Workers’ Compensation: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
After a serious injury or illness, the last thing you want to do is navigate a complex legal system. At the Law Offices of Anthony Choe, we get that. Below are answers to frequently asked questions to help you understand the workers’ compensation system, process and benefits.
Call our Los Angeles office at 213-986-8498 with any additional questions. You can also contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. We will make sure that all your questions are answered and that you have the information you need during this stressful time.
What benefits can I gain from my workers’ compensation claim?
Workers’ compensation benefits cover the following:
- Medical costs
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Vocational training if you cannot return to your previous role
- Partial wage replacement
- Funeral costs in the event of a worker’s death
If I was partially at fault for my workplace injury, can I still file for workers’ compensation benefits?
Yes, workers’ compensation benefits are available regardless of fault. However, you are not eligible for benefits if you were intoxicated at the time of your injury or if you intentionally harmed yourself.
How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim in California?
You have one year from the date of your injury or onset of your illness to file a workers’ compensation claim. We recommend filing your claim as soon as possible so necessary evidence is still available. Waiting to file your claim can make your case much more difficult to prove.
Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
No. Your employer cannot fire you or otherwise retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If they do, we can help you file an employment law claim against your employer.
What should I do if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?
It is not unusual for an initial workers’ compensation claim to be denied. You can appeal your denied claim with the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Initially, your claim was only assessed and denied by the insurance company. With an appeal, a workers’ compensation judge will evaluate your situation and determine whether you are eligible for benefits.
Can workers’ compensation benefits cover a preexisting injury?
If a work-related activity aggravated a preexisting injury or illness, you can claim workers’ compensation benefits. California treats the aggravation as a new injury.
These types of claims can be trickier to prove and may require medical evaluation in addition to legal help from a skilled workers’ compensation attorney.
Will workers’ compensation benefits cover my entire paycheck?
In California, workers’ compensation benefits cover up to two-thirds of your pre-tax paycheck. The state also caps the maximum amount that you can collect. The limit is adjusted each year for inflation. You cannot go above the maximum set cap, regardless of your standard paycheck amount.
Can I sue my employer in addition to filing for workers’ compensation benefits?
No. If you accept workers’ compensation benefits, you lose your ability to file a lawsuit against your employer. We can evaluate your situation and advise which route you should take.
How much does it cost to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer?
Workers’ compensation cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis. You do not owe any attorney fees unless we successfully gain benefits on your behalf. At that time, 15% of your awarded benefits would be taken out and paid to your attorney.