Workers’ compensation is supposed to protect all workers in all accidents – period. Unfortunately, it does not always work that way. Often, when an employee or their family files a claim after a legitimate injury, they find it being denied, minimized, or treated as less severe than it really is.
However, you do not have to go without workers’ compensation benefits, and you do not have to accept whatever they offer you. You need to talk to a Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney at the Simmrin Law Group. We will listen to your story, take your side, fight for your rights, and do our best to get you every dollar to which you are entitled.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in California?
Workers’ compensation or “workers’ compensation” is supposed to be a simple system:
- The benefits are paid for both by workers’ paycheck deductions and by employers
- Any time a worker gets hurt on the job, all their costs are covered
- In exchange for the benefits they received, the worker cannot sue the employer
Sounds fair, right?
Unfortunately, the way workers’ compensation works in real life is totally different. The benefits are provided by an insurance company, which, like all insurers, is driven by profit. They have an incentive to pay out the smallest amount possible and, if they can get away with it, to deny your claim altogether.
That means that many injured workers and their families file legitimate claims only to hear disappointing excuses, such as:
- The insurer doesn’t believe your injury is as severe as it is
- The insurer may question whether you were injured at all
- The insurer refers you to a doctor you don’t feel is really on your side
- You get approved for a cheaper or less promising procedure instead of the treatment you really need
These are the reasons why so many workers get a lawyer to represent them from the start. A lawyer gives you bargaining power and helps you make an iron-clad case to get the full coverage you need.
For a free legal consultation with a workers' compensation lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (310) 896-2723
Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
No. In most cases, workers’ compensation claims are resolved without ever going to court. In fact, most of the time, you cannot file a lawsuit because the claim is supposed to be handled by workers’ compensation exclusively.
One of the benefits of this is that you do not have to argue about who is responsible. In fact, your claim will be approved even if the injury was your own fault.
However, there are times when you may have a right to file a lawsuit anyway – and it may help you get the full amount you need. For example:
- If someone was negligent or careless in a way that caused your accident
- If your employer was violating OSHA safety standards, gave you improper safety equipment, or did not adequately train you
- If the equipment you were working with was defective and dangerous in some way
In these cases, you can file a claim in court against the negligent party, and you could secure a substantially larger settlement than from workers’ compensation alone.
Los Angeles Workers' Compensation Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Are There On-the-Job Injuries That Do Not Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
Not all injuries that happen at the workplace are eligible for workers’ compensation. There are many factors that can make an injury ineligible for a claim. Some examples include:
- If you were intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
- If your injury resulted from fighting with a fellow employee
- If your injury occurred as a result of the intentional misuse of equipment
- If you were hurt while playing rather than working
Furthermore, you can’t file a workers’ compensation claim for a car accident if you were driving to and from work—only if you were driving as part of your work. Discuss your injury with a workers’ compensation attorney in Los Angeles to discover whether it qualifies as a valid claim.
What If They’re Saying I Didn’t Really Get Hurt on the Job?
Both employers and insurance companies use this trick to avoid paying claims.
The idea is simple: only injuries that happen at work are covered by workers’ compensation. With a few rare exceptions, such as work-related travel and remote work duties, injuries that occur anywhere else are not covered. Because of this, the insurer may try to avoid paying by arguing that you are lying about where your injury happened.
This is especially common with injuries that don’t have immediate, traumatic effects (such as muscle injuries, back injuries, and joint injuries) or those that no one witnessed firsthand.
If you face this accusation, there are two things you need to know. The first is that it is possible to fight back and get your benefits anyway. The other thing to consider is that you need to talk to a lawyer immediately because the insurer is making a case to reject or dismiss your claim entirely.
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How Much Money Can I Recover in a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Los Angeles?
You should recover money for 100% of all your costs or losses. This compensation includes the actual dollar costs of your injury, as well as losses that are harder to put a price on. These expenses can be broken down into two separate categories.
These include the cost of medical treatment, tests, appointments, and drugs, as well as your travel costs to and from appointments. They can also include the cost of long-term treatment, physical rehabilitation, or occupational therapy. You can even be awarded money to make up for lost work time and your lost future income if you’re unable to return to work.
These include serious things like severe pain, the loss of a limb, a disability, or permanent injury. Obviously, money cannot undo these things—but it can help to ensure your financial stability as you deal with the aftermath. These losses would also include wrongful death damages for the family if your loved one was killed in the accident.
The total amount you can recover varies with each claim. However, it is not uncommon for workers’ compensation claims to pay out over $1 million. Your Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney can help you calculate your damages.
Should I Hire a Lawyer Before or After Submitting My Claim?
When you hire a lawyer in your workers’ compensation case depends on how confident you feel about whether your claim will likely be approved or denied. If your injury clearly happened on the job, and there are several witnesses and surveillance footage, the chances of your claim being approved are high.
The process of filing a claim is fairly straightforward, so you can most likely proceed without an attorney at this point. However, if the evidence that your injury is work-related is less airtight, you might want to hire an attorney from the start.
Your attorney can help to prove that your injury does qualify for workers’ compensation. Having an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side will help your case in two ways. Not only will the insurer be more likely to approve your claim because your case is stronger, but the fact that you have hired a lawyer will show them you are taking your case seriously.
Getting a workers’ compensation lawyer in Los Angeles involved will increase the chances that they will approve your claim initially because they know you will appeal if denied and that there is a good chance that you will win in appeal.
Talk to a Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free
An injury at work can affect your life for years. Don’t risk losing the benefits you are guaranteed by law or getting paid less than your claim is worth. When you hire a Los Angeles workers’ compensation lawyer at the Simmrin Law Group, you pay us nothing unless we win you money.
Let us give you a free consultation. We can handle even the most complicated of workers’ compensation cases. Fill out our online contact form or call us to schedule an appointment today.