If looked at honestly, workers’ compensation is designed to keep you from bringing a personal injury claim against your employer. The system makes no one rich; it provides benefits that are barely sufficient to help injured workers make ends meet while they recover. If you are injured on the job, it’s imperative to get help from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can guide you through the often-baffling workers’ compensation system. With a little forethought, you can survive the workers’ compensation experience without starving to death or ending up homeless. These are your goals:
If you are injured at the job and cannot work, you are entitled to temporary disability benefits. This is usually two-thirds of your normal pay, subject to statutory maximums and minimums. Temporary disability benefits are limited to two years, or until you reach “Maximum Medical Improvement” (MMI), meaning that you have (at least theoretically) fully recuperated. Permanent disability benefits represent compensation for your diminished future earning capacity. A good workers’ compensation lawyer will strive to make sure this benefit is fairly calculated.
Under California law, you are entitled to “all medical treatment necessary to cure or relieve the effects of your industrial injury.” This includes doctor bills, prescriptions, hospital costs, lab tests, and any other diagnostic procedures. You are also entitled to reimbursement for mileage to and from medical appointments and the pharmacy. But actually receiving the medical treatment you are “entitled” to can be tricky; California gives the insurance industry some power to control their costs regarding treatment under workers’ comp. You can get the medical treatment you need, but you may need the help of a good workers’ compensation lawyer.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assess your situation, provide sound legal advice, and guide you through the workers’ compensation process. The help of a good workers’ compensation lawyer is imperative to guarantee your rights and your compensation. If you’ve been injured at work, talk with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney right away.