Frequently Asked Questions
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers are protected if they become ill or injured as a direct result of their jobs. These benefits include medical care, physical therapy, disability payments, lost wages, and death benefits.
California adopted workers’ compensation laws in the 1910s along with most other states. Workers comp is based on a no-fault system, which means that an injured or ill employee does not need to prove that the injury or illness was someone else’s fault in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Some exceptions apply.
The workers’ compensation process is not user-friendly, and it leaves injured workers in Southern California with more questions than answers. Fortunately, you can rely on The Law Offices of Dennis A. Dascanio to provide you with answers to your questions and make sure you obtain all of the benefits you are eligible for.
We are happy to provide you with some answers to frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation. If you have additional questions or want to discuss your claim with an attorney, we encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation.
What kind of injuries or illnesses are covered by Workers’ Compensation?
An occupational injury or illness can describe almost any health condition that results from on-the-job activities. These can include bone fractures, muscle tears, soft-tissue injuries, burns, back injuries and joint injuries, as well as illnesses from exposure to hazardous substances, such as asbestos. They can also include severe or fatal injuries, including spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
Injuries from traumatic accidents are not the only injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation in California. You may also be eligible for financial benefits for an injury caused by stress, heat, overexertion or repetitive motion. If you work on an assembly line, for example, and use the same back and arm movements over and over each day, you may qualify for workers’ compensation for a repetitive motion injury, such as a pulled muscle or carpal tunnel syndrome.
How do I report a work related injury or accident?
Injured workers should report an occupational injury to their supervisor immediately and request medical treatment when necessary. You can do this via text, in person or via email.
Reporting promptly helps avoid problems and delays in receiving benefits. If you don’t report your injury within 30 days, you could lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Get emergency treatment if necessary. If the employer does not offer you medical treatment, you can go to the nearest emergency room, urgent care or occupational clinic.
Once that you go to the doctor You should keep your supervisor informed on the status of the injury or illness.
What is next?
Once that you report the injury, the employer is required to provide you with a claim form and open a claim within one working day of the reported injury. They also must provide you with medical treatment.
What benefits am I entitled to?
Workers’ comp insurance provides five basic benefits:
1. Medical care: Paid for by your employer to help you recover from an injury or illness caused by work
2. Temporary disability benefits: Payments if you lose wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job while recovering
3. Permanent disability benefits: Payments if you don’t recover completely
4. Supplemental job displacement benefits Vouchers to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you don’t recover completely and don’t return to work for your employer
5. Death benefits: Payments to your spouse, children or other dependents if you die from a job injury or illness.
Besides workers’ compensation benefits, can I get any other financial assistance?
A. Other benefits may be available. These include:
Benefits paid by the state and federal governments such as State Disability Insurance (SDI), unemployment insurance, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments
Benefits offered by employers and unions, such as sick leave, group health insurance, long term disability (LTD) and salary continuation plans
Payments if your injury was caused by someone other than your employer.
As you can imagine, there are many variations and it is hard to discuss all the possible questions on a website.
Please feel free to schedule an appointment to come to our office for a free consultation and analysis of your particular circumstances.
How can I access medical care?
Access to quality medical care is the most critical component of any workers’ compensation claim and one of the primary reasons you need an attorney. A medical doctor may be the greatest treating doctor in the area, but if he or she is not willing to fight for you or doesn’t understand workers’ compensation laws, it can harm your ability to recover benefits.
At The Law Offices of Dennis A. Dascanio, we will make sure that you have access to a doctor who is not only excellent at his or her profession, but also willing to go to bat for you as we fight for the medical care you need. This includes working with doctors to pursue Utilization Review Appeals and being actively involved in submitting an Independent Medical Review. Our firm has an entire department devoted to dealing with the intricacies of California’s Independent Medical Review system.
How can I make sure my claim is successful?
Most of the issues that can lead to denied claims or failure to obtain benefits are entirely avoidable, such as not notifying your employer of your injury and not seeking medical treatment. Our team can help you avoid these pitfalls.
What Injuries Are Eligible For Workers’ Compensation? The answer will vary based on the circumstances, but for the most part, all injuries that occur at work or are otherwise work-related will be eligible for workers’ compensation.
What Types Of Benefits Are Available To Injured Workers?
Depending on the severity of your injury and your specific situation, you may be eligible for types of benefits such as medical treatment, travel and mileage, disability benefits, job training and death benefits.
Do you represent workers in my industry?
Our firm represents workers throughout Southern California and has office locations in Santa Ana, San Diego and Ontario. We represent workers in all industries, including construction, manufacturing, administrative, clerical, service and hospitality.
What will it cost to hire a lawyer?
Nothing. We work on contingency, which means we only collect attorney fees if we collect compensation for you. With few exceptions, fees are never taken out of medical benefits, temporary disability benefits or state disability benefits. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you maximize your benefits.