Stockton Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Did you suffer an illness or injury at your job? Did you require medical treatment, and did you lose income due to the accident? If so, contact the Stockton personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC for immediate assistance with your case. You might be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits through your employer’s insurance carrier.
An on-the-job injury can have life-changing consequences. When there’s an accident at work, you face painful treatment, expensive medical bills, and potentially decreased wages. You deserve to file a claim for workers’ comp benefits to recoup the cost of treating your injury or illness. You should not be financially responsible for these expenses if you were performing your job duties when the accident happened.
Work injuries are common. Construction workers can suffer debilitating and life-threatening injuries. Even office employees can develop tendonitis from typing on their computers all day. Whether your injury is minor or severe, your employer should provide insurance coverage for your necessary treatment and replace part of the income you lose during your recovery.
The Stockton workers’ compensation lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC want you to know that you’re not alone. In 2019, employers in the private industry reported 2.8 million nonfatal illnesses and injuries in the workplace. Anyone can be involved in an accident and experience losses due to limited mobility, chronic pain, or disability. We understand the importance of securing the maximum available benefit payments to heal so you can return to work as soon as possible.
For a free consultation at OnderLaw, LLC, call us at (314) 963-9000 today and let us get started on your case.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
California law requires employers to provide coverage to their employees for a job-related injury or illness. If you get hurt while performing your work-related responsibilities, you can file a claim immediately and receive benefits to pay for your medical treatment and replace a portion of your lost income.
Even if your injury is minor and requires only a few doctor’s appointments to heal, you can collect compensation from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. Additionally, you could receive benefits even if you can continue working in some capacity. As long as you make less money than you did before the accident, you’re entitled to coverage.
Who Qualifies for WC Benefits?
Your employer has a legal obligation to provide workers’ compensation benefits if you suffer an injury or illness at work. Since California is a no-fault state when it comes to workers’ compensation, your employer does not have to be responsible for causing the accident.
You only qualify for coverage if you were in the course of your employment when the injury or illness occurred and:
- Your injury directly resulted from your job duties.
- You weren’t off the clock participating in a voluntary recreational, social, or athletic activity.
- You didn’t cause your own injuries intentionally.
- Your injury wasn’t due to being intoxicated by a controlled substance or alcohol.
- You weren’t committing a felony or another offense punishable under California Penal Code Section 17.
- Your injuries didn’t happen during a physical altercation you initiated.
OnderLaw, LLC can handle a range of cases involving workplace accidents. The most common causes of on-the-job injuries and illnesses include:
- Falls from heights
- Vehicle collisions
- Faulty electrical components
- Exposure to toxic fumes or chemicals
- Slip/trip and falls
- Lack of safety gear
- Exposure to extreme temperatures
- Fires and explosions
- Malfunctioning equipment and machinery
- Tasks requiring repetitive motion
- Unsecured objects falling from above
- Being struck by something
- Working in cramped spaces
- Hazards in walkways
You should always feel safe at work. Unfortunately, dangerous working conditions, inexperienced employees, employer negligence, and many other factors can result in accidents. Even if you take the necessary precautions, you could still end up with an injury that interferes with your job and significantly cuts down the wages you can make. Workers’ compensation insurance is available to help you with your financial situation, so you don’t face debt.
What Type of Benefits Are Available?
Workers’ compensation will pay for five types of benefits, depending on the circumstances of your injury or illness. They include:
Medical Care – The insurance company should pay for all reasonable medical care you need to relieve the symptoms of your injury or cure it entirely. You must attend appointments with a doctor your employer approves if they belong to a medical provider network or health care organization. If you choose to see someone who is not in their organization or network, you might be forced to pay out of pocket for that treatment.
The only exception that allows you to see the doctor you want is if you predesignated one before the accident. That means you informed your employer, in writing, of the specific medical provider or facility you want to treat your work-related injury.
Temporary Disability Benefits (TD) – TD will pay two-thirds of the gross wages you lose after suffering a job-related illness or injury. This can include commissions, food, bonuses, lodging, overtime, and tips. Laws prevent injured workers from receiving more than the maximum set limits.
Coverage should start if your medical provider informs you that you can’t perform your regular job duties for longer than three days or if you require overnight hospitalization. TD payments will end if your doctor releases you back to work or places you at maximum medical improvement (MMI). That means your injury or illness isn’t likely to improve with further treatment.
Permanent disability benefits (PD) – After you reach MMI, you should receive an impairment rating from your treating physician. An impairment rating is a percentage between 0 and 100 indicating the effects of the injury on your body as a whole. The percentage determined by your doctor will represent the amount of money you receive. You may be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits, which are spread over a specific number of weeks. If you are determined to be permanently and totally disabled, you are eligible for PD benefits for life and should receive your first PD benefits within 14 days after your TD benefits cease.
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits (SJDB) – You can collect these benefits based on when your work-related injury occurred:
- January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2012 – SJDB benefits are paid if the injury caused a permanent partial disability and your employer didn’t offer alternative or modified job duties within thirty days from TD benefits ending, and you did not return to your job within sixty days of TD benefits being terminated.
- On or after January 1, 2013 – SJDB benefits are provided if your employer didn’t offer you an alternative, modified, or suitable regular work within sixty days from the date of a medical evaluation report or receipt by a claims administrator indicating that you suffered permanent partial disability from your injury.
Payments are made as a non-transferable voucher up to $6,000. You can use it to pay for necessary costs while looking for another job or attending a public school in California or another eligible training provider. You can also use the voucher to pay for testing fees, tools needed for training, tuition, books, and miscellaneous costs. If you spend your own money on eligible expenses, you could receive reimbursement through SJDB.
Death Benefits – Death benefits are available for a surviving spouse, child, or dependent if their relative dies in a workplace accident. You can collect payments at the rate of total temporary disability benefits.
The number of total or partial dependents will determine how long coverage will last. For example, if multiple minors collect payments, benefits will continue until the youngest child turns 18. A dependent minor with a disability can receive payments for the rest of their life.
Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured at Work
If you develop a job-related illness or suffer injuries while performing work-related tasks, you should seek treatment immediately. Go to a hospital or your predesignated doctor. They can evaluate your condition and recommend a specific treatment plan, such as physical therapy, surgical procedures, hospitalization, imaging tests, or rehabilitation. Follow their recommendations explicitly until your injury heals or you reach maximum medical improvement. If your doctor places you at MMI, you might require future appointments to manage pain or improve mobility.
Report your injury to your employer. You must do this within thirty days of the accident. If you inform your employer of what happened after thirty days, you could lose your right to recover benefits through their workers’ compensation insurance.
You should also hire one of the Stockton workers’ compensation lawyers from OnderLaw, LLC. Filing a claim or appealing a denied claim is often confusing for injured workers. We can take on the responsibility and handle every step from the initial filing to the disbursement of benefit payments.
Workplace Injury Statistics
In 2019, there were 3,496.7 recordable cases of nonfatal occupational illnesses and injuries. Of these cases, 1,878 caused job restrictions, transfers, or days away from work.
The National Census of Fatal Occupational injuries recorded 5,333 fatal work injuries the same year. That’s equivalent to one death every 99 minutes. This represents a two percent increase in fatalities from 2018. The highest number of fatalities recorded for workers 55 years of age and older was in 2019, with 2,005 deaths.
There were 2,122 cases of fatal transportation incidents, the highest number of fatalities among recorded work events and exposures. Falls, slips, and trips came in second with 880 occupational deaths.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
An experienced Stockton workers’ compensation lawyer can handle complicated tasks, such as filing the claim, completing necessary forms, investigating the accident, and gathering evidence. Most people don’t have the time or resources to handle these responsibilities effectively and within time constraints.
OnderLaw, LLC has represented injured workers since 2002 and will prepare your case so you can focus on recovering. We use every available resource to track down witnesses, secure video surveillance footage, and request copies of your medical records. We will advocate for your rights and help you seek the benefits you deserve.
How OnderLaw, LLC Could Help
If you suffered injuries in a workplace accident, do not hesitate to contact OnderLaw, LLC. One of our Stockton workers’ compensation lawyers will meet with you for a free consultation to discuss what happened and advise how we can help. Call now at (314) 963-9000.