Not all injured workers need a workers’ compensation lawyer to handle their workplace injury claim. However, connecting with an attorney who regularly handles these cases is a good idea at the first sign of trouble. You have the right to work with an attorney throughout this process. If there are any issues getting your employer or the insurer to cooperate with your claim, you can turn to a law firm for help.
When you hire a workers’ compensation attorney to handle your claim or fight a denial, they will manage your case while you focus on healing from your injuries. You do not have to navigate the claims process on your own. A lawyer can help with your California workers’ compensation claim.
An Attorney Plays a Central Role in Navigating the Claims Process
Unfortunately, some injured workers face issues filing a claim or getting workers’ compensation benefits. Issues may include:
- Their employers do not want to cooperate and provide the necessary forms or complete their part of the claim.
- The employer delays the claims process.
- The insurer drags their feet processing the claim.
- The insurer denies or undervalues the claim.
- They disagree with the doctor about their treatment.
- The employer or insurer disagrees with the doctor’s diagnosis or treatment.
When an issue occurs, having a workers’ compensation lawyer on your side is a good resource. They can push your claim through the process, challenge denials, or take other necessary steps to secure the benefits you deserve.
You Could Get Legal Help at No Out-of-Pocket Cost
By law, California workers’ compensation lawyers cannot charge clients any money upfront. Instead, their attorney’s fees come from the money they recover for the client. They can only charge a limited amount of the settlement or benefits. If they do not secure compensation, they will not get paid.
Complex Circumstances Could Warrant a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
When there is a complex situation related to a workers’ compensation case, the injured worker should consider talking to an attorney about their options. Most Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Los Angeles offer free consultations. Some circumstances that could justify help from a lawyer knowledgeable about these claims include:
- The employer denies that an accident or workplace injuries occurred.
- The employer refuses to file a claim or participate in the claims process.
- The insurer delays your benefits.
- The insurer fails to approve your wage loss benefits.
- Your employer fires you after your workplace injury.
- Your employer makes your workplace intolerable because of harassment or retaliation.
- Your employer refuses to offer you alternative work when it should be available.
- Your doctor releases you, but you do not think you can work.
- You have lasting injuries, but the insurer will not recognize your disabilities.
- The insurer offers you a lump-sum settlement that doesn’t account for your future hardships.
Generally, you should consider calling an attorney when your employer or the insurer does not fully cooperate with your workers’ compensation claim or act as you expected. A workers’ compensation lawyer will know how this process usually works and can craft a legal strategy based on your case’s facts.
An Attorney Will Ensure You Understand Your Rights and Benefits
You could benefit from partnering with an attorney if you’re unsure about the benefits you should receive or believe you are not receiving full benefits. Your workers’ compensation lawyer will assess your case and determine the benefits you should receive. With your previous wage information, they can also calculate your expected temporary disability benefits.
According to “Workers’ Compensation in California: A Guidebook for Injured Workers,” there are five types of benefits available through workers’ compensation insurance for injured workers:
Medical Care Costs
Workers’ compensation benefits include covering all treatment and rehabilitation related to the workplace injury or condition. This includes first aid, ambulance transportation, emergency department treatment, hospitalization, and follow-up visits.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Workers’ compensation includes regular payments to cover a part of your income lost while you cannot work. This includes temporary disability benefits until your injuries fully heal and you can return to work.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Some people qualify for permanent disability benefits through workers’ compensation. This is possible if you cannot return to your previous job or work at all because of disabilities from your workplace accident.
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
California workers’ compensation includes additional retraining and educational benefits available to those who cannot return to their previous careers because of new impairments.
When a worker passes away from their injuries, their family receives a one-time monetary benefit.
What if the Workers’ Compensation Insurer Denies My Benefits Claim?
You should contact an attorney immediately if you learn that the workers’ compensation insurance company is denying your claim. While you have the right to represent yourself in an appeal, having a knowledgeable lawyer handle it protects your rights and ensures you have a strong advocate.
There are options when the insurance company denies a workers’ compensation claim. This is not the end; you do not have to accept the decision. There is an appeals process. A workers’ compensation lawyer will know how to build a solid case, gather evidence to support the claim, and manage the appeal. You can focus on healing while they challenge the denial and fight for your benefits.
You Could Contest a Denied Claim in Court
Following a denial, some cases go to trial. This is the final step in a process that often includes intense settlement negotiations, court proceedings, and several hearings with a workers’ compensation judge. Having an attorney to offer advice, guidance, and representation throughout this process can bolster your case’s outcome.
Discuss Your California Workers’ Compensation Claim With Our Team
At KJT Law Group, our team of workers’ compensation attorneys represents injured workers daily. We have likely handled cases similar to yours and possibly against the same insurance company. We are here to fight for your best interests. We offer free consultations. Contact us by calling (818) 507-8525 now for your free case review.