As an employee in the state of California, you have certain rights when it comes to workers’ compensation. It is important to know those rights so that you can secure the compensation that you deserve if you suffer a workplace injury.
If you believe that your rights have been violated after sustaining an injury, a workers’ compensation attorney can help. Federal and state workers’ compensation laws are in place to protect injured employees, but the laws and injury claim process can be very complicated and difficult to navigate without knowledgeable legal representation.
The Right To Insurance Coverage
Under California law, most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees. California law is favorable to injured employees and coverage is even sometimes required for people who are designated by employers as independent contractors, part-time employees, temporary employees, and seasonal employees.
Employers may say that they are not required to provide insurance coverage for their employees, but there are very limited exceptions to California’s workers’ compensation coverage requirements. If your employer fails to provide insurance for your injuries for any reason, you should consult with an attorney because there are recovery options for employees who are wrongly denied coverage for employment-related injuries and damages.
The Right To Receive Benefits
If you sustain workplace injuries as the result of an accident that occurred while you were working, in most cases, you have the right to receive benefits including compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. The same is true if you have sustained injuries that have developed over time due to the nature of your employment.
Our firm frequently represents employees who have spent years in an office setting or the healthcare industry and have developed injuries caused by repetitive clerical work and heavy lifting.
The Right To File A Claim For Benefits
If you do not receive benefits after you have reported an injury, you have the right to make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and your employer may not fire you or otherwise retaliate against you for making a claim. Employers and insurance companies make financial gains by denying and underpaying workers’ compensation benefits.
This is why it is important to have legal representation that understands the true value of your claim when you have been injured at work so that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
The Right To Make Additional Claims
In some work injury cases, employees may have other legal claims in addition to their workers’ compensation claims. Although you typically may not sue your employer for your work injuries, you may sue your employer for other reasons including wrongful termination if your employer fired you or otherwise retaliated against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
You may also have a personal injury claim against a third party who caused your work-related accident and resulting injuries. This is common when employees are injured in a car accident while working and a third party driver caused the accident.
Our law firm works to make sure that our clients receive maximum compensation for their injuries and damages, so when our clients have additional claims, we refer them to personal injury attorneys and employment law attorneys to handle those matters while we continue to work on their workers’ compensation claims.
The Right To Challenge A Decision To Deny Benefits
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have the right to challenge that decision. Claims are denied for many reasons including errors or omissions in your claim submission, failure to provide evidence that supports your claim such as medical evaluations and records, disputes about the facts of your claim, failing to timely notify your employer of your injuries, and failing to timely file your claim.
These may be successfully challenged by providing additional evidence, correcting errors, and undergoing medical evaluations.
The Right To Apply For Reconsideration
If your claim has been denied and your challenge to that denial has also been denied, you have the right to file a petition for reconsideration. This gives you the chance to once again challenge the denial of your workers’ compensation claim.
The Right To Seek Help From An Attorney
You have the right to be represented by an attorney at any point during the claims process. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will make the process easier and more efficient. When you are up against employers and insurance companies that do not want to see your claim succeed, you will likely secure a larger financial award or settlement when you are represented by an experienced attorney.