Workers’ compensation cases in California can be confusing and complicated due to the confounding state workers’ compensation system. The complexities of these laws are further complicated by the fact that they are difficult to explain in a straightforward manner because there is a gray area when laws are muddled by previous cases in which the courts decided one way and established a precedent for all future court cases presenting the same scenario.
What makes it even more difficult to put workers’ compensation law in a box is the fight the insurance companies and employers often put up to avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance claims or, at the very least, minimize the cost of them. They do this by denying claims even when they are legitimate. Many times, they look for ways to get out of paying claims by disproving the accident and finding a way to imply it was the fault of the employee under fine print exceptions to the law. For these reasons, workers’ compensation law is somewhat of an enigma, but we’ll reveal some secrets of the trade that will shed light on why these types of cases can seem so elusive.
First, you may not know that when an insurance company is faced with a workers’ compensation claim, their automatic and ingrained instinct is to push back. This is what they are taught to do in job training. If insurance companies paid out all claims that came to them every day and didn’t exercise some sort of protocol in selecting which claims to pay, they would go out of business. Insurance companies are not in business to pay out benefits for claims. They are, however, in the business to not pay claims. Thus, it is left to the claimants and their attorneys, for those fortunate enough to have an attorney representing them, to prove the legitimacy of most workers’ compensation claims themselves.
With an experienced Worker’s Comp Attorney in Encino, CA, to represent them, most claimants have a better chance of getting their claims paid because attorneys know what to do, what to say, and how to talk to the insurance companies and navigate the system by law.
Knowing how to talk to the insurance companies is very important. This is a skill that workers’ compensation attorneys hone over time. Through experience and successful cases, they learn what works and what doesn’t work, and this is a skill that can’t be taught quickly, but it is rather developed based on practice, trial and error, and results. Talking to insurance companies is such an important skill for an attorney to have because it is through negotiation that settlement agreements are reached.
Perhaps one of the most well-kept secrets of workers’ compensation lawyers is that the first offer you receive from the insurance company for your injury settlement is the insurance company’s lowest offer they are willing to pay for your claim. Negotiating with the insurance company is crucial in getting the highest offer you can for your settlement. If an insurance company adjuster’s primary goal is to not pay an insurance claim, their secondary goal is to minimize the cost of it. Negotiating with the insurance company is vital in optimizing benefit payments.
In California, independent contractors, for the most part, are not eligible for workers’ compensation insurance coverage benefits. Any worker considered to be self-employed or an independent contractor who negotiates their own terms and conditions of employment assumes their own responsibility for insurance and tax liability, and this includes workers’ compensation benefits.
The statute of limitations for workers’ compensation benefits claims in California, in general, is two years from the date of the entry or two years from the date that the illness that resulted from the workplace injury was first noticed. However, you should not wait to file a workers’ compensation insurance claim in California. If you’re having trouble with your claim, a workers’ compensation attorney can be a wonderful resource in helping you file your claim.
In California, workers’ compensation attorneys are allowed by law to charge up to 30% for complex cases, but most attorneys charge around 15% of the settlement for their fees. These lawyers work on contingency fees, so their clients pay nothing until they have been awarded a settlement and their case is finalized.
In many cases, most workers’ compensation claims in California are settled within 30 days, as long as there are no disputes or complications with proving your injury occurred at work, and the insurance company takes responsibility for the injury right away. If they do not, your case could be delayed and subject to the timeframe of the court, the insurance company, and other extenuating factors.
Workers’ compensation payments in California can last up to 104 weeks. However, if you reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI) Level sooner than 104 weeks, your benefit payments may end at the time you have achieved MMI. Permanent total disability benefits, however, will be paid for life but can be subject to early termination due to other benefits such as retirement.
If you’ve been injured on the job and have a legitimate workers’ compensation claim, you need an experienced and trustworthy personal injury workers’ compensation lawyer to represent you. You deserve to be compensated for your work injury, and California law requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be compensated for your losses. Contact Barry Law Group to discuss your case and options to optimize your workers’ compensation benefits 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.