Are you a California resident? If so, you are well aware of the state’s strict workers’ compensation laws. These laws cover most employment situations, and all workers in California are entitled to these benefits.
Workers’ Compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides medical and wages replacement benefits to workers injured on the job. It covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages for an employee who cannot work due to a work-related injury or illness. It’s like a big umbrella that protects workers in case of damages or diseases caused by work.
Workers’ Compensation is a form of social insurance, provided by employers and funded through taxes, that protects workers from job-related injuries. The insurance program operates under a no-fault system; this means that it does not matter who is at fault for the incident, nor does it matter if your employer was negligent in any way.
The first thing to understand is that it’s not just for employees; anyone injured on the job, no matter their relationship with the employer, will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. It includes contractors, freelancers, and people who are considered independent contractors.
Benefits of Workers’ Compensation
- Medical Fee Coverage
Most workers’ compensation carriers charge a fee to medical providers when they submit a bill. This fee is typically a percentage of the total charges on the claim. In most cases, this fee does not include the cost of supplies, which increases the overall cost for the provider. For example, if a physician charges $100 for an office visit, and the carrier’s charge is 25%, the physician will be charged $25. If that same physician writes a prescription, and the carrier’s charge is $10, they will be charged another $10 by the carrier, bringing their cost to $35 per visit.
- Lost Wages
Workers’ Compensation also provides income to employees who are temporarily unable to work due to an injury or illness sustained while at work. If they don’t have any other source of income, workers are given a percentage of their weekly pay depending on how long they are out of work and how much they made before their injury or illness. Usually, employees who suffer an injury or disease due to their employees can receive at least 75 percent of their average weekly wages.
- Death Benefits
If workers die due to a work-related injury or illness, their families may be entitled to death benefits. Employers are legally required to pay workers’ compensation death benefits to a worker’s family when that worker dies from an injury sustained on the job.
A surviving spouse or domestic partner can receive death benefits from their employer if the employee was married or in a registered domestic partnership at the time of death. Help for a surviving spouse lasts for the rest of her life, but the amount paid is based on marriage or domestic partnership years.
- Legal Fee Coverage
Workers’ Compensation also protects businesses from costly lawsuits by providing these benefits outside the court system.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be confusing, especially if you’ve never done so before. Don’t be nervous; filing a workers’ compensation claim is simpler than you may think. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is not much different from filing a health insurance claim following an injury.
- The first thing after getting injured on the job is to report your injury to your employer or supervisor.
- Fill out the Workers’ Comp application.
- Appoint an experienced Workers’ Comp Attorney to represent your claim.
If you are injured and are thinking of filing a workers’ compensation claim, it’s best to consult with an experienced Work Injury or Workers’ Compensation attorney. An individual injured on the job may receive financial assistance through their employer or file a claim. If you have any questions about this process, don’t hesitate to contact us at Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Lawyers in San Gabriel Valley today for more information.