Ways an Accident Attorney Can Help You Claim Workers’ Compensation

Statistics show workplace accidents and injuries are common, though traumatic, occurrences. Even if they may seem more common in some fields, the risk of getting injured cuts across professional divides. Worse yet, in the case of a work-related injury, the physical pain and mental anguish are compounded by the financial burden (doctors’ bills and lost wages) and the legal hassle the worker is faced with. At times like this, the help of a workplace accidents lawyer may prove invaluable.

In theory, if you sustained an injury on the job, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. However, given the intricacies of the legal system, you may need an experienced accident attorney to guide you through the process and help you get your claim.

Here is what you should know about workers’ compensation and the ways in which a specialized workplace accidents lawyer can help you file a successful claim.

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a special insurance system that pays benefits to workers who sustain work-related injuries. The insurance is supposed to cover medical bills, damages in case of permanent disability and loss of salaries or wages.

What types of injuries are covered?

The most obvious type is a physical injury resulting from a workplace accident. For instance, a construction worker might end up with severe fractures after falling from a considerable height because of some security mishap. Though manual laborers might seem more prone to such injuries, an office worker is as likely to sustain a direct injury.

A more subtle type of injury is a work-related illness, which can range from carpal tunnel syndrome to various forms of cancer caused by exposure to toxic materials on the job.

In the latter case, it may be more difficult to get compensation, because the employee has to provide evidence that the illness was caused by factors in the workplace.

Who is eligible for workers’ compensation?

Although workers’ compensation covers various types of injuries, certain criteria should be met when filing a claim for compensation. Employers should provide clear information concerning the rights and benefits of employees, including who is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if in doubt about eligibility, you might start by requesting the respective information from the Human Resources department.

The next step would be consulting a specialized accident attorney who can analyze your case and provide advice as to the best course of action.

Ways a workplace accidents lawyer can help

A seasoned workplace accidents lawyer can assess the fair compensation you are entitled to, which may include compensation for lost wages, and help steer your course through the legal hassle.

A competent accidents lawyer will begin by gathering all of the necessary information and evidence concerning the accident, including photos of the site, names and contacts of witnesses, medical records, etc. Lawyers generally work together with doctors in such cases. However, the worker should also keep a careful record of injuries, interactions with the company’s HR or legal department, X-rays, or a journal of symptoms.

Based on this body of evidence, the lawyer can finally file the claim for compensation. More often than not, such claims are settled before going to court, as most companies prefer to avoid lawsuits. However, if the matter is taken to the court, the accident attorney should defend his client’s interests in court as well, ensuring he/she gets fair compensation for the injuries sustained.

Workplace Accidents: California Labor Laws and How They Protect You

A recent report made public by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that approximately 4 million people are involved in a tragic workplace accident which irremediably impacts their physical condition and welfare every single year, all across the US. Fortunately, the legal framework offers the best support to employees who have to deal with such a dramatic episode that triggers considerable financial losses and unimaginable pain and suffering.

Workers’ compensation laws were created and implemented to help employees cope with the negative consequences of a workplace accident, usually involving unpredicted expenses in the form of medical bills, lost wages, monetary benefits and so on. These laws provide a stable financial compensation to the victims of workplace accidents. In case the worker dies in a tragic accident at work, or loses his/her life as a result of a serious work-related illness, the family of the deceased is entitled to financial compensations.

Financial compensations for workplace injuries
California’s Workers’ Compensation Act was implemented to help employees recover after a serious workplace accident, but it also provides a certain level of protection to employers and other staff members, limiting their liability. All in all, the California Labor Code section 4600 (a) clearly indicates that the employer has to cover the expenses associated with medical services (hospital treatment, surgery, chiropractic treatment) and essential medical supplies (crutches and prosthetic devices are included in this category) guaranteeing a full recovery for an employee who has suffered a workplace accident.

Coping with temporary or permanent disabilities

 Unfortunately, some workplace accidents trigger permanent or temporary disabilities which will inevitably stop employees from earning a living. In this case, the California Labor Code section 4650 (a) stipulates that the first compensatory payment should be made no later than 14 days after the employer has been notified of the workplace injury which caused the temporary disabilities. If you want to profit from all the benefits that you are entitled to in this situation, fill out the DWC 1 claim form that you should receive from your employer one day after reporting your accident. You should receive financial compensations for your temporary disability (TD) every 2 weeks. Payments should start as soon as your doctor reaches the conclusion that you can’t perform your normal duties for more than 3 days and should end when you go back to work.

Support for the family of the deceased in case of a workplace fatality

According to a report issued by OSHA, approximately 4600 employees were killed on the job, in different circumstances, all across the US in 2011. Workplace fatalities are not a rare phenomenon and always affect the families of the deceased workers, both emotionally and financially. Fortunately, the legal framework in California offers them a certain level of protection. According to the California Labor Code section 4700, accrued and unpaid compensations will go directly to the deceased’s dependents. Also, section 4701 reveals that, apart from providing financial compensations to the grieving family, the employer will also have to provide financial support meant to cover funeral expenses (up to ten thousand dollars for workplace injuries taking place after January 1st  2013, according to section 4701 (3) ). Last, but not least, the dependent is entitled to a death benefit, which should be provided by the employer when he/she “leaves any person dependent upon her or him for support”.