Van Nuys Worker’s Compensation Lawyer

Injuries can occur anywhere, but they may be exceptionally debilitating if they happen on the job. Treating your injury could take you away from work, significantly impacting your finances. If this is the case, it may become difficult to pay your bills, including the related medical expenses for your rehabilitation. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may not be able to return to work even after recovery. The good news is that California offers a comprehensive workers’ compensation plan for injured employees.

If you were injured on the job, you must notify your employer in writing within 30 days of the accident to preserve your right to benefits. A Van Nuys workers’ compensation lawyer could guide you through the ensuing legal processes to claim benefits.

What is Workers’ Compensation in California?

California Labor Code § 3700 mandates that all employers provide workers’ compensation insurance benefits to full-time and part-time employees. These benefits cover on-the-job injuries such as explosions, falls, and chemical burns, but also injuries and illnesses that occur because of a job-related that worsen over time. These could include lung diseases from breathing toxic fumes, and carpal tunnel syndrome to employees who perform repetitive tasks, like in assembly plants or jobs that entail a lot of computer use.

Injuries related to job stress may also be eligible under the state’s workers’ benefits. However, the rules can be more strict with these claims. Consult a skilled Van Nuys workers’ comp attorney to discuss specifics of a work-related injury.

What to Expect from California Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Local workers’ compensation laws may offer benefits to those injured and temporarily out of work, those who become disabled, and families who lose a loved one from a work injury. Benefits could include:

  • Medical treatment for a job-related injury, including travel expenses for treatment
  • Temporary disability payments for lost wages if the employee is absent from work for a short time
  • Permanent disability payments if the employee will not be able to return to work and the disability is verified by an approved physician
  • Supplemental job displacement vouchers for permanently disabled employees unable to go back to their jobs but able to train for different jobs, which may be supplemented with a lump sum payment
  • Death benefits allocated to families whose loved ones die from a job-related injury or illness

Understanding the ensuing legal processes when claiming benefits may be difficult without legal guidance. A Van Nuys lawyer is familiar with the paperwork and deadlines necessary to successfully file a workers’ compensation claim for injuries sustained on the job.

When Compensation Claims Are Denied

Claims administrators oversee all workers’ compensation benefits. They have the power to approve or deny an injured employee’s claim if they believe the injuries do not fall within the Workers’ Compensation guidelines. A denied claim does not have to end someone’s legal efforts. An employee can appeal this decision by filing an Application for Adjudication of Claim at the workers’ compensation appeals board.

To bring a hearing before a judge, the injured employee must file a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed to request a court hearing before a workers’ compensation judge. It is important, however, before you file this, that your case is prepared to go to trial. This can include collecting evidence and going to a Qualified Medical Evaluator. An attorney familiar with the adjudication process in Van Nuys could help increase the chances of getting a claim approved.

Court Hearing and Possible Trial

The judge will schedule a mandatory settlement conference attended by the employee’s attorney and the claims administrator in hopes of reconciling the denial. If the denial cannot be resolved, the judge will schedule a trial to be conducted by another judge who will issue a decision as to whether there is a work related injury.

Allow a Van Nuys Workers’ Compensation Attorney to Help

If you were injured on the job in California, you might be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation plan. Determining whether you are eligible for benefits may be difficult but a local attorney could help.

Like all government programs, there are rules and time limits for applying. A Van Nuys workers’ compensation lawyer could guide you through the process and help ensure that your claim is filed correctly. Contact us today to get started.