A lot of messages and phone calls our office receives come from confused and injured workers not completely certain how this process works, what they need to do and who to contact first in case they are injured at work. For that reason, this article will cover the basic, frequently asked questions a workplace injury lawyer in El Cajon often receives.
What do you mean by worker’s compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a State mandated insurance program that offers compensation to workers who were injured in their line of duty or suffer any consequences due to an occupational illness. It covers both full-time and part-time employees. These benefits are available to a worker regardless of whose fault the accident was, except in cases where workers were intoxicated or under the influence of any mind-altering substances. In most states, not carrying workplace compensation insurance is considered a felony.
How long before my claim is settled?
This question is case-specific and can be best answered by your attorney during your initial consultation. Various factors affect how long it takes to settle a claim, starting from the gravity of the injury, estimated recovery times, medical requirements and others. Usually, a case is never settled until the injured worker has gone through all the ensuing medical procedures. Sometimes, settlements might get delayed and in this case looking for appropriate legal representation is vital to its completion.
What should I do if I’m injured at work?
The first step you should take if you are injured at work is to notify your employer or your supervisor of the injury. If necessary, seek medical attention and fill in the Injury Report form.
What does workers’ compensation cover?
Workers’ compensation covers any medical bills and expenses necessitated to treat the injury suffered in the line of duty. Depending on how serious your injury is, workers’ compensation may also cover your rehabilitation and disability payments if you are unable to go back to work as a result of it.
What types of injury does workers’ comp cover?
Workers’ compensation covers most injuries you suffer during your work or as a result of it. However, injuries that violate one or more company policies and self-inflicted ones are not covered. If the employee was committing a criminal act or if the injury occurred under the effects of alcohol or drugs, the worker will probably not be entitled to workers’ comp. In case of stress related workplace injury cases, the best course of action is to contact an experienced workplace injury attorney.
Can I choose my own doctor?
Your employer will likely suggest the doctor and the medical institution who will provide your medical care, as workers’ compensation cases have to be treated by one of the insurance carrier’s approved network of medical providers (MPN). Furthermore, your medical care providers must be compliant with the rules set by the workers’ comp system. However, if you are dissatisfied with the chosen medical provider you can choose a different one, in which case you should contact your workplace injury attorney in El Cajon first.
What if I can’t go back to work?
Depending on how serious your injury is, your doctor may or may not suggest going back to work. Additionally, they might suggest going back to work but performing a lighter duty than you did previously. In this case, you might be eligible to receive Temporary total disability (TTD). If the injury is serious enough that you cannot perform your previous duty, you should receive vocational rehabilitation and be assigned to a new position. If due to your injury you cannot find a new position inside the company, you may be entitled to permanent disability compensation.