Workers’ Compensation most Frequently Asked Questions
How much time do I have to report my injury?
The injured employee must report the injury to his or her employer within 30 days of the injury, unless the employer knew or should have known about the injury. Failure to notify the employer of the injury will not automatically disqualify the injured worker’s case unless the employer can show that it was put at a disadvantage or damaged by the injured employee’s failure to disclose the injury within the first 30 days. The employer has the burden to show prejudice.
If I file a claim, will I get fired?
No. It is illegal for your employer to fire you or punish you in any way (giving you bad or less hours to work, deduct pay ect…) because you got injured at work and reported it or filed a worker’scompensation claim.
What would the Law Firm do for me if my employer still fires me after reporting an injury or filing a workers’ compensation claim?
Despite the law guarding against this, if you still get fired after reporting an injury or filing a claim, we will sue the employer for breaking this law as well as refer you to one of our employment law attorneys who will also be suing the employer for wrongful termination as well as possible FEHA violations. Representation by one of our employment law attorneys will also require NO OUT OF POCKET UPFRONT LEGAL FEES for you to pay.
What should I do if I get hurt on the job?
Tell your supervisor or employer immediately of the accident, fill out a Workers’ Compensation “claim form” (that should be offered by your employer) making sure to include all body parts involved in the injury, and call, email or visit us right away.
What is my employer required to do after I have reported the injury?
Have medical emergency treatment available to you if needed. Give you a Workers’ Compensation Claim form to fill out within 1 working day after you report it or your employer learns about (from another source) your injury or illness. Return a copy of the claim form filled out by you and them within 24 hours of receiving it and forward it to their insurance company. Allow up to $10,000 in medical treatment to be administered within 1 day of getting the claim form while their insurance company investigates the matter.
Am I still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if my work accident was my own fault?
Yes. Regardless of whose fault it was, you are owed workers’ compensation benefits for any work-related injury or illness (mental or physical).
Will I still get paid my salary while off work?
Yes. You are owed temporary disability payments which equals to two-thirds of your gross average weekly wage until the treating doctor(s) claim you are okayed to return to work and/or permanent and stationary or up to two years of temporary disability payments have already been paid out. The State has set a maximum temporary disability payment at $1,010.50 (with injury date on or after 1/1/12) and $986.69 for injuries that happened in 2011.
Am I still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if my injury did not happen while I was actually working?
Yes. Even if you got hurt at brake, lunch time or at a company sponsored event, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
When can I start getting my temporary disability payments?
Within 14 days of when your employer learns that your injury is job related and your treating doctor believes that you cannot continue to perform your job duties in your current state.
Do I have to pay my workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Firm anything to represent me?
No. Our fees are usually only 15% of your final lump sum settlement or permanent disability award. In other words, if you do not get anything, neither do we.
Am I still owed workers’ compensation benefits if I was injured by another who does not work for my employer?
Yes, so long as you were on the job, break, lunch or at a work-related event when the accident happened. You would also likely have a third party claim of personal injury that would be filed against the person or item (product defect) that caused you to be injured.
Will I be paid back for any out of pocket expenses related to my workers’ compensation case?
Yes. You are entitled to be paid back for every mile you drive to and from your doctor appointments and depositions as well as for any monies paid for parking, medication and any other related costs.
Will I have to pay for any medical treatment to cure or relieve the effects of my work related injury?
No. Your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier is responsible to cover your work related medical treatment costs and if necessary, for the rest of your life.
Should I answer questions or give a statement to any representative of the adjuster or employer after I have already reported my injury?
It’s generally not a good idea as what you say can be used to hurt your case. Hire us as your attorney and we will force them to get any statement from you in a deposition where we will be there to protect you by blocking and/or clarifying any questions asked of you. If someone calls asking for a statement from you regarding your work injury, simply let them know that you will be ready to give one once you have hired your attorney and then end the call.
Can I still use my Facebook, Twitter and/or MySpace account during my workers’ compensation case?
It’s is highly recommended that you shut down your Facebook, Twitter and/or MySpace accounts while your workers’ compensation case is being litigated. Keeping those accounts online would allow the defense to take and use any information on there against you and your case.
Can my employer’s insurance company take surveillance video and pictures of me in order to try and disprove my injuries?
Yes, it is legal to do so and a very common practice.