If you are injured on the job, you may need medical care, reimbursement for lost wages, and compensation for other losses. As long as you are eligible for workers’ comp, you can obtain monetary compensation regardless of who was liable for your injury. But if you file for workers’ comp, you can’t file an injury lawsuit against your employer.
An experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you determine your eligibility and advise you how to move forward with your case. Call Dewberry Law today to learn more about how to get workers’ comp in California.
Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Comp?
Most regular employees are covered by workers’ comp. But there are exceptions where certain employers do not have to cover workers with this type of insurance. In general, the state manages the workers’ comp system; however, your employer will also have input into whether you receive benefits and if you are eligible.
You may be eligible for workers’ comp if:
- You are an employee;
- Your employer has workers’ comp insurance;
- You sustained a work-related injury or illness; and
- You meet all necessary deadlines for filing a claim.
Are You an Employee?
What makes a person an employee vs. an independent contractor? There are various categories of employees, including seasonal, farm, and domestic. A workers’ comp attorney can help you determine if you are considered an employee under workers’ compensation law.
Some employers avoid paying workers’ comp insurance premiums by hiring people that they call “independent contractors.” However, if you work as an employee and have all of the characteristics of an employee, then you may be considered an employee regardless of what your employer calls you.
Does Your Employer Have Workers’ Comp Insurance?
You must assess whether your employer has workers’ comp insurance. Some employers have insurance through the state and others use private insurance companies. Most employers are required to carry workers’ comp insurance that covers their employees.
You may have to talk to your human relations department. They should be able to tell you whether or not your employer has insurance. However, if that is not an option, you can call your state workers’ compensation department and ask if your employer is covered.
If your employer does not have workers’ comp insurance, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. If you were injured or became ill in a work-related situation, then your employer may be responsible. A separate lawsuit can be costly and time-consuming, but it can help you obtain necessary benefits.
Did You Sustain a Work-Related Injury or Illness?
Oftentimes, the most difficult question is whether or not your injury or illness occurred due to a work-related situation. Your employer or workers’ comp insurance company may dispute that you were injured on the job. You may have to speak with an attorney to appeal a denied claim.
It is often clear when a person is injured on the job in a sudden accident. For example, if you injure yourself while lifting a box and immediately report it, then the situation may be understandable. However, if you work at a computer typing for years and develop carpal tunnel syndrome over time, then the situation may not be as clear.
The longer you wait to report an injury or illness, the more likely your claim is to be denied. If you immediately report an injury to your HR department, then they are not likely to fight you on the claim. However, if you have suffered injury and wait months to report it, then the cause may not be as obvious.
You Must Meet Filing Deadlines
The sooner you make a claim, the better. Every state has filing deadlines that you must meet in order to obtain benefits. You only have a certain amount of time from the date that you sustain injury, become ill, or discover your illness or injury to file a claim. Appeals of denied claims also have filing deadlines. If you miss that deadline, then you may not be able to obtain workers’ comp benefits.
Learn More About How to Get Workers’ Comp in Pasadena CA
It’s important to understand how to get workers’ comp so that you can recover from your injuries. You may be unsure about your eligibility and what benefits you can get. Don’t try to find answers on your own. Call Dewberry Law today to speak to a Pasadena CA workers’ comp attorney.