ve been able to obtain over $3 billion in awards and settlements for our clients since 2002. We can’t guarantee a positive outcome for every case, but we can guarantee that the same diligence that got these results will be applied to your case.

Call Today for a Free Consultation

Don’t let insurance companies take advantage of your inexperience with workers’ compensation claims. Call OnderLaw today for a free consultation. We only take payment if we win your case, and the first consultation is absolutely free. You have nothing to lose by letting us review your case. Call OnderLaw today.