Workers compensation is supposed to protect all workers in all accidents—period. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. Often, when an employee or their family file a claim after a legitimate injury, they find it being denied, minimized, or treated as less severe than it really is. But you do not have to go without workers compensation benefits—and you don’t have to accept whatever they offer you. You need to talk to a Los Angeles workers compensation lawyer.
The Simmrin Law Group knows how to help. We will listen to your story, take your side and fight for your rights—and to get you every dollar that you have a right to. Our experienced law team knows how to handle even the most complicated workers compensation cases. And our promise to you is simple: if we don’t win you money, you don’t pay us a cent. Let us give you a free consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.
How does workers compensation work in Los Angeles?
Workers compensation or “workers comp” 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 of their costs are covered
- In exchange, the worker cannot sue the employer
Sounds fair, right?
Unfortunately, the way workers comp works in real life is totally different. The benefits are provided by an insurance company, and like all insurers they are 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:
- The insurer doesn’t believe your injury is as severe as it really is
- The insurer may not believe you were injured at all
- The insurer refers you to a doctor you don’t believe is really on your side
- You are approved for a cheaper or less promising procedure instead of the treatment you really need
This is 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.
Do I have to file a lawsuit?
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 comp exclusively.
One of the benefits of this is: 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.
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 on the job, at work, are covered by workers comp. With a few rare exceptions, such as work-related travel and remote work duties, injuries that happen anywhere else aren’t covered. So the insurer argues that you are lying about where your injury happened to get covered.
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 are facing this accusation, there are two things you need to know:
- It IS possible to fight the accusation and get your benefits anyway
- You need to talk to a lawyer immediately, because the insurer is making a case to reject or dismiss your claim entirely
How much money can I recover in a workers compensation claim in Los Angeles?
You should recover money for 100% of all of your costs or losses. This includes the actual dollar costs of your injury, but it also includes losses that are harder to put a price on.
- Hard costs you can recover include the cost of medical treatment, tests, appointments, and drugs, as well as your travel costs to and from appointments. It 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.
- Other losses 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’s not uncommon for workers compensation claims to pay out over $1 million.
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 the Simmrin Law Group, you pay us nothing unless we win you money. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your FREE consultation today.