It is all too easy for a regular day on the job to turn into a years-long financial, physical, and mental nightmare. Being injured on the job can be devastating. Financially, medical bills can set you back months or even years. Emotionally, it can be difficult or even traumatic to return to a work environment in which you were injured. And mentally, keeping track of doctors’ notes and navigating the complex legal landscape of workers’ compensation claims can be unspeakably draining.

If you’ve been injured in the course of your duties at work, you need to file a workers’ comp claim. The Oxnard personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw are here for you. We will get you organized, guide you through the process, and most importantly — get you the money you deserve. Read on to find out more about what steps you need to take to get your life back on track after an injury at work.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

In nearly every state, employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance.

Workers’ compensation insurance, also called workman’s compensation or workers’ comp, is insurance intended to protect both the employer and the employee. In case an employee gets injured in the course of their duties, workers’ compensation will cover their medical bills, lost income, lost future income, and more. The worker will be protected from the financial devastation of a serious physical injury. On the employer’s side, when an injured worker takes advantage of the benefits of workers’ comp insurance, they are precluded from bringing a lawsuit against the employer.

Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

There are a few rules that specify who is eligible for worker’s compensation benefits. If you have been injured at work and fit these descriptors, contact a lawyer today.

First of all, your employer must have workers’ compensation insurance. Almost every company in the United States must have a workers’ comp policy. In California, employers with one or more employees are required to have coverage.

Second, you must be an employee of the company. This sounds like a no-brainer, but there are often categories of employee that aren’t eligible for workers’ comp benefits. For example, if you are a freelancer, contract worker, or a member of the “gig” economy, you are likely not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Third, your injury or illness must be work-related. Essentially, if you are doing something for the benefit of your employer, and that activity is work-related, you are most likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you injure your back while lifting boxes, get carpal tunnel syndrome from typing, or become ill due to exposure to hazardous chemicals, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Office happy hours, lunch breaks, and horsing around with co-workers usually don’t qualify for benefits, but if you are injured in these scenarios, you should still contact a lawyer to see if there are extenuating circumstances in which you could be compensated.

Finally, there are deadlines for filing your workers’ compensation claim. While your first priority should be getting the medical care you need, you do need to act with some haste to ensure you don’t miss important deadlines. As soon as you feel well enough, contact a lawyer to get started collecting important medical documents, filing your claim, and getting the money you deserve.

What Types of Benefits Are Available?

Workers’ compensation benefits are varied. First and foremost, workers’ comp can cover your medical bills, both emergency and long term. Immediately after the accident, your ambulance ride, your ER visit, your medical procedures, and prescription medication can all be covered by a workers’ comp claim. If you have been injured in the course of your duties, you need to get the highest quality medical care you can.

If you predesignated your choice of doctor prior to any accident, you may obtain treatment from your chosen medical professional. However, if you did not predesignate, you must receive your care for your work-related injury from one of the doctors in your employer’s medical provider network or health care organization. If your employer doesn’t have either of those and you didn’t predesignate, then the claims administrator has the right to choose your treating MD for the first 30 days. After that, you may be able to switch to a doctor of your choice. Your lawyer will help you figure all this out.

Even after an emergency visit, workers comp will pay for routine doctor’s visits, long-term prescriptions, physical therapy appointments, medical devices such as wheelchairs, and more.  As long as you are able to prove, via doctor’s note, that the care you are receiving is due to the injury you suffered at work, the costs can be covered.

If your workplace injury is severe enough to temporarily, or even permanently, disable you, you may be eligible for Temporary Disability or Permanent Disability benefits. Workers’ compensation can cover a portion of your lost wages while you recover and may cover a permanent loss of wages if you lose earning capacity due to the accident.

If your loved one was killed in a work-related accident, you may be eligible for death benefits. These benefits are available to a spouse, children, or other dependents of the deceased worker and can provide up to $10,000 in burial expenses and ongoing benefits for the family. Talk to your OnderLaw lawyer for help determining what your benefits should be.

Securing the compensation you deserve and the benefits you need doesn’t have to be complicated. Call the team at OnderLaw, and we will make sure that while you recover your health, we recover your finances and your lost wages.

If You’ve Been Injured at Work, Here Are the Steps to Take

An injury can cause chaos in your life. If you’re up to your eyeballs in medical bills, ambulance rides, paperwork, emails, and phone calls, you might need a little help prioritizing what to get done when. Here is a brief “to-do” list to get you started.

  • Get the care you need. No matter what, your first priority should be getting the best medical care you can. Make doctors’ appointments, take the full course of your prescription medicines, make appointments for any procedures, and follow doctor’s orders. It will be much easier to handle the paperwork involved with filing a workers’ compensation claim if you are healthy.
  • Keep track of all documents related to the accident. From the first email you send to your boss about the incident to the last medical bill you receive months, or even years, after the injury — all documents and communication related to your injury are vital. Every document helps establish the strength of your claim and could increase the amount of compensation you receive for your injury.
  • Call a lawyer. As soon as you’re feeling well enough, call a lawyer. The compassionate team at OnderLaw knows exactly what you need after suffering a workplace injury. We will organize your paperwork to build a strong claim to present to your employer. A skilled lawyer will be with you every step of the process and ensure that you are maximizing the amount of money you receive to help you bounce back after the injury.
  • File a claim. With your lawyer’s help, you’ll file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer. When we handle your case, the pressure will be off of you, and you can feel at ease knowing you’ll get the money you deserve.
  • Rest and recuperate. The final and most important step is to rest and recover. With the help of OnderLaw , you’ll get through the workers’ compensation process smoothly and virtually stress-free.

Workplace Injury Statistics

Workplace injury is more common than you think. Here are some important statistics to consider as you consider filing a claim.

  • In 2020, almost 3 out of 100 full-time workers experienced a workplace injury, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The top 10 most serious workplace injuries of 2020 resulted in compensation of over $52 billion.
  • Overexertion accounted for nearly 25% of all workplace injuries in the U.S. This makes it the leading cause of workplace injury.

It is impossible to completely eradicate injury in the workplace. Even if you think your injury is “no big deal,” it could turn into a problem that impacts you for years to come. Seek treatment, and prepare to file a claim with your employer.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

It is absolutely critical that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your workplace injury. The longer you wait, the higher the chance you’ll lose vital pieces of paperwork, and therefore lose your chance to get the money you deserve.

A lawyer will organize your paperwork, walk you through the process of filing a claim, and build the strongest case possible for your workers’ comp case. Most importantly, a good lawyer will fight hard for you throughout the entire process. Hiring an attorney is the only way you can be positive you maximize your compensation.

How OnderLaw Could Help

Our team of attorneys at OnderLaw lead with compassion. Experiencing an injury in the workplace is incredibly difficult to overcome. We know that what you need is not only someone who fights hard for you, but also someone who will listen, have patience, and understand what you’re going through.

We have helped countless individuals with their workers’ compensation claims, and we are ready and able to help you with yours. With our help, you’ll be able to focus on healing while we focus on building your claim and getting you the compensation you deserve for your medical bills. Call us today or contact us online to get started on getting your life back.