Workers in San Diego and elsewhere pride themselves on reliability, competence and performing their jobs as best they can. Regardless of the type of job a person does, there is always a chance of an accident and injury. Often, this is perceived as happening in physically demanding types of work, but it can happen to those who work in a less strenuous atmosphere.
There are some work injuries that are obvious when they occur. For example, if a roofer falls from a roof and suffers broken bones, this will be known relatively quickly. In other instances, the injuries could take time to show themselves. This may be the case in cumulative damage for those who do heavy lifting in an industrial job. It can also be from a person who works at a computer all day.
If a person was injured on the job, they should be completely aware of the workers’ compensation claims process from the time they realize they are injured until they are approved for benefits. It is useful to have qualified representation to ensure people are treated fairly based on how claims are handled and they have a good chance to maximize their benefits.
Time limitations, available benefits and key points about workers’ compensation
It is important to file the claim in a timely manner after the injury. The worker will have 90 days to let the employer know they have been injured. It starts when the employee knew or should have known they suffered an injury stemming from their work. Workers who do not adhere to this rule could see their claim denied.
The employer will then be responsible to file a claim with the Division of Worker’s Compensation, also known as the DWC, which functions under the State of California Department of Industrial Relations. This is applicable if the worker is off the job because of the injury for more than three days; they have suffered a permanent injury; or there was a fatality.
There are also two and three-year statutes of limitation for workers’ compensation. For the two-year statute of limitations, from the time the injury happens, if the employee does not get weekly workers’ compensation or does not file for arbitration, they might be denied benefits.
With the three-year statute of limitation, workers who were paid weekly benefits have three years from the last payment to get additional benefits or file an action with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. Those who do not file in that time-frame could have their benefits denied.
Workers can get medical care for their injuries. That will include seeing doctors, getting physical therapy and medication. They can be covered for travel costs to see medical professionals. Depending on the severity of the injury, the worker can get temporary total disability, temporary partial disability or permanent partial disability.
Injured workers need to remember the value of qualified representation
A key part of a workers’ compensation claim that should not be ignored is having professional help throughout the process. This is true from the time the injury and medical issue begins to manifest itself through the duration of the claim.
It is important to understand the steps to be approved for workers’ compensation benefits. Some people who were injured on the job or suffer from a condition and illness related to their work are unsure if they have a case. The only way to be certain is to discuss it with qualified professionals who know how to assess the situation and decide on a path forward.
Having caring, client-focused help can make a significant difference in reaching a good outcome and being approved for benefits. Once a case begins, experience can be crucial. Contacting those who have been working these cases for a combined 50 years is imperative.
Given the industries that are prominent in California – construction, warehouses, health care, agriculture – injuries can happen in an instant. Knowing the options to get workers’ compensation, receive payments for lost wages, medical care and more is vital from the outset and a fundamental aspect of that is having a grasp of the process. Whether the case is approved rather quickly or there is a dispute, it is wise to have comprehensive guidance.