Workers’ Compensation FAQs
I Was Injured At Work. What Should I Do?
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you probably need legal help right away. You should immediately contact a workman’s compensation lawyer or an information and assistance officer at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB). Moreover, you will need to file what’s called an Application with the WCAB.
You should have an experienced work comp attorney do it for you, so it is done correctly. Medical care will also be a problem if the insurance company denies your claim. A doctor may be willing to give you treatment for your work injury on a lien basis, but that is rare. If you cannot find a doctor willing to treat you on a lien basis, then you should consider any private health insurance you have, but you should let them know your injury was caused by work.
I Don’t Have The Money To Pay For A Work Comp Lawyer. What Can I Do?
If your attorney doesn’t win you monetary compensation for your workers’ compensation case, then he or she doesn’t get paid by anyone. If your attorney does win you monetary compensation, then a judge at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board must approve any fees paid to your attorney.
The fees paid to workers’ compensation lawyers in the workers’ compensation system are strictly regulated. The fee is typically 15 percent of the permanent disability benefit awarded. The insurance company will pay your attorney directly at the conclusion of your case. If your case is not won and there is no recovery, then you owe your lawyer nothing.
I Need To Pay My Bills. Where’s The Money Going To Come From?
There are specific monetary entitlements under the workers’ compensation laws. There are two basic types of monetary obligations that the insurance company has. The first is total temporary disability (TTD). The other is permanent disability (PD). These are the only monetary obligations the basic workers’ compensation law provides for.
Unfortunately, both of these benefits were severely restricted as a result of changes in the law in 2004/2005. Temporary disability was capped at two years (104 weeks) and permanent disability was cut dramatically. Although workers’ compensation in California has seen benefits to workers being cut significantly, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue your case. Protect your rights. Call the the Navarette Law Firm.
If you are not working because your doctor is stating in writing that you are too disabled to work, then you should be receiving TTD payments from the insurance company. Your TTD payments will be two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount that changes over time. The insurance company will only pay TTD if you have an accepted injury and your doctor states in writing that you are completely unable to work. Your doctor must issue a report stating that you are unable to work due to your work caused injury. If you are not working and not receiving any temporary disability payments, then you need to get a note from your doctor immediately stating that you are TTD.
The insurance company will likely stop paying temporary disability benefits if any doctor releases you to return to work or declares your condition permanent and stationary (P&S) or if the doctor has declared that you have reached maximum medical improvement. If your temporary disability checks have stopped, it is very likely that a doctor has declared your condition permanent and stationary (P&S), or released you to return to work, or the two-year cap on temporary disability benefits has run out.
If there is a dispute with the insurance company about your entitlement to temporary disability payments, then you may consider applying for California State Disability Benefits (SDI) through your local Employment Development Department office (EDD). But remember, your doctor must “certify” (sign off on) this. If your doctor does not certify this, you will not receive your State Disability benefits.
Put the Navarette Law Firm On Your Side
We will answer your questions and handle all aspects of your case, and you will owe nothing unless we recover benefits for you. Call our San Jose office at 866-994-BEST (2378) or contact us via email to schedule your free initial consultation.