November 9, 2017 Category: Workers Comp
Have you been injured at work? If so, you may be able to recover compensation to help you recover. In Los Angeles, you will have a very limited amount of time to file a claim. It is extremely important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as you can. An attorney will help you through the claims process and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. For years, we have helped injured workers file claims for compensation. We have noticed that our clients often have many questions. We have addressed a few of the most frequently asked questions we get about workers’ compensation claims. For more information, do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles office.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is basically a type of insurance that your employer carries. This insurance is used to compensate employees when they suffer a workplace injury. When you agree to receive workers’ compensation benefits you give up your right to sue your employer.
Workers’ compensation benefits can help to make your life easier after a workplace injury. workers’ compensation benefits are generally broken down into three categories. You can recover any or all of the benefits, depending on your injuries.
- Medical Costs: compensation to help you pay for medical expenses related to your work-related injury.
- Temporary Disability: payments to make up for the wages you lose while you are recovering from your injury.
- Permanent Disability: compensation to make up for your reduced earning capacity.
Is a Personal Injury Claim Different from Workers’ Compensation?
workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims are two different things. workers’ compensation claims allow you to collect payments from your employer. These payments are made from an insurance policy owned by your employer. You waive your right to file a personal injury claim against your employer when you collect workers’ compensation. There is an exception if your employer’s conduct was grossly negligent or intentionally malicious.
If someone other than your employer is responsible for your accident you can also attempt to recover compensation from that third party. Collecting workers’ compensation benefits does not take away your right to file a personal injury claim against a third party. A personal injury lawsuit against a third party would appropriate if you believe:
- Another person/company/entity had a duty to act in a certain way;
- That person/company/entity failed to carry out that duty; and
- You were injured because of this negligence.
As an injured worker, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages against:
- Equipment designers, manufacturers, and retailers;
- Government entities, including the city of Los Angeles; and/or
- Your employer, if their actions amounted to gross negligence or willful misconduct.
What Should I Do After I’m Injured At Work?
You will have a limited amount of time to act after you’ve been injured at work. It is important to take action quickly. Failing to file a claim within the allotted amount of time could prohibit you from getting anything at all. Here are the steps you should take immediately following a workplace accident.
Seek medical assistance.
Your health and safety should be your number one concern. The medical evaluation from this visit will help to establish that your injury was a result of your workplace accident.
Notify your employer.
Tell your employer about your accident as soon as you can.
Complete the Workers’ Compensation Request Form.
Ask your employer for the California Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1). Provide as many details as you can when you are completing this form. The more information you provide, the greater your chances of recovering the amount of money you need. In Los Angeles, the DWC 1 Form must be submitted to your employer within 30 days of your accident. If you are suffering from a long-term workplace illness, you must submit this form within 30 days of when you first notice the illness.
Ask for updates.
After your employer receives your Claim, they have five days to submit a claim to their workers’ compensation insurance company. The insurance company is required to let you know if your claim has been approved or denied within 14 days.
Talk to an attorney.
Workers’ compensation claims can be complicated. If you have been injured at work you should contact an attorney. An attorney will understand the complex legal procedures that are involved in getting workers’ compensation. Insurance companies are not on your side. They will want to minimize the amounts they pay to you. Your attorney knows how these companies operate. They can use their experience to make sure you are well compensated for your injuries.
Workers’ compensation claims are extremely time-sensitive. It is very important to make sure that your claims are filed on time. If you do not submit a claim within the required time period you may be prevented from getting anything at all. Speaking with an attorney immediately after your workplace accident or injury will help your chances of getting the money you need. Contact one of our Southern California offices today to schedule a free consultation. We can be reached at our Anaheim, Pasadena, Lancaster, or Los Angeles office.