Any person who sustains an on-the-job injury in California should be entitled to compensation through the state workers’ comp system. This is considered a “no-fault” insurance system where a person can receive compensation regardless of which party caused the injury. However, we receive plenty of questions about how workers’ compensation settlements are calculated. Here, we want to discuss the various factors that go into how much compensation an injured worker will receive.
Calculating medical bills for workers’ comp
It is important to recognize that workers’ conversation benefits are, first and foremost, designed to ensure that the injured worker receives the medical care they need. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to properly calculate the total amount of medical care a person will need after sustaining a workplace injury upfront. The reality is that some people sustain relatively minor injuries and need very little medical care. However, some injured workers sustain injuries and need longer periods of care – sometimes even permanent care.
This means that properly calculating medical bills is challenging. The good news is that the California workers’ conversation system is designed to cover all of an injured worker’s medical bills. This includes emergency medical expenses as well as ongoing medical care needs that they may have.
Temporary disability benefits
If a workplace injury victim is unable to perform their job duties because of the injury, they should also be able to recover temporary disability benefits through the workers’ compensation system in California. These temporary disability benefits will typically kick in within two weeks of the injured worker not being able to perform their duties.
Temporary disability benefits will pay two-thirds of the injured worker’s average weekly wage, up to a set maximum weekly amount prescribed under the workers’ compensation law.
Total disability benefits
If a person sustains a workplace injury and is permanently disabled, whether partially or totally, they should be able to recover total permanent disability benefits. A person will likely receive partial disability benefits if they can return to work in some capacity. An injured worker will only receive total disability benefits if they or unable to work at all in any capacity for the rest of their life.
The complete amount of compensation a person receives in total disability benefits will vary depending on their disability rating. If a person receives a 100% permanent disability rating, they will get regular payments for the remainder of their life, generally equal to two-thirds of their pre-injury average weekly wage.
If a person is less than 100% disabled, the total amount of money they will receive will vary depending on their percentage of disability. The rules surrounding total disability benefits can be complicated, and we strongly encourage you to work with the skilled California workers’ compensation attorney in these situations.
An attorney can help
Whether you need help ensuring that you receive medical coverage payments, temporary disability benefits, or total disability benefits, you should seek assistance from a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in San Bernardino. These cases can become complicated, and there are times when an employer or a workers’ compensation carrier may deny a claim. For serious injuries, you or the insurance carrier may have to work with California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) Disability Evaluation Unit to perform a summary rating of your disability, but an attorney can help handle all communication with other parties in these cases.