Following an injury sustained at work in California, an employee has the right to file a claim for compensation through the insurance company that handles the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance policy. California law mandates that any person or entity that hires employees must be covered by Workers’ Compensation insurance in order to operate a business, just the same way that anyone who operates a motor vehicle must be covered by auto insurance in order to operate the vehicle legally.
After an accident, a work injury victim might feel confused, frustrated, and angry with the lack of assistance that his or her employer is providing in the matter. The victim might wonder why the employer isn’t making regular phone calls to the insurance company to follow up on a claim, or why the employer is making an obvious effort to remain detached from the accident and workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, there is little that a victim can do if this is the case, primarily because there is little that an employer can do to move a case along.
Once a Workers’ Compensation claim has been started in California, it is up to the insurance company that carries the policy to determine whether or not a claim should be paid and, if so, how much should be paid. The employer is completely removed from the process as far as Workers’ Compensation benefits are concerned. It is not the employer’s decision whether or not benefits will be awarded, and it is not an employer’s fault if benefits are not. The employer pays the insurance company a premium to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance precisely for the reason that, should an employee ever suffer an injury, the insurance company will handle the issue of compensation on the company’s behalf. Therefore, complaining to an employer about the pace or progress of a Workers’ Compensation claim is next to pointless.
Bringing up an issue to somebody who has no power to fix it is a waste of time. Employers have no power or influence over the insurance companies that they choose to purchase Workers’ Compensation policies from. Attorneys, however, can use the power of the law to compel an insurance company to compensate the injured victim fully and fairly under the law. Should an insurance company deny a claim, but an attorney believe that the claim has merit, then the attorney can help the victim file an appeal to the decision. Workers’ Compensation decisions can be argued all the way up to the California Supreme Court. Technically, the case could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but U.S. Supreme Court generally refuses to hear these cases unless there are purely Constitutional matters in dispute. With too much to lose if a denial is upheld by the highest court in California, work injury victims should not leave anything to chance with their cases, and should only rely on dependable, proven benefits attorneys for advice on recovery of Workers’ Compensation benefits owed.