Chula Vista Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you were injured on the job or developed a work-related medical condition, do not hesitate to call the Chula Vista personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC for legal assistance. You might be entitled to benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. We will protect your rights and seek the maximum payments you deserve to treat your work-related injury or illness.
You should not be forced to face the overwhelming responsibility of managing an insurance claim when you’re trying to recover from a work-related accident. It’s stressful to talk to the insurance company, find all the information to complete paperwork, and gather evidence to prove what happened. OnderLaw, LLC can take over your case so you can focus on attending your doctor’s appointments and getting your life back on track.
For a free consultation with one of our experienced and skilled Chula Vista workers’ compensation lawyers, call OnderLaw, LLC today at (314) 963-9000.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
California employers with at least one employee must provide workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation insurance pays for injured workers’ medical treatment and replaces a percentage of their lost income due to on-the-job disease or injury. Even if you suffered minimal physical harm, you would still be eligible for coverage as long as the incident happened while performing your work-related tasks.
If you are a surviving spouse, child, or dependent relative of someone who died in a workplace accident, you could file a claim for certain benefits. The payments you receive should compensate you for the financial losses you suffered due to your loved one’s death.
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation?
The worker’s compensation requirements you must meet to qualify for benefits are these:
- Your actions did not contribute to the illness or injury you suffered, such as intentional self-harm or performing your job while intoxicated
- The injury or illness occurred while you were working
- Your employer’s worker’s compensation policy covers your job-related medical condition
- Your employment caused your injury, regardless of whether the employer was negligent
Job industries involving heavy machinery, handling toxic materials, and working in poorly ventilated spaces can lead to injuries, diseases, and death. However, a job-related accident can happen anywhere. Even someone performing data entry can suffer tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome and require time off from work to heal.
Any injury can result in an impairment that prevents you from returning to your job. You might need days, weeks, or even months to rest and heal. You could miss out on the wages necessary to cover your medical bills and daily living expenses during that time.
Many people face significant financial strain in a situation like this. It’s critical to seek legal advice and guidance from a Chula Vista workers’ compensation lawyer right away to help you obtain the benefits you’re owed from your employer.
What Type of Benefits Are Available?
You’re entitled to medical care benefits the second you suffer a job-related illness or injury. The insurance company should pay your doctors directly for all necessary and reasonable treatment to cure or relieve your medical condition.
You can see a physician of your choice as long as you predesignated them before the workplace accident. That means you must have submitted a written letter to your employer regarding the medical doctor or group you would like to see for any job-related injury or illness.
If you don’t predesignate and your employer belongs to a health care organization or medical provider network, you must treat with someone the Division of Workers’ Compensation approves. You could end up paying out of pocket for your medical expenses if you decide to see someone not in the network or organization.
Eligibility for additional benefits depends on the circumstances of your case. You can apply for temporary disability benefits (TD) if you can’t earn your usual wages due to the injury or illness.
TD benefits start if you need overnight hospitalization or your doctor informs you that you can’t perform your usual job duties for more than three days. The payments you receive will be two-thirds of your average weekly wage. However, coverage can’t exceed the maximum weekly limits under state law.
Permanent disability benefits are available if you suffer a permanent disability. That means your doctor advised you that you reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), and your condition is unlikely to improve with further treatment.
The payments you receive should start when temporary disability coverage ends and will depend on:
- The date of the workplace accident;
- The disability rating your doctor gave you when you reached MMI; and
- Your pre-injury wages.
Additional benefits are available to help you train for a different position within your current company or find new employment. Supplemental job displacement benefits are paid in the form of a non-transferable voucher and can be used for:
- Certification or licensing fees
- Computer equipment
- Tools needed for a training program
- A vocational counselor or licensed placement agency services
- Miscellaneous expenses up to $500
- Accredited or state-approved school tuition, books, fees, and associated costs
Surviving family members could recover death benefits if their loved one died from a job-related illness or injury. Coverage includes up to $5,000 or $10,000 for reasonable burial expenses and payments equivalent to the deceased worker’s total temporary disability benefits.
Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured at Work
No one ever plans for a workplace accident. It can be stressful when you’re suddenly unable to do your job and make the same income you were making before.
Although you have found yourself in an unfortunate situation, there are some beneficial things you can do. Taking the proper steps after a job-related injury or illness could improve your chance of recovering the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
First, you should go to the hospital or your predesignated doctor. It’s crucial not to wait long before seeking treatment. Insurance companies typically want to see evidence of immediate medical care and ongoing treatment to pay a claim. If you regularly skip doctor’s appointments or wait weeks before your initial medical evaluation, they could deny the claim or underpay the available benefits.
Notify your employer of the accident. The Division of Workers’ Compensation requires reporting a job-related injury or illness within 30 days. If you miss this strict deadline, you could lose your right to recover benefits.
It’s always a good idea to hire a qualified lawyer to represent you in your case whenever you’re injured at work. Although you might think you can take on the insurance claim yourself, you could encounter obstacles you don’t know how to overcome or miss a critical filing deadline that negatively impacts the outcome of your case.
OnderLaw, LLC can file a worker’s compensation claim on your behalf, investigate the incident, and gather all available evidence to submit to the insurance company. While we’re working on the legal aspects, you should continue all forms of recommended treatment with your medical providers. Those records will be key to prove that your injury happened at work and required medical care to heal.
Our Chula Vista workers’ compensation lawyers have the resources to obtain the evidence we need to build your case. However, it would be helpful to maintain records of your own as well. Keep a copy of any document you receive that is related to your injury or illness. We can review what you have and determine whether we can use it as evidence.
Workplace Injury Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3,496,700 recordable cases of nonfatal injuries and illnesses across all job industries in the U.S. in 2019. A total of 1,108,300 required time off from work.
The number of cases involving nonfatal illnesses and injuries caused by specific events or exposures included:
- Fires and explosions – 1,700
- Overexertion from lowering or lifting – 86,740
- Repetitive motion involving microtasks – 17,160
- Compressed by or caught in equipment or object – 34,020
- Struck against object or equipment – 46,250
- Struck by object or equipment – 134,620
- Transportation incidents – 49,430
- Slips and trips without falling – 38,700
- Fall to a lower level – 48,040
- Falling on the same level – 153,140
- Violence and other injuries by an animal or person – 44,480
In 2019, 5,333 fatal workplace injuries occurred in America. That is equivalent to one employee dying every 99 minutes from a job-related injury. Transportation incidents were among the most common factors contributing to worker deaths.
The occupations with the highest fatality rates that year include:
- Fishing and hunting workers
- Logging workers
- Flight engineers and aircraft pilots
- Helpers, construction trades
- Refuse and recyclable material collectors
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Our Chula Vista workers’ compensation lawyers have represented workers suffering from job-related injuries and illnesses since 2002. When you have an experienced legal team in your corner, you will receive the guidance you need to build a successful case. Many injured workers who choose to file a claim without a lawyer end up with a denied claim or lower benefit payments than they deserve.
OnderLaw, LLC will fight for you to meet your needs and try to achieve the best possible result. Our goal is to resolve your claim, so you receive the benefits necessary to afford your medical treatment and supplement your lost wages. You can depend on us to be your advocate during this traumatic time in your life and help you get the money to cover your medical expenses and costs while you heal.
If you suffered a job-related injury or illness or lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident, call OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000 now. One of our Chula Vista workers’ compensation lawyers can meet with you for a free consultation to discuss the incident and advise you about your legal options. We will work tirelessly to pursue the maximum available benefits so you can return to work and move forward with your life.