San Diego Workers Comp Lawyer
If you are like many other California residents who have been injured on the job and have had your Workers’ Compensation claim denied, it doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to benefits. You will need to hire a San Diego workers’ comp lawyer to help you understand and pursue your rights.
If you have been injured but don’t know what steps to take next, a workers’ compensation attorney can help. The best possible outcome starts with finding a skilled and experienced lawyer who is dedicated to getting results for you.
What To Do if You’ve Been Injured At Work
Your first priority after being injured at work is to get immediate medical treatment. You may go to the physician or treatment facility of your choice. Always inform the healthcare provider that you are being treated for an injury that was received on the job. If the injury is something that occurred over time, the employer should be notified as soon as the employee sees a doctor for the related condition.
Following the appropriate steps and keeping all of the pertinent records will help you when it’s time to file a claim. The next step is to find the right San Diego Workers’ Comp lawyer to get the process started.
What To Look For in a San Diego Workers’ Compensation Attorney
You should also be aware that even if you are not on the worksite but you are performing a duty related to your job when you are injured, you may be entitled to Workers’ Comp. Again, a number of factors such as whether you were driving your car or a Company vehicle will determine if you are entitled to file a claim. There are many circumstances and conditions that will determine if your claim is legitimate.
Focused Area of Specialty
There is a lot of difference between choosing an attorney or law firm that handles workers’ comp cases and those who are focused on these cases. An attorney who handles primarily workers’ compensation cases is going to have a lot more experience in cases like yours and the laws related to them.
The laws regarding workers’ comp have always been complex. Many people take on the job of filing their claim on their own, resulting in frequently being denied. The problem is that it only takes a minor mistake to prevent the claim from being accepted. Now, recent legislation has made it even more difficult to get claims approved. Having the aid of a qualified denied workers compensation claim lawyer to help file and pursue your claim is even more important. The last thing you need is to put your trust into a San Diego workman comp lawyer who lacks in-depth knowledge about this area of the law.
Find a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Experienced Handling Similar Cases
There are many kinds of accidents and injuries that can occur at work, often depending on the industry that the business is in. For example, construction workers are more likely to suffer from severe to fatal injuries from falls. Employees who work in a chemical plant might be at a greater risk of burns or lung conditions that come from contact or inhaling dangerous chemicals.
Choose an attorney who has experience in handling cases similar to yours. This may include:
- Head and Brain Injuries
- Back and Neck Injuries
- Shoulders, Knees, & Ankles Injuries
- Psychological Complaints
- Amputations (Loss of Limbs)
- Catastrophic Accidents
You should also choose a San Diego workers’ comp lawyer who is prepared to work with clients who have either accepted or denied claims.
High Success Rate
No one wants to put their financial future or medical well-being into the hands of someone who hasn’t proven their ability. One of the most important things to look for in a lawyer is a high success rate.
Check Out Their Fees
It is common practice for a workers’ comp attorney to offer free initial consultations to discuss your case. The firm may also offer representation with the condition that they will only charge a fee if your case is settled. This policy helps encourage more clients to go forward with filing a claim when they don’t have the money for attorney’s fees.
Make sure you ask the attorney what their fees are and when they have to be paid. It isn’t unusual for attorneys to collect 25% or 30% of your final settlement or more. This can be a big chunk of your settlement when you need the money to cover your medical bills and other expenses. Compare attorneys to find the lowest fees.
Read Testimonials and Reviews from Previous Clients
Online testimonials are more valuable to you than getting word of mouth referrals from someone you know. A rave review from a coworker or family member is worthless if the San Diego work injury lawyer they used wasn’t for the same type of case as yours.
On the other hand, online testimonials from a number of previous clients will reveal more about a San Diego workman comp lawyer than you probably even thought to question. One or two reviews that are highly negative or positive when the rest are somewhere in the middle should be highly suspect. If there are many clients who have a similar opinion, this is pretty good evidence that the attorney is a good choice.
There are some other things that you can learn about the attorney as well. Previous clients may talk about how easy the attorney is to contact or whether they are good about keeping them informed throughout their case. If the biggest complaint is about the receptionist, you will probably read about that too!
Often, the initial Workers’ Comp claim is denied. There are also conflicts over those that are accepted. Even if you are not certain that you have a qualifying injury or the grounds for an appeal, you should look for a work injury attorney to evaluate your case. Your lawyer will assist you in filling out the required documentation to prevent your claim from being denied and help keep it on track throughout the process.
Don’t let the complex Workers’ Comp laws in California keep you from getting the financial Compensation you need for your injury. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.
Common Reasons Why Workers Compensation Claims Are Denied
You’ve made an appointment to talk with a local WC attorney in San Diego. Now what? It’s most likely your first work-related injury and you don’t know a lot about which steps to take next. Failing to know what to do is one reason so many people’s claims are initially denied. Some common reasons for denied claims include:
- Injury not reported to employer within the required time frame
- Workers’ comp claim not filed within the time frame determined by the state
- The employer disputes the claim either due to the injury having happened away from work or during a disqualifying activity such as horseplay or drinking alcohol
- The claimant failed to seek medical treatment
- Lack of evidence the accident was work-related
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You!
Do I Need a Workers Comp Attorney?
Since you aren’t required by law to have an attorney, many people decide to file a claim on their own. What seems like a straightforward process on the surface is really a difficult one with a number of conditions and limits attached. In California, the employee must file all of the following documents to make a workers’ comp claim:
- The workers’ comp claim form where you provide your personal information and the details of your injury.
- Application for Adjudication of Claim – This document goes to the Workers’ Comp Appeals Board. It requires the name of your employer’s insurance company and information from the DWC-1.
- Declaration Pursuant to Labor Code 4906(g) – You use this document to swear that you haven’t requested any fraudulent information to be given to the DWC from any medical provider, hospital, or other medical facility.
- Document Cover Sheet – One document cover sheet, found at the DWC website, is required for the package of documents you will submit.
- Document Separator Sheets – This is a specific cover sheet located on the DWC website that you must place between each form.
Once you file the documents, the workers’ comp insurance company has 14 days to respond. If they deny your claim, they will send you a letter to let you know. Otherwise, they must begin making temporary payments.
Your Lawyer Can Help You Get Money For Your Treatment
The insurance company also has the right to investigate your claim further for 90 days before denying or accepting it. During this period, the claims administrator is required to authorize payment up to a maximum of $10,000 for your medical treatment. If they fail to meet any of these conditions, your workers’ comp attorney in San Diego will help you get the money you need for your treatment.
There are no shortcuts and no room for error when submitting these forms. Your attorney is familiar with each form and the requirements for completing and submitting them on-time. Filing them correctly the first time will reduce the likelihood of having your claim denied.
Secure Evidence and Guide You
A qualified WC attorney in San Diego knows the time limits associated with workers’ compensation claims. They know how to secure evidence and prove that your injury resulted from the accident at work. Their work begins as soon as you schedule a consultation to discuss your case. Throughout the claim process, the attorney will act as your guide.
They will make sure you don’t make any of the common mistakes that result in denied claims. Your legal representative will work to negotiate a fair settlement. If they can’t reach a settlement with the insurance company, they will have the evidence needed to represent you in a hearing or trial.
The evidence your attorney collects includes your medical records and acquiring testimony by medical experts. It also extends to expert testimony about the physical demands of your job and statements from friends and family members who know your regular daily activities. An experienced attorney knows which evidence is pertinent to your case and will optimize your chances of an accepted claim.
Gather Important Information To Help Your Case
During your initial consultation with the attorney, they will ask questions about all of the related issues. These questions include details about the accident, your injury, and the medical treatment you have obtained. They will also want to know about your finances and the impact your related medical bills has had on them.
Draft a Fair Settlement For You
There are other circumstances that could influence your case. For example, if you receive Social Security disability benefits or plan to apply for them in the near future, failing to draft the settlement agreement properly could cost you a great deal. Your attorney knows how to draft a settlement that will get you the best settlement without impacting your benefits.
People often believe that workers file workers’ compensation claims as a means to obtain large settlements that they don’t deserve. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! The high cost of medical care ensures that even a short-term injury can result in medical bills for thousands of dollars. If you require a hospital stay or long-term treatment, the cost will be exponentially higher. Your attorney will use all of this information and the loss of wages due to your time off from work to determine a fair settlement for you.
What is a Third Party Claim?
Workers’ comp is insurance designed to protect the employee and employer alike. It provides compensation to cover medical costs and lost wages by the employee. It also protects the employer from lawsuits. However, if a third party contributed to your injury, you can file a third-party claim for damages, including pain and suffering. A common example is the manufacturer of faulty equipment which caused the accident.
Your workplace injury attorney in San Diego can advise you on whether you need to pursue a third-party claim. This type of personal injury claim often results in higher compensation because it includes pain and suffering.
The House of Workers’ Compensation offers a free initial consultation to discuss your workers’ comp claim. They can help, even if the insurance company already denied your claim. If they fail to get you a recovery, you pay nothing. Contact our San Diego workers comp law firm today even if you have already missed the deadline for filing a claim. We offer professional, specialized representation for workers’ compensation clients at a lower fee than most of their competitors.
Workers’ Comp Lawyers Near Me in San Diego
Looking for the best local “workers’ comp lawyer near me” in San Diego? Some of the locations our San Diego workplace injury lawyers serve include: Chula Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Coronado, Escondido, El Cajon, Poway, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Marcos, La Mesa, Vista, National City, Julian, Santee, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, Solana Beach, Fallbrook, Bonita, Lakeside and more.