Work-related injuries occur in every profession where individuals are exposed to a high level of chemicals or dangerous worksites where heavy machinery and materials are used. Fortunately, since 1855, the United States has implemented worker compensation rights to ensure that employees are treated with benefits in case of a work-related injury. The worker's rights which have since been implemented in Georgia and Alabama have been adopted by all fifty states to include their version of workers’ compensation.
If you suffered a work-related injury some of the questions you may face are: how will I pay my bills if I am injured and cannot work? Who will cover my medical costs? The Orange County Workers Compensation Attorneys are ready to assist you through the whole process to assure your worker's rights are honored. We will provide clarity on your case and guidance to ensure your insurance and workers compensation benefits are put to use. Worker compensation laws differ by state; we advise you to contact a local attorney to learn more about the ways you in which can benefit from your worker's compensation.
An experienced attorney by your side during the filing of your claims will allow you to file your demands properly, ensuring a prompt response to your claim. Many cases involve an employer or an insurance company that deny injury claims based on their own assumption of the occurrence. These situations require a strong attorney that can aggressively fight on the behalf of your workers’ compensations rights. Orange County Workers Compensation Attorney will stand by your side. We are ready to assist you through:
- The workers’ compensations legal documentation
- Any denial of your workers’ compensation rights
- The medical assessment of your condition; ensuring that you see a qualified nonpartisan professional to assess your injury
Our attorneys are ready to advance your claim in a timely manner so that you are provided with medical and financial assistance as soon as possible.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation is a form of medical and disability insurance providing benefits to employees wounded or hurt while on the job. Workers' compensation insures that in the event of an injury, the employee is covered financially and with full medical benefits. The employee should not be expected to pay for any medical service and should expect paid time off from the employer. Each case is handled differently depending on the state you are filing for workers' compensation, the gravity of the injury, and the type of work. In general, you are provided with four basic benefits under the workers’ compensation insurance. Filing for your benefits is your legal right in the event of a work-related injury.
Workers compensation insurance provides:
- Medical Attention: coverage of all hospital bills including medical assistance and medication. The purpose of the medical insurance is to assure that the employee's injury is cured by professional doctors and to ensure that the employee does not have to pay out of pocket for his or her medical bills
- Disability Insurance: provides the employee with a wage for a certain amount of time so that the employee is freed from financial stress during his or her recovery. Under disability insurance, the employee receives his financial benefits until he or she is ready to return to work
- Permanent disability settlement provides an employee with a financial program that is in place for a long period of time. If you have been permanently disabled from a work-related injury you may be entitled to a much higher compensation
- In some cases, your employer may be required to train you for a new position if you were permanently disabled from continuing your prior occupation.
The workers' compensation coverage includes income benefits that allow individuals to receive two-thirds of their wage. The financial coverage provides a wage which is untaxed and which is activated no more than a few days after the workers' compensation claim has been addressed. In most cases and in most states, you are covered by workers' compensation benefits if you are an independent contractor, a volunteer, a business owner, farmer and farm workers, railroad or construction employee. Federal employees are covered by the federal workers' compensation insurance.
Please contact an attorney to help guide you through the benefits request process and to provide more information on your states workers' compensation law.
Workers Compensation No-Fault System
The laws guiding workers' compensation ensure that employees receive (in the event of an injury), full financial benefits without the need to dispute their allegations with their employer. In essence, the workers' compensations laws were designed to act as a safety net that would allow the injured employee to receive immediate monetary benefits and medical coverage. In other words, once a work-related injury claim is filed the employee should be immediately compensated without the need to consult or fight for a form of compensation.
The workers’ compensation laws work to help injured employees as much as it works to protect the current employer from being sued. Workers compensation laws provide that in the event of an injury the injured employee is unable to sue the company or any co-worker for their own negligence. Rather than pointing fingers and finding fault, the workers own negligence or the negligence of other co-workers are put aside. The laws were designed to bypass a lawsuit and ensure immediate attention is provided to the employee for his or her work-related injury. However, there are cases in which the injured employee can seek compensation from a third party.
In specific cases, workers operating heavy machinery (usually workers in the railroad or construction industry), are provided with different compensation options if their work-related injury can be traced to a third party. Machinery frequently malfunctions and can cause devastating injuries to an employee. In these cases, an employee may be able to file for compensation from the manufacturers. These cases are carried out through civil lawsuits and not through the workers' compensation system. If your work-related injury involves heavy machinery malfunction, it is crucial to contact your local attorney to fight for additional compensation benefits.
If you proceed with a lawsuit, in some states the employer and workers’ compensation insurer may enter the lawsuit to safeguard their financial and medical cost obligations. In some cases, and in some states, you may be required to pay back a certain amount of money after your recovery. In some cases, it is better to proceed without a lawsuit. However, each case is handled differently and each case has different factors that have led to your injury. It is advised to consult with your local attorney to verify if filing for a lawsuit is in your best interest. The more components in your injury case the more complicated the case can become.
Orange County Workers Compensation Attorney is here to provide clarity in these stressful and urgent affairs. Keep in mind that workers’ compensation differs depending on the state and occupation of the employee. If your state or your occupation deprives you of workers’ compensation benefits, in the event of a work-related injury, you may file a lawsuit against your company or other parties.
Workers’ Compensation Vs Civil Claims
Workers’ compensation laws protect both the employee and employer from being sued in the event of a work-related injury. Under workers’ compensation, an employee is entitled to his or her benefits without providing proof of fault from the employer or worksite. The employee's health and medical treatments are the main priorities under workers’ compensation. Under these laws, the employee gives up certain rights such as the ability to sue the employer or company. However, in many cases, the accident which may have caused the injury is a result of multiple factors that come into play. For example, if you are operating heavy types of machinery such as concrete pumps or concrete mixers and the equipment malfunctions and causes your injury, you may pursue a lawsuit against the third party (usually the company producing the equipment). In these case, you may be entitled to a higher compensation depending on the degree of your injury and depending on the percentage of fault that can be attributed to the equipment.
Following a civil claim or lawsuit against a third party may or may not be in your best interest. In the event of an accident, there are many factors that can be taken into consideration. To determine the best procedure for your specific case it is crucial that you consult with a workers’ compensation professional who understands how different factors come into play in a work-related injury claim.
Injuries Covered by Worker Compensation
Employees suffering from a work-related injury are qualified to receive workers’ compensation if:
- The injury occurred during overall work time including during your break, lunch, or during other work-related activities
- The employee is injured as a result of psychological and physical harassment over a long period of time. Mental disorders caused by stressful working environments or demands are cases that may qualify you for workers’ compensation
- The employee suffers from a disease or disorder caused by being exposed to toxins
- The employee had an existing condition, such as back pain, and the workload further distresses the condition of the employee’s health
Workers compensation claims can be filed if you meet the descriptions mentioned above. It is important to note that even cases where a prior condition is existing but has advanced due to the working conditions, can be enough to file for workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are some injuries that are not covered or protected by the workers’ compensations law. For example, if employee’s horseplay while on the job and one of them gets hurt as a result of the horseplay, the company may not be liable for the accident and therefore workers’ compensation might not cover the disability and medical costs of the injury. However, there are some states that claim employers should provide enough supervision to maintain a safe working environment for all employees.
In other cases, workers’ compensation benefits can be retained if the employee who was injured was intoxicated or abusing drugs during work time. Every case is handled differently depending on the facts of the situation.
Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you are injured at your job site or at a company event, you are most likely covered by workers’ compensation insurance. In the event of a work-related injury, you must take three steps to assure your claim is processed immediately and without disruption.
- First, you must report the accident which led to your injury immediately to your supervisor or project manager. It is advised to do so verbally and in writing to assure that you have proof that the supervisor was notified.
- Second, you must request to see a doctor that can evaluate your condition and provide written documentation of your injury. This will help you provide certified evidence of your injury.
- Lastly, you must fill out the workers’ compensation claim form where you will be asked your basic information and other information pertaining to your employer and where you will be able to describe your claim.
Your benefits remain unprocessed and your employer is not obligated to provide the benefits of workers’ compensation until a report is filed. It is advised to take immediate steps like those mentioned above in the event of an injury to ensure that your disability and medical benefits kick in as soon as you require them.
Orange County Workers’ Compensation Attorney is ready to handle your case and provide you with a peace of mind during your workers' compensation filing process. We are ready to answer all your questions and guide you through the whole workers’ compensation process with a high sense of professionalism. Our attorneys are trained to negotiate settlements and assist you with all the legal venues that could advance your case to assure your injury and disability case is handled promptly.
To learn more about your workers’ compensation benefits, call us at 949-423-3212. We are ready to provide assistance through the filing process and ready to defend your rights in any legal court.