Workers' Compensation Claims
If you or a loved one has been hurt on the job, you have certain legal rights, including the right to pursue payments for medical care and temporary or permanent disability benefits from your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company. The Orange County workers’ compensation lawyers at Howard Law, P.C., are available to discuss your case with you at no charge, with an eye toward maximizing your chances at fair compensation. It is important that an injured person not “sit on” their rights because cases that are not filed within the applicable statute of limitations are likely to be dismissed. A workers’ compensation claim in which notice was not properly given may also result in a denial for the injured worker. Additionally, evidence may disappear or decay with time.Understanding Workers’ Compensation Claims Under California Law
To understand California’s workers’ compensation laws, it helps to know what would happen in the absence of such a system. Without such a program, a worker who is hurt on the job would only be able to recover damages from their employer, or a co-worker for whose actions the employer would be vicariously liable, if they could prove that the employer was negligent. The worker would have the burden of proving all four elements of negligence (duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages) by a preponderance of the evidence. If successful, the injured worker could receive monetary compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. The employee’s spouse might also receive payment for loss of consortium.
Proving negligence in a civil lawsuit may be a lengthy, complex, and expensive process, however. In cases that go to trial, years may pass between an accident and a final order on a jury’s verdict. An appeal may further lengthen the time before the injured person receives payment, and whether any payment is ever received is largely dependent upon whether the defendant has adequate liability insurance or other assets to satisfy the verdict or settlement. Additionally, the amount that a plaintiff receives may be reduced if the defendant is able to prove that the plaintiff also was negligent in causing the accident. Under California’s pure comparative fault doctrine, the plaintiff may only recover damages that are attributable to the defendant’s negligence, rather than their own.
The good thing about workers’ compensation is that it is more straightforward. While some claims do get denied, injured employees whose workers’ compensation claims are deemed to be compensable may pursue medical care, disability payments, and vocational retraining without the need for protracted litigation. However, there are various points of contention in many workers’ compensation cases, and it is wise for a worker to be represented by counsel when interacting with the employer’s claims representative or the workers’ compensation judge who has the authority to determine the worker’s actual disability rating, which may greatly affect the amount of compensation ultimately received by the worker.Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Orange County
The aggressive job injury lawyers at Howard Law, P.C., can help you document and build your workers’ compensation claim to assert your right to every dollar to which you may be entitled. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (800) 872-5925 or contact us online. Our experienced Orange County workers’ compensation attorneys serve people 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.