San Luis Obispo Office
Questions And Answers About Workers’ Compensation
Work injury benefits are a confusing and complicated system that requires knowledge and action on the part of the injured worker, which is not fair. However, armed with some simple knowledge and legal assistance from the Santa Clara County Law Offices of Bo Katzakian, you can make the right decisions for you and your family.
For information on how we can help you in your workers’ comp case, call 888-724-4138 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Q: How much does it cost to get an attorney to help me with my work injury claim?
Our fee is ALWAYS contingent upon the settlement value, so you pay NOTHING out of pocket, EVER. But the service we offer is well worth the 12-15% fee; we will guide you through the entire process and make sure the insurance companies do not take advantage of you. Do not hesitate to give us a call to discuss your issues.
Q: When is the right time to call an attorney?
The sooner you can get a good local attorney helping you to navigate your workers’ comp claim, the better off you will be. The longer you wait, the more the insurance company will be able to manipulate you into making choices, which will impact your ability to receive treatment, as well as a fair settlement of your case. Don’t wait until problems develop in the case. Don’t let the insurance choose your QME or treater. Most of all, don’t be afraid to get the assistance of a good attorney to help you with your claim.
Q: Can you help me get workers’ comp insurance coverage for myself or for my business?
We dedicate our practice to helping injured workers only. To get help with insurance questions, you should start by looking at this website from the department of industrial relations at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/Employer.htm
Q: What should I do after suffering a work injury?
First, notify your employer. You will have to provide the date and time the injury happened, the type of injury and details on how it happened. You must also fill out a formal workers’ comp claim. Your employer must give (or mail) you the form within a day of being notified. The company will file your claim with their insurance company.
Get medical treatment as soon as possible. Your doctor can provide medical evidence of your injuries and detail your work limitations.
Hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney. They can help you deal with the insurance company and ensure your rights are upheld. They can also help you estimate the value of your claim.
Q: Can I continue to work if I file a workers’ compensation claim?
Yes, and what’s more, the fact that you are working does not affect your right to pursue workers’ comp remedies such as permanent disability or further medical treatment. Many injured workers return to the same job, even though they have permanent disability to which they are entitled.
Q: Will I have to prove my injuries happened at work?
In most cases, the cause of a work-related injury is obvious. However, you might have been inhaling damaging fumes or making repetitive motions. The damage from those actions might not show up for months or years. It might be obvious to you that your injuries are work-related, but you still might be required to prove they happened on the job.
Q: Do I have to return to work if I am still hurt?
You do not have to return to work until you get a doctor’s approval. However, you must return to work if the doctor says you can work with limitations and your employer complies with those restrictions. If you are still in pain, talk to your doctor.
Q: Does my employer have to continue my health benefits?
Your employer is required to pay for medical care related to your injury. They are not legally required to continue paying your health benefits. The Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees your coverage for 12 weeks. If you are a union member, you might have additional coverage. Your company must offer you COBRA insurance coverage.
Q: What can I do if my employer retaliates against me?
You are protected by California laws. Many employers discourage their workers from filing claims. If you believe your employer is retaliating against you, contact our workers’ comp attorneys.
Q: Do I have a possible personal injury claim from my work injury?
Generally, you do not have a personal injury claim if you were hurt on the job. Workers’ compensation is an “exclusive remedy,” meaning you can recover benefits from the California workers’ comp system, but not from your employer. However, in many situations, a work injury may occur because of a third party. For example, if you are driving a truck with construction equipment to a job site and are injured in an accident, you may have a personal injury claim against the driver of the other vehicle.
Q: What if my claim is denied?
If your claim is denied, you have to show that the injury was sustained at your workplace and happened because you were doing your job. The insurance company can say you were an independent contractor, that your injury was not caused by your job or that you already had the injury. If you want to appeal the insurance company’s denial, you can file an Application for Adjudication of Claim with the local Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board within one year of the denial by the insurance company.
Q: Should I retain an attorney?
Just as in virtually any other matter, you always have the option of representing yourself. However, the only positive you will get out of it is avoiding attorney’s fees, and you will lose the lawyer’s experience and expertise in negotiating and litigating against insurance companies. There have been recent changes made to the workers’ compensation system that are bad for injured employees and make getting your claim resolved that much more difficult. There are precise deadlines, procedural rules and bureaucracy that are all pitfalls for self-represented workers.
Attorney Bo Katzakian can guide you through the process of getting the appropriate documentation, completing the necessary paperwork and meeting the important deadlines. He can help decipher the complexities of temporary disability payments and fight for your right to continued compensation if you have been permanently disabled.
Contact A California Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
For more information on how the Law Offices of Bo Katzakian can assist you in getting benefits for your work injury, call 888-724-4138 or contact us online for a free initial consultation. We will fight for the compensation you deserve.