If you were injured in a work-related accident and cannot work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In California, you have a legal right to file for workers’ compensation benefits if you cannot work because of an injury. However, recovering your lost wages is not always an easy process. You need to prove that your injury caused you to lose salary, commission, overtime pay, bonuses, or anything else that comprises your regular income.
California law also allows you to recover lost wages as part of a personal injury claim against your employer. A Los Angeles lost wages attorney from our firm can examine the details of your case and help you get the compensation you deserve. We are here to guide you through the complex legal system and fight for your rights.
What Are Lost Wages?
Lost wages are monetary compensation for the loss of income due to a work-related injury or illness. The purpose of lost wages is to make up for the amount of money the employee would have earned during their time away from work.
Lost wages cover both part-time and full-time employees who were injured while performing duties for their employer, either inside or outside the workplace. Lost wages may include:
- Overtime pay
- Commissions and bonuses
- Sick pay
- Vacation pay
California Labor Code 3700 requires all California employers to cover their employees with worker’s compensation insurance. So, if you suffer personal injury in LA and cannot work, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages. However, you are still required to prove your injury and how it prevents you from working at your regular job.
What Should You Do When an Accident Causes You To Miss Work?
When an injury occurs at work, it can leave you unable to earn a paycheck for some time. Here are some steps to follow:
Document Your Injuries
The first thing you need to do is document your injuries. If you have a serious injury that requires medical attention, this documentation will likely be provided by medical professionals. However, if your injuries are minor and do not require medical care, it may take a little more effort on your part.
Take pictures of any visible injuries that occurred in the accident. Also, keep track of all the workdays you missed because of your injuries. If possible, try to get a document from your employer stating how much time off you took due to your injuries.
Call Your Employer and Inform Them
If you are unable to go to work because of an accident, notify your employer as soon as possible. Let them know what happened and how long they should expect you to not be able to work. After an injury, your employer should issue a workers’ compensation claim form to you within one working day, or you can download the form from the California Department of Industrial Relations website.
Get Emergency Treatment if Needed
You should get emergency medical treatment if you have injuries that require immediate attention. It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident so that any injuries can be properly diagnosed and treated. If you do not get medical attention right away, it could delay your recovery time.
Check Your Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Policy
Your employer may have a policy that covers lost wages after an accident. If so, follow the policy and file a claim with the insurance company. You may also be able to file a claim through workers’ compensation if you were injured on the job.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles
If you suffer personal injury in LA and end up missing work, a lost wages attorney from our firm can help recoup your lost income. We can also advise you on what steps you need to take after your accident based on employment law in California, ensure that your workers’ compensation is calculated and handled properly, and file a claim with the court on your behalf if needed.
What if I Lost My Job Due to an Accident or Injury?
Unfortunately, if you are injured in an accident, you may lose your job – especially if you can no longer perform the same duties as before. The loss of a job can be devastating. You will probably have a lot of questions, such as:
- How will I support myself and my family?
- Can I get unemployment benefits?
- Will I ever be able to return to work?
- What if I can only work part-time or at a lower-paying job because of my injury?
The good news is that you can pursue legal options available to help you financially. A Los Angeles lost wages lawyer can review your situation and determine if you have a valid claim for lost wages.
On top of lost wages benefits, you may also recover the following benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation policy:
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
These benefits give you money to go back to school or get training for a new job if you cannot return to your old one after an injury.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Temporary disability payments provide temporary income if you cannot return to your job after an injury or illness. You will receive benefits for as long as you have medical evidence supporting your claim.
If you cannot work at all or work the same job while in recovery, there are also two types of temporary disability provided by the California Department of Industrial Relations.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Permanent disability is determined after maximum medical improvement has been confirmed. However, permanent disability benefits are limited in the sense that they may not cover all your lost income.
In addition, if you suffer injuries beyond your ability to work, permanent disability benefits may not cover all the losses. A doctor may report your work-related injury to be the cause of your permanent disability or apportion it to other factors/illnesses.
If an employee is killed on the job or succumbs to an injury, their surviving dependents are entitled to death benefits. The amount of money that can be claimed will vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Death benefits are also available for those who died outside the workplace due to a work-related injury or illness.
A Note About Medical Bills
The medical bills associated with treating injuries can get expensive quickly, especially if they are not covered by insurance. Having legal representation when dealing with insurers may be essential to getting the payment you deserve. An experienced lawyer can negotiate directly with insurers on your behalf and inform them about coverage obligations under California’s at-fault law.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
If you were injured in an accident, including a work-related accident, it is important to not wait too long before filing a lawsuit against the party that caused your injuries. There are strict time limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit after an accident, also known as the statute of limitations.
In California, you have 30 days to report your personal injury and up to one year to file your lost wages claim. However, the sooner you file your lawsuit after an accident, the more likely it is that you can build a strong case for compensation.
Who Determines Your Ability to Return to Work?
It takes several people to determine when you will return to work and what tasks you can handle. These people include:
- Your doctor. Your doctor will evaluate your medical condition, determine how long it will take for you to recover, and advise you on any limitations that may exist.
- Managers. Managers from your workplace or union can help you understand if there is a job available that you qualify for and if so, what type of accommodations might be necessary. The claims administrator handling your workers’ compensation claim for your employer may also participate in this discussion.
- Claims administrator. A claims administrator can provide information about the types of jobs available within your field that would accommodate any restrictions on performing certain tasks or handling certain items due to injury-related impairments.
Our Los Angeles Lost Wages Lawyers Can Help
Are you struggling with lost income after a workplace injury? If so, you are not alone. Millions of Californians know what it is like to struggle with the financial hardship caused by an injury. The Los Angeles lost wages attorneys at KJT Law Group are here to fight for you.
Our team can walk you through all legal insights before deciding on the course of action that works best for you. Our goal is to ensure that our clients receive fair compensation while educating them about their rights under California law. We are fully prepared to manage your case from start to finish so that you can focus on healing.
Call us today at (818) 507-8525 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.