San Bernardino Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you sustained an injury in a workplace accident, you could file a workers’ compensation claim to help cover your medical bills and lost wages. Many injured workers in San Bernardino obtain workers’ compensation benefits, but the process is complex and challenging. In fact, many applicants receive denied claims despite having qualifying injuries and doing everything they thought they were supposed to do to receive benefits.
Having legal representation from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can ensure your employer and their insurance company won’t take advantage of you. A lawyer can also help you file your claim properly and increase your chances of getting the benefits you need.
The San Bernardino personal injury attorneys at Bentley & More LLP provide premier legal services with no up-front fees, free consultations, and contingency-based payment. You won’t pay anything unless our experienced workplace injury lawyers recover benefits and compensation for you.
Call us today at (949) 617-0938 or complete our online contact form to request a free initial consultation from an experienced lawyer.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Like all states, California has a workers’ compensation program that provides medical coverage and other benefits to injured workers regardless of who was at fault. Workers’ compensation insurance will front the costs if the injury or illness occurred while the employee was at work or performing job-related tasks.
All employers with one or more employees in California must carry workers’ compensation insurance – including those with independent contractors or subcontractors. Injured workers should seek workers’ comp coverage after a harmful workplace injury or after developing a debilitating condition or chronic illness because of their working environments.
How Can Bentley & More, LLP Help With Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Bentley & More, LLP have in-depth knowledge of California workers’ compensation law and extensive experience helping our clients obtain their rightful benefits.
We have gained a reputation as a leading personal injury law firm in San Bernardino and throughout Southern California, and our attorneys have received many top honors and awards for our outstanding professionalism and client service.
You can expect to receive personalized attention for your workers’ comp case, and you can trust we will do all we can to help you get the workers’ compensation benefits you need as efficiently as possible.
Our lawyers are here to answer any questions you have regarding your workers’ compensation claim, and we are ready to assist you in getting the benefits you deserve. Contact our San Bernardino workers’ compensation law firm today to schedule a free consultation.
Workers’ Compensation Laws in California
California’s workers’ compensation laws dictate that you must report your injuries to your employer within 30 days to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Also, you must have been at work or doing something related to work at the time of the accident.
You should seek immediate medical attention to protect your rights as an injured worker. Failure to obey the filing rules could result in the insurance company denying your workers’ compensation claim.
For help navigating California’s workers’ compensation laws and the workers’ comp system, contact a San Bernardino workers’ compensation attorney for a free consultation.
What Are Some Common Workplace Accidents in San Bernardino?
San Bernardino County’s most prominent workforces and industries include manufacturing, farming, construction, and transportation. These happen to be some of the world’s most dangerous industries for workers. Common workplace accidents include:
- Transportation collisions
- Rollover accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Struck-by object or equipment
- Electrocutions and shocks
- Fires and explosions
Workplace accidents can cause head or brain injuries, spine injuries, bone fractures, burns, organ damage, and serious illnesses resulting from toxic exposure, such as asbestosis. Exposure to harmful substances or dangerous property defects can increase the risk of an employee work injury, as can poor job site management and employee training.
It’s up to you to learn your rights as an injured worker with help from the trusted San Bernardino workers’ compensation lawyers at our Southern California law firm.
If you were in a car accident at work that resulted in injury, please call our car accident attorneys in San Bernardino today.
Who Is Liable for Workers’ Comp in California?
It is your California employer’s legal responsibility to carry and maintain adequate workers’ compensation insurance. Failure to do so is a breach of state law and could result in your employer assuming liability for your damages.
If you file a workers’ comp claim and receive benefits, you cannot sue your employer for damages. However, you may file suit against another third party if they were also responsible for your injuries. An example is if someone hit you while you were driving for company business. You can file for workers’ compensation along with filing an injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. You may also have a third-party claim against a product manufacturer because a defective machine component failed at work and caused your injuries.
Your employer’s insurance company or the third party’s insurer will work with you to come up with a fair settlement amount. Be cautious, however: insurers want you to settle for as little as possible, not for the amount that’s best for you. Don’t accept a settlement offer until you’ve spoken to a San Bernardino workers’ comp attorney.
What Damages Can I Recover for a Workplace Injury in San Bernardino?
The California workers’ compensation system permits employees to recover benefits for all accident-related medical bills, temporary or permanent disabilities, job displacement costs, and death expenses. However, the state places limits on what injured workers can recover.
In California, injured workers may receive around 60-70% of their wages, which are calculated based on pay over the past 5-18 months. A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, could result in greater compensation as well as pain and suffering damages.
Workers’ compensation insurance also offers death benefits to surviving spouses and other dependents of workers killed on the job.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, it may be within your rights–and certainly your best interests–to pursue damages through both the workers’ compensation system and the civil system. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can review your case and determine your options.
Work Injury Reporting Deadlines
Anytime you sustain an injury in the workplace, you must report the incident as soon as possible. There are very specific deadlines related to workers’ compensation claims in California that you need to understand. In fact, workers’ compensation claims have two different deadlines:
Reporting the accident to your employer
The first deadline in place relates to reporting the injury to the employer. In a perfect world, the employer would be notified about a workplace injury or illness the day it occurs. However, there are situations where an employer will not find out right away, particularly if the employee is not quite sure whether they have sustained an injury.
Overall, the employer needs to find out about the workplace injury or illness within 30 days of its occurrence or from when the person discovered the injury or illness.
Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
The second deadline related to workers’ compensation claims revolves around actually filing the claim. Not all work injuries require a workers’ compensation claim to be reported immediately, particularly if individuals perceive the injury to be as minor or are even unsure whether they have sustained an injury.
Individuals have one year from the date an injury or illness occurs to file the actual claim with the insurance carrier.
Understanding when you need to report a work injury can get complicated, particularly for incidences of cumulative trauma, chronic illnesses, and delayed diagnosis. We strongly encourage you to speak to a skilled work injury lawyer who has experience handling these situations and can guide you toward filing the claim in the appropriate time frame.
How Long Can You Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits?
In general, workplace injury victims can receive workers’ compensation benefits for a cumulative total of two years, or 104 weeks to be exact. However, these 104 weeks do not have to be used consecutively.
There are times when individuals do not need to receive benefits week after week. Sometimes, individuals recover enough to return to work only to be sidelined again by the same injury. If someone needs to use 24 weeks of benefits initially and then returns to work, they could theoretically have 80 more weeks of benefits to use. However, all these 104 weeks are available over a five-year time frame.
In cases of incredibly severe injuries, such as third-degree burns or occupational cancers, individuals may be able to receive benefits for 240 weeks.
For workers who sustain long-term or permanent disabilities as a result of a workplace injury, they need to plan ahead and discuss filing to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) insurance. There may be cases where the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy does provide long-term disability benefits, but state law does not require employers to carry long-term disability, only short-term disability. SSD Is the more likely route that individuals will need to take if they are going to need long-term permanent disability benefits as a result of a workplace injury.
Contact Our San Bernardino Workers’ Compensation Law Firm for Help
The skilled injury attorneys at Bentley & More LLP have helped hundreds of clients obtain justice and compensation for their injuries over the years. Clients praise us for our attention to detail, personal attention, and professionalism.
We will review your claim during a free consultation and advise you of your options. We can help you file your claim to give it the best chance of gaining approval, and we are here to help you appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim so you can get the medical benefits you need.
Call (949) 617-0938 to talk to one of our work injury lawyers and see how we can help. We stand apart from other law firms by offering assertive workers’ compensation insurance negotiation and knowledgeable litigation. Contact us now to get started.