Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Attorney
California enforces some of the strictest workers’ compensation laws in the country, and almost every private employer in Los Angeles is legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation protects employees and employers when workplace injuries occur. If you have been injured on the job, you should speak to a Los Angeles workers’ compensation lawyer right away.
For injured workers, a workers’ compensation claim can enable them to secure compensation for their medical expenses and lost income following a workplace injury. For employers, their insurance protects them from civil liability for their employees’ injuries.
Experienced Legal Representation for Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Cases
If you recently suffered an injury at work, you likely have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim through your employer’s insurance policy. This is similar to filing any other type of insurance claim but with the additional potential complication of your employer’s involvement in the process. While most employers fulfill their legal obligations to their injured workers, some do not, and some go as far as retaliating against legitimate claims out of concern for rising insurance premiums.
Why You Need a Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Attorney
There may not be any laws requiring you to hire legal representation to file a workers’ compensation claim, but you stand a much better chance of reaching positive results as quickly as possible with an attorney’s assistance. For example, the team at Diefer Law Group has assisted many injured workers with their workers’ compensation claims and related legal matters, such as employment law claims against employers who do not uphold their legal responsibilities to their injured workers and third-party personal injury claims.
Instead of trying to manage your medical recovery, your household, and your economic affairs while navigating the workers’ compensation claim filing process unassisted, have our team provide the comprehensive legal representation you need to approach this situation with confidence. We will help you understand all the legal mechanisms likely to come into play throughout your proceedings and guide you to the best possible outcome as efficiently as possible. Ultimately, you are not only more likely to succeed with your claim with the help of an attorney but also more likely to secure the maximum amount of compensation possible under California law.
QUALIFYING FOR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BENEFITS IN LOS ANGELES
Almost everyone working in Los Angeles qualifies to file a workers’ compensation claim in response to an injury at work or if they discover a medical condition acquired from work that incurs medical treatment costs and prevents them from working while they recover. However, some employees are exempt from workers’ compensation coverage, such as independent contractors and certain part-time workers.
If you believe your employer has intentionally misclassified you to avoid paying to cover you with their workers’ compensation insurance policy, it is essential that you consult a Los Angeles workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. They can review the details of your employment and help determine the optimal resolution to your situation. Your employer could face fines and other penalties if they knowingly misclassified your employment.
The other issue regarding eligibility you must consider is whether your injury or illness itself qualifies as work-related, meaning you need to prove that your condition directly resulted from performing your job duties. Generally, any injury you suffer at work while performing your job duties qualifies as a covered event for workers’ compensation insurance. The same applies to any illness or medical condition you acquire from work, but this may be more difficult to prove.
If you acquired an illness such as cancer or developed a repetitive stress injury from work, you will need to prove that the issue arose solely from you performing your job duties and not from any other cause. If you had a preexisting condition that was made worse by your job, it is possible to recover workers’ compensation benefits for this issue, but securing all the documentation you will need for this type of claim will require an attorney’s assistance.
What to Expect When Filing Your Claim
You have various rights and responsibilities under the workers’ compensation laws, and your Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand these factors in clearer detail. First, you must report your injury to your supervisor immediately, and you have one year from the date your injury occurred to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. This may seem like more than enough time, but it is always best to start the claim filing process as soon as possible to have the best chance of recovering as much compensation as the law allows. Additionally, this will prevent any doubts from being cast on the validity of your claim due to a delay in filing.
Once your supervisor becomes aware of your injury, they must document it in a formal incident report. You will need to submit this report alongside other documentation to your employer’s insurance company when it comes time to file a claim for benefits. Your employer is also required to provide a list of local physicians you may visit for your medical evaluation. While you can see any available doctor in an emergency, you should expect to have a formal medical evaluation from a workers’ compensation doctor before you can file a claim for benefits.
This physician will assess the severity of your injury and determine the scope of long-term and permanent effects the injury might have. This disability rating has a strong bearing on your final benefits determination and will dictate how much you can receive in benefits and how long your payments will continue.
An experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney can make every aspect of your claim easier to manage. They will help you complete all necessary claim forms and resolve any issues that arise between you, your employer, and the insurance carrier. If you think the first workers’ compensation doctor you saw did not evaluate your condition correctly, your attorney can help you secure a second opinion.
Benefits That Are Available With Workers’ Compensation in Los Angeles
Most injured workers in Los Angeles are able to secure two forms of compensation through their workers’ compensation claims: medical expense coverage and ongoing disability benefits that make up for lost income during recovery. Medical expenses are straightforward, and the injured worker can usually expect that their employer’s workers’ compensation company will cover the cost of any and all medical care they require to heal completely from their injury. This includes both immediate and ongoing care for rehabilitation from serious injuries.
Ongoing disability benefits vary from case to case. It’s possible for a claimant to qualify for partial disability benefits if they are able to continue working during their recovery. For example, if your injury prevents you from performing your previous job duties and/or you cannot earn as much income, partial disability benefits can make up the difference. If you qualify for light duty or an alternative position while you recover, you will need to report your earnings to your employer’s insurance carrier each week or risk losing your eligibility for partial disability benefits.
If you cannot work at all during your recovery, you can secure temporary total disability benefits. Most claimants qualify to receive about two-thirds of their average weekly wage for up to 104 weeks. These payments may be spread over a five-year period if necessary, and it is possible to have these benefits extended to up to 240 weeks for specific and severe injuries. In the event a claimant has been permanently disabled by their work injury, they may qualify for permanent disability benefits that can continue for many years. Most insurance companies try to offset the need for these arrangements by offering large lump sum settlements, and your Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine which option would best suit your needs if you are offered any such settlements.
In some cases, injured workers are left permanently disabled to the point that they cannot resume their previous job duties, but they are not entirely unable to work in the future. If this applies to your situation, it is possible that you could secure vocational rehabilitation benefits through your employer’s insurance policy. This is not always available for every claimant, but if it is an option for you, your employer’s insurance carrier will effectively pay for new job training.
Enhancing Your Recovery Beyond Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation benefits can be an invaluable lifeline for any injured worker in Los Angeles, but they will not fully cover all the losses you are likely to experience after a work-related injury. In addition, depending on how your work injury happened, there might be grounds for you to seek further recovery through alternative legal actions. For example, if a specific party caused your work injury, you could have the ability to file a civil claim against them, recovering compensation for damages that your claim cannot cover.
You can only file a claim against your employer if they do not have workers’ compensation insurance as required by law, if they injured you intentionally, or if your injury resulted from your employer’s failure to appropriately address a known safety issue in your workplace. If someone else caused the injury, you could start a personal injury claim against them. This would function just like any other personal injury claim, but your claim would cover your medical expenses and a percentage of your lost income. In addition, however, you could claim compensation for the remainder of your lost wages as well as compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced.
It is also possible to have grounds for a civil suit against your employer in response to any retaliation you experience. In the event your employer interferes with your claim or engages in any punitive actions against you in response to your claim, this could form the basis of a retaliation lawsuit. If you win this case, you could hold your employer accountable for any financial losses their actions caused along with compensation for pain and suffering.
Workers’ compensation insurance does not offer pain and suffering compensation, so if you have grounds to file a third-party personal injury suit in addition to your workers’ compensation claim, it could significantly increase your overall recovery. There is no limit on pain and suffering compensation in most personal injury claims filed in the state. The amount the plaintiff receives generally hinges on the severity of their injury and whether they are permanently disabled.
FIND LEGAL COUNSEL YOU CAN TRUST IN LOS ANGELES
Your work injury case may involve a workers’ compensation claim, a third-party personal injury suit, and even an employment law case against your employer, depending on their handling of your situation. Ultimately, you need experienced legal counsel on your side to successfully navigate all the various issues you will need to address to recover from your injury as fully as possible.
When you select Diefer Law Group to counsel you after a work injury in Los Angeles, we have the skills and experience necessary to help you explore the full scope of your options for legal recourse, including those outside of the workers’ compensation claim process. Our goal in your work injury case is to maximize your compensation as much as we can as efficiently as we can. We have years of experience handling workers’ compensation cases for clients in the Los Angeles area, and the sooner you connect with our firm, the sooner we can leverage this experience on your behalf in your work injury case.
Q: How Long Does It Take to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Los Angeles?
A: When you have an experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney assisting you with your claim, and your employer fulfills all their legal obligations in handling your work injury, it should only take a few weeks for you to receive your first benefits check. However, if the insurance company disputes your claim or if you have grounds for alternative legal recourse outside the workers’ compensation claims process, these issues could take much longer to resolve.
Q: Do I Really Need a Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Attorney to Represent Me?
A: You are not legally required to hire legal counsel for your work injury claim, but doing so dramatically increases your chances of maximizing your final recovery. Your attorney will make every phase of your recovery efforts easier and more likely to generate positive results. This not only enhances your overall recovery but also prevents you from needing to manage your claim alongside your medical recovery and personal obligations all at once.
Q: What Happens if I Caused My Own Work Injury in Los Angeles?
A: If you caused your own injury at work through an act of simple negligence in Los Angeles, this should not necessarily disqualify you from workers’ compensation benefits. However, if your injury occurred because you intentionally violated a workplace safety rule, engaged in horseplay at work, or you were working while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, these variables could disqualify you from workers’ compensation benefits under the terms of your employer’s insurance policy.
Q: What Happens If a Work Injury Is Fatal?
A: Most workers’ compensation insurance policies include terms and conditions pertaining to death benefits. If you recently lost a family member in a fatal work accident, you may qualify to file a claim for death benefits through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. It’s important to have legal counsel you can trust to help you with this type of claim. This not only makes the process easier to manage while handling the emotional stress of the situation but also increases the chances of maximizing the death benefits your family secures.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
A: Diefer Law Group offers contingency fee billing to clients who need legal representation for their workers’ compensation claims. This type of billing policy eliminates the need for upfront or ongoing legal fees from the client. Instead, the client pays a portion of their final case award to their attorney as their fee. Additionally, they are only required to pay the contingency fee if the attorney wins their case. If we are unable to secure compensation for your work injury for any reason, you will not owe us anything for our legal counsel.
Let's Discuss Your Options for Obtaining the Compensation You Deserve
The Diefer Law Group has years of professional experience handling a wide range of work injury claims on behalf of clients in Los Angeles. We take time to listen to each client’s story to ensure we address their individual needs and concerns for their work injury claims. When you hire Diefer Law Group for your workers’ compensation case, you will receive personalized and responsive counsel in every part of your recovery. Contact us today and schedule your free consultation with a Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney you can trust to guide you through the difficult proceedings ahead.
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