A workplace injury can strike at any given time, leading to physical, financial as well as emotional damages and trauma. The injury could be a result of an accident, exposure to toxic chemicals, because of a faulty machine, or even negligence of others and even oneself. Workers are often oblivious of how they can approach their employer for appropriate and timely compensation against their injury.
Ensuring compensation from the employer is not an easy undertaking in most cases because the procedures are loaded with legal and technical aspects, and employees often don’t have the required know-how to deal with the same. In such a situation, it’s advisable to approach a skilled and experienced professional — a workers compensation attorney.
In this article, we will cover the categories under which an injured worker is liable for compensation under California law and how a workers’ compensation attorney can guide you in the process.
How A Workers Compensation Attorney Can Help
Under the California worker’s compensation system, workplace injuries are covered for appropriate compensation. The system, which functions as an insurance program, mandates employers to pay the injured employee. The benefits that an employee may be entitled to include immediate medical treatment expenses, all future medical bills for injury follow-ups, and wages lost due to the injury — up to two-thirds of gross wages without tax. A workers compensation lawyer will review and evaluate your case to identify if your claim qualifies under this system and help you file the case timely and with proper legal procedures.
But first and foremost, a compensation attorney has to identify the category under which the injury compensation claim can be pursued in a court of law or any other relevant forum. Here are the categories of workers’ compensation benefits:
- When the disability is partial temporary in nature
Temporary Partial Disability benefits can be claimed by the aggrieved party when the injury puts reasonable conditions and restrictions on their working ability. The situations where these benefits may be applicable include instances where the injury allows them to perform the majority of their job functions except for a specific few, such as moving around with an injured leg or traveling for work when required. Benefits under this category are intended to fill up the difference between the current salary of the aggrieved party and the one they received before the injury occurred.
- When the disability is total temporary in nature
Total temporary disability benefits can be claimed by the aggrieved party when the injury holds them back from performing any work for a fixed period. This includes injuries such as broken bones, where the worker can’t work till they are completely healed. Other reasons might include medical restrictions such as major surgery and the time required for recovery thereafter, which can’t possibly be taken into account by the employer. Aggrieved parties who can claim their injury benefits under this category are awarded higher benefit amounts, although for relatively brief periods.
- When the disability is permanent in nature
Permanent disability is the most serious category of all as these benefits can only be claimed by the aggrieved party in the event of an injury that has rendered them unable to do their job permanently, or limited their capability permanently, therefore, these benefits can be for permanent total disability or permanent partial disability. If the injury suffered is devastating, such as amputation or paralysis, an employee will be entitled to permanent disability benefits. The employee’s inability to work permanently or up to the pre-injury capability calls for extended compensation.
A worker’s compensation attorney can help you approach your case in such a way that it gets you the maximum benefits that you deserve under the appropriate category out of the ones mentioned above. They help you navigate through the complex procedures of law and hold your hand metaphorically till the end of the proceedings. They will help you fill the forms and keep detailed information of your communication with your employer regarding your claim. They will also follow up and compile the records of your medical treatment and help you deal with the hospital.
If you have been contemplating how you can approach your injury claim from your employer, the answer is right in front of you. Hire a skilled worker’s compensation attorney and make a strong case for yourself.
To conclude, workplace injuries are traumatizing experiences and hurt not just physically but emotionally and financially as well. Getting appropriate compensation from the employer is an injured employee’s right, and a worker’s compensation attorney makes the process of making a claim easier and more efficient.