Simi Valley Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Simi Valley Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Barry Law Group

Simi Valley Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Simi Valley Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Barry Law Group is a leading California law firm providing legal solutions and airtight courtroom strategies for the people of Simi Valley, California, and beyond. One of the areas in which we are proud to offer services is in workers’ compensation cases. If you have been injured in a workplace accident in Simi Valley, and you need assistance navigating the complexities of claiming (and receiving) workers’ compensation benefits, our attorneys are ready to guide you through the process, from filing your initial claim to securing your payout. When you hire us, we aggressively protect your rights as an injured worker throughout your case.

At Barry Law Group, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that can result from workplace injuries, not just for you, but your family and the people who depend on you as well. Being left unable to work due to a workplace accident can naturally be depressing and stressful, so a robust workers’ compensation insurance system exists in California and other states to get injured workers the resources they need to get well, provide for their families, and ultimately re-enter the workforce successfully.

The skilled attorneys and knowledgeable support staff at Barry Law Group are committed to helping injured workers obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries. This includes coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and related damages. You can rest assured that we have a comprehensive understanding of California’s workers’ compensation laws. We can push your claim through the system while you focus on recovering from your traumatic experience.

Understanding California’s Workers’ Compensation Law

Under California law, injured workers can seek workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace accident or being afflicted with a work-related illness. Part-time workers, skilled workers, and seasonal workers are all eligible. If you work for a California employer, it is mandated by law that you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

The law is quite straightforward in this insistence that every employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Actually obtaining your workers’ comp benefits, however, is not always equally straightforward. Complex cases, employers acting in bad faith, and insurance companies avoiding their responsibilities can all make a workers’ comp case harder, and slower, to process. This can represent an unnecessary stressor at a time you need it least. Working with a qualified workers’ comp attorney to ensure that your claim is filed properly is a great way to alleviate much of this stress.

To help you better understand the process ahead of you, here are some important facts about California’s workers’ comp system:

  • California’s workers’ compensation program, including its requirements, procedures, and workers’ compensation benefits, is found in the California Labor Code, specifically the 3000-level sections. Key points from this complex law include:
    • All employers in the state are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide workers’ comp benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses.
    • Under this law, the term “employee” covers any person engaged in any work for an employer–whether lawfully or unlawfully–except for an extremely limited list of exemptions.
    • Sole proprietors and partnerships (e.g., an individual or couple operating their own small business with no other employees) are not considered “employees” where the workers’ compensation law is concerned. Therefore, they are not required to participate. They can, however, opt into the program and voluntarily choose to carry workers’ compensation insurance for themselves.
    • Executives, upper-level managers, and corporate officers are all typically considered employees, but some top-level decision-makers may be able to opt out of carrying workers’ compensation coverage for themselves. A good workers’ comp attorney can help you determine if you qualify for such an exemption.
    • Independent contractors (for example, an app-based food delivery driver or a freelance writer) are not considered employees, and the companies they contract with do not need to carry workers’ compensation insurance for them. Note that deliberately misclassifying employees as contractors to avoid carrying insurance, however, can represent a serious violation of labor laws and may be legally actionable. California’s “no-fault” workers’ comp system means that employees cannot sue their employers directly for an injury, but that does not mean that companies and bosses can’t be held legally accountable for criminal or non-compliant behavior.
    • Some other, more uncommon, exemptions for the workers’ compensation program include certain agricultural workers and those involved in professional sports. The workers’ compensation code contains specific provisions and clarifications where these special exempt categories are concerned.
    • The code also includes powerful provisions to protect the system against fraud and misuse. Those who make false statements pursuant to a workers’ comp case can face serious penalties.
  • California’s workers’ compensation system works on a “no-fault” principle. While workers who have been grievously injured due to their employer’s blatant negligence may initially balk at the idea of “no-fault,” the paradigm actually exists to help both injured workers and employers. In practical terms, this means that employees cannot sue their employer directly for an injury. Instead, they must file an initial claim through the workers’ compensation system. To do this, the injured worker does not need to prove that their employer was at fault–only that the injury was work-related. The employer, meanwhile, is protected from frivolous legal claims and does not need to take responsibility for injuring an employer; they only need to comply with the financial obligations set forth by the workers’ comp law. This can help resolve cases much faster, as there is no need for extensive investigations to establish what party or parties were at fault for the accident.
  • There are serious penalties for employers who fail to comply with this mandatory insurance program. Fines on a personal or organizational level are the most common punishment, and the potential even exists for severe individual violators to face prison time. Additionally, employers will be held financially liable when an uninsured or improperly insured employee is awarded workers’ comp benefits by a Californian court of law.

How a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You

While the state tries to make the workers’ comp system highly accessible to all working Californians, a workers’ compensation claim can become a tedious headache for someone with no legal training and no background in processing paperwork. Even a highly skilled worker may not have an easy time filling out their own workers’ comp claim because it requires a special set of clerical and legal skills.

The stress involved in trying to file your own claim becomes compounded many times when your case involves complex or questionable circumstances, or your employer, their attorneys, or their insurance carrier try to stall the process or prevent you from seeking your rightful benefits. Because of all the possible directions a workers’ compensation case can take, it can be greatly beneficial to have an attorney guide you through the process. Our team is standing by to help the injured workers of Simi Valley, CA, and the surrounding areas.

FAQs About Simi Valley, CA Workers’ Compensation Law

What Are the Attorney Fees for Workers’ Compensation in Simi Valley?

The fees for legal representation in a workers’ compensation case will vary quite a bit from case to case, as with any other type of legal services. The factors that will contribute to this wide variance include your local market conditions, your lawyer’s reputation and skill set, and the complexity of your individual case. Because most attorneys bill at an hourly rate, a case becomes more expensive the more time that is required in court to resolve it. Some lawyers do offer other billing terms for certain situations, however. For example, a high-volume attorney may charge an affordable flat fee for helping file an initial claim for straightforward workers’ comp cases. Some firms work without any upfront fees. Instead, they take a percentage of any settlement received. You should make sure to clear up any questions or uncertainties about billing policies as part of your initial consultation before you agree to hire any attorney.

Can You Sue for Workers’ Comp in California?

Under California’s “no-fault” workers’ comp insurance system, there is no need to formally “sue” an employer after a workplace injury. Instead, you file your claim with the state using the proper procedures. The no-fault system tends to help cases move from initial claim to payout quite a bit faster because there is no need for you to gather evidence and testimony to try to prove that your employer was at fault for your injury or illness. In California, the only thing you need to prove to satisfy the law is that the injury or illness is legitimately work-related.

What Are My Rights Under Workers’ Compensation in California?

You have many different rights under state and federal law as a working American, and when you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury, it is likely that there are even more rights and privileges that may apply to you. Exhaustively documenting your rights as an injured worker would involve everything from the United States Constitution to the California Labor Code to the terms of your individual employment contract. If you suspect that your rights are being violated by an employer, insurance carrier, or some other party, Barry Law Group can help you develop and implement a powerful legal strategy for holding them accountable.

Can an Employee Be Terminated While on Workers’ Compensation in Simi Valley, CA?

While you do have special rights as an injured worker, blanket protection from being fired is not one of them. Your employer cannot fire you for being injured–that would be an illegal termination–but they can still end your employment for other reasons while you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on your exact circumstances, this can represent a complicated legal situation. A good workers’ comp lawyer can help you ensure that you collect the full amount of benefits you’re entitled to, whether you eventually return to the same job or end your employment with that company.

Barry Law Group: Your Trusted Simi Valley Workers’ Comp Team

If you’re having issues with the workers’ compensation system in Simi Valley, CA, or the surrounding areas, let Barry Law Group put our deep knowledge of California labor laws and local courtrooms to work guiding your workers’ compensation case to an ideal outcome. Contact us today for a no-pressure consultation to get started.

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