If you have suffered a back injury at work, you know just how painful and debilitating such an accident may be. You may be off work, at least temporarily. If you are able to return to work in the future, you may have limitations that prevent you from performing the same duties as before the accident. You should know that you have certain legal rights under California’s workers’ compensation laws, including the right to hire an attorney to represent you in your claim. The knowledgeable Orange County workers’ compensation attorneys at Howard Law, P.C., will be glad to explain the legal process of seeking benefits after a job-related back injury. We are here to help, and we firmly believe that people who are injured deserve fair financial compensation for what they have been through.
One of the biggest concerns of a worker who has suffered a back injury at work is getting appropriate medical care. Under California law, an employer is liable for an employee’s medical care if they are hurt on the job, even if they do not miss time from work. If an employee predesignated their personal physician, osteopath, or medical group in writing prior to the work injury, they may be able to seek treatment from that doctor. If not, the employee will need to ask the employer’s workers’ compensation claims administrator to authorize medical treatment with an appropriate medical provider. This care may include chiropractic visits, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, if it is reasonable and necessary.Bringing a Claim Based on Back Injuries
Once an injured worker reaches a point at which their medical condition is considered permanent and stationary, their treating physician should send a report to the claims administrator, detailing the worker’s medical problems, work restrictions, future medical care needs, and the extent of the disability caused by the work injury. The claims administrator will then use the report to determine the employee’s permanent disability rating, along with other factors, including any non-work-related events or illnesses that may have contributed to the employee’s condition.
A worker who disagrees with a disability rating assigned by a claims administrator has a legal right to challenge the rating and let a workers’ compensation judge decide the correct rating. It is important that an injured worker receive the maximum disability rating to which they are entitled because this rating is one of the most important factors that is taken into consideration in determining the amount of permanent disability benefits paid to the employee after they reach maximum medical improvement. Other factors include the date of the injury, the wages that the employee earned prior to being hurt or becoming ill, and whether the employee is able to return to work after the injury.Contact a Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Orange County
Many back injuries result in more subjective complaints than objective medical findings. Typically, employers and their workers’ compensation insurance carriers attempt to minimize payouts in cases in which the only evidence of permanent impairment is the employee’s own testimony. If you need to talk to a job injury attorney who can aggressively fight for your right to compensation, the diligent Orange County workers’ compensation lawyers at Howard Law, P.C., can help you build a case. For a free case evaluation, call us at (800) 872-5925 or contact us online. We represent injured workers throughout Southern California, including in Anaheim, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Long Beach, Pomona, and Riverside, as well as other cities in Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties.