When you are a San Diego Workers’ Compensation Attorney you get used to hearing some of the same questions asked over and over. Worker’s Compensation was designed to protect employees financially when they are injured at work so that they can get medical treatment for their injuries and don’t get stuck with medical bills that they can’t pay. In spite of these good intentions, the reality often leaves a lot to be desired. In many cases, the initial claims are denied and the injured employee must go through a lengthy appeal process before they even have their claim approved. The attorneys at The House of Workers’ Compensation have years of experience helping individuals in San Diego through every phase of the Workers’ Compensation process.
FAQ | Workers’ Compensation | San Diego Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Following is a list of the most frequently asked questions at The House of Workers’ Compensation. If you can’t get the answers you need here, please contact us and we will be glad to answer what you need to know in person.
Am I entitled to workers’ comp benefits?
If you were injured on the job and you weren’t engaged in misconduct such as horseplay, you are entitled to benefits. At the same time, your employer can challenge your claim if you were involved in misconduct at the time the accident happened and/or you are unable to prove the injury occurred on the job.
Who Will Pay My Medical Expenses?
Your employer’s insurance company is responsible for paying for your immediate and long-term medical care for your injuries. The only time this condition doesn’t apply is when a full settlement agreement is reached resulting in the medical expenses being closed. Most of the time, the case remains open unless the employee requests for it to be closed.
Can I choose my own doctor?
In California, you can designate a doctor for your treatment as long as your employer offers group health coverage. The doctor you select must be your long-term primary care physician and you must have designated them prior to receiving your injury. If you do not have a doctor designated, you will usually have to find one through the employer’s medical provider network.
If your injury requires emergency care or your claim has been denied, you will not be held to this process. Your employer is also required to notify you of your rights and give you information about the MPN. If it doesn’t have an MPN, they will probably have the right to choose the doctor you will see for the 30 days following your injury.
It is a good idea to see a San Diego Workers’ Compensation attorney to learn the process for changing your doctor. It is important to feel comfortable with the doctor who will make important decisions about your case. They will be the professional who decides whether you should be placed on work restrictions or if you have permanent disabilities.
Is filing for workers’ comp the same as suing my employer?
Workers’ Compensation is a type of insurance that employers in California are required to carry. When you file a claim and receive benefits, they will come from the insurance company. The only thing the employer pays is his insurance premiums.
Can I be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
Technically, no. It is illegal to fire an employee for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, California is an “at will” state, which gives an employer the right to let an employee go with or without a reason, at any time. Some employers will impose duties on the employee that are so much of a burden, they quit. When this happens, you should talk to a San Diego Workers’ Compensation attorney to see if your rights have been infringed on.
What benefits am I entitled to?
California Workers’ Comp provides for medical care, temporary disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits, permanent disability benefits, and death benefits.
Can I sue my employer?
Workers’ Compensation insurance is supposed to protect employees from being hurt and having no source of income and protect the employer from being sued. However, there are some exceptions if the injury resulted because of your employer’s extreme negligence.
What happens in a California Workers’ Compensation hearing?
Your attorney will help you prepare for the hearing so you will not have any surprises. Your trial will be tried by a judge who will hear both sides of the argument. One problem that many individuals have is that the trial does not end on the same day it is started and it will then be carried over to another day months away. The slow judicial process has caused a lot of injured employees to have to wait for medical treatment and their benefits.
How are Workers’ Compensation benefits paid in California?
California will replace 2/3 of your regular wages as Workers’ Comp benefits. There is a specific formula that is used to calculate the exact amount of your payment. Payments are usually provided weekly. If you have a permanent disability as a result of the injury or if you are suing over the loss of a loved one to a work-related injury, you may be able to have your benefit delivered in a lump sum.
What can I do if I can’t afford to pay a San Diego Workers’ Compensation attorney?
Some individuals go ahead and handle their own Workers’ Compensation case because they think they don’t need an attorney or they can’t afford one. Some attorneys will not charge any fees upfront and they don’t make you pay anything unless you receive benefits. Since an attorney may be your best bet of receiving benefits, it is much more affordable to file a claim than to try and handle your case alone.
You have rights under California’s Workers’ Compensation laws that you need to understand. Contact us with any questions that you don’t see here or that you don’t understand. We are experienced San Diego Workers’ Compensation attorneys who are dedicated to helping you get the best outcome for your Workers’ Compensation claim.