In California, the workers’ compensation system covers injured employees for their medical treatment, lost wages, and other injury-related expenses. If you’ve been injured at work in southern California, consult at once with an experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney who can help you apply for workers’ comp benefits and help you avoid filing delays and mistakes. That’s your first step. If you are approved for workers’ compensation benefits but your payments don’t arrive on time, you’ll have to take a second step and contact your attorney once again.
If an employer unreasonably delays or refuses to pay authorized workers’ compensation benefits to an injured worker following a written demand for payment, a good workers’ comp lawyer can petition the workers’ compensation judge to issue a finding that the employer has unreasonably delayed or refused to pay the approved amount. The judge will regard factors such as the sum of the delayed payment and the length of the delay. California law provides for a penalty of up to 25 percent of the delayed benefits or up to $10,000, whichever is less. The payment of any delayed benefits – medical care, temporary disability indemnity, permanent disability indemnity, interest, or death benefits – can be increased by application of this penalty provision.
Employers can avoid the penalty if, upon discovering payment has been delayed, and prior to receiving any demand for payment, they pay the delayed amount within 90 days with an additional, self-imposed 10 percent penalty. If you are injured on the job in southern California, do not hesitate to call an experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney at once and get the legal help you really need. If your benefits are delayed for any reason after you’ve been approved to receive them, that same attorney can take whatever legal action is needed to help you receive the payments you need and the justice you deserve.