When you make a workers’ compensation claim, you may face a significant amount of paperwork and negotiation before you see your money. This is especially true if the insurance company believes that your case is not as straightforward as it is. In these cases, they can significantly delay the process and make it difficult to get the financial support you need and deserve.
No matter the industry you are in or the role you hold, it is important to know your rights when it comes to workers’ compensation. When you have a comprehensive understanding of the workers’ comp system, you can better protect yourself from predatory behaviors and misunderstandings. What’s more, you can make sure you are getting the compensation and support necessary to move forward.
Workers’ compensation is an insurance-based system that is required of all businesses in California. All businesses that have one or more employees must purchase workers’ compensation insurance. They pay a premium every month, and in return, the insurance covers medical bills and certain damages if an employee gets into an accident at work.
If you do get into an accident, you will have to file a claim with workers’ compensation. Fortunately, most scenarios are covered by this insurance. As long as you were behaving normally and within the scope of your duties, you should receive support for your medical bills. The only situations where workers’ compensation will not pay are:
In all other scenarios, workers’ compensation should pay you for the medical bills that you incurred from the accident.
Many people wonder whether all cases end in a settlement or whether there is a chance that you will not get workers’ compensation. As long as your situation does not fit into one of the above categories, you should receive compensation for your medical bills and ongoing care. If your workers’ compensation insurance company tries to refrain from giving you money, you can take them to court to prove that they must. If a judge decides that the company owes you money, you should receive your settlement within 30 days of the decision.
If the court finds that you were behaving inappropriately or there is another reason that the insurance company is not liable, the settlement will not be a financial one. This, however, is not common.
If your workplace does not have workers’ compensation insurance, they are breaking the law. If the court finds that this is the reality, your employer will still be liable for your medical bills. They will also be liable for other fines and charges. All companies with one or more employees are legally obligated to have workers’ compensation insurance in the state of California.
Many people mistakenly believe that you can also sue your employer for what happened to you at work. This is not the case. The workers’ compensation system requires that every company has workers’ compensation insurance to protect both employees and employers from harm. Part of this setup means that you cannot press charges against your employer if they have workers’ compensation insurance.
However, if there was a third party involved in your accident, you may be able to create a personal injury claim against them for their involvement. These claims are successful when the person involved acted negligently or maliciously to cause your accident. For example, if a coworker was high on marijuana and ran over your foot with a forklift, you could file a personal injury case against them because they were negligently under the influence at work. The settlement from a personal injury case can help to cover lost income, vocational retraining, pain and suffering, and more.
The average workers’ compensation settlement is between $2,000 and $20,000. This is a large range because your settlement changes drastically depending upon your circumstances. The more severe your injury is, the higher your settlement will likely be. The highest workers’ compensation settlement in California was over $11 million, but the victim suffered a traumatic brain injury.
The length of your case will depend on how complicated your claim is. If you have clear evidence, it likely will not take a long time to settle. However, if there is valid debate about the cause of your injury and your involvement, it may take longer for the case to settle. When you hire an attorney, we can help the process to move quickly with more focused arguments and overall support.
Once a judge has approved your request or the insurance company has admitted liability, you should get your payout within 30 days. This payout should account for medical bills, both past and future, that were the result of your injury. Unfortunately, this may mean that you have to pay the bills out of your own pocket and wait to get reimbursed by workers’ compensation. Speak with an attorney if you have any questions.
To maximize your workers’ compensation settlement, you should report your injury to your employer right away. Seek medical attention as soon as you can so that there is a record of your injuries. Keep all photos, X-rays, and medical documents associated with your injury, and note any witnesses who saw what happened. All of this can make your case easier to prove and give you a higher chance of getting the settlement you deserve.
Here at Barry Law Group, we specialize in workers’ compensation cases and personal injury law. We can help you navigate the difficult landscape of the workers’ compensation system and ensure you get all the financial support that you deserve.
For more information about how we can help you, please contact Barry Law Group online today.
Barry Law Group is comprised of attorneys and longtime staff members who are committed to the success of your legal matter. The firm understands that for most litigation is uncharted worrisome and often terrifying.