Guide on Workers Compensation in Modesto
Workers’ compensation is a system designed to provide financial support when a person in California is injured on their job or becomes ill. The main objective of this program is to provide cover for all medical bills, expenses incurred by injured employees, and the loss of income due to the said injury. The eventual goal is to help all injured workers return to work and earn their income. That’s why it’s important to contact a Modesto Workers Compensation Attorney for free legal advice.
Many people confuse workers’ compensation for personal injury cases. There is, however, a significant difference. In personal injury cases, the injured party usually includes damages for the pain and suffering or severe damages, while in workers’ compensation, they don’t.
How Do I Know if I Have a Workers’ Compensation Case?
If you’re injured or become ill on your job, you are covered by workers’ compensation. Some people mistakenly think they don’t qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. It’s essential to understand when you have a workers’ compensation case.
A simple example of a situation where a worker can claim workers’ compensation is when a mason gets physically hurt in a construction site. These kinds of physical damages are common with the worker’s compensation program. But all kinds of workers, even in offices, experience injuries at work. It’s not always the heavy labor workers who can claim workers’ compensation. For example, if you’re at your auditing firm and you trip and fall on accounts of reckless wiring of an electronic, say a printer, and you end up hurting yourself, you can mount a workers’ compensation claim.
The most ill-advised idea you can have is to pretend that it never happened. You should record the incident right away and follow up on the case. You can also hire an attorney to help you with it.
Remember to report any work-related injuries or illnesses on time. It can help avoid delays in receiving your benefits. In addition, you should know that you stand a chance to lose your right to benefits if you fail to report your injury or illness within the first thirty days after the injury has happened.
What Types of Injuries Are Included in Workers’ Compensation in Modesto California?
Injuries covered under California Workers’ Compensation Act include many different types of injuries. They include cuts, sprains, and broken bones. These injuries can be categorized into two:
Specific Trauma Injuries
These kinds of injuries are the most common ones. They are described as injuries that occur abruptly.
- They can include the following:
- A broken leg from an employee who tripped and fell over loosely hanging cables.
- A sprained back that resulted from heavy weight lifting.
- An employee tripped over a poorly placed pallet, and they hit the back of their head on a box.
- A worker with an injured arm due to twisting in a machine.
These injuries are considered work-related because they occur when the employee is at work.
Cumulative Trauma Injuries
Cumulative trauma injuries occur due to repeated exposure, unlike specific trauma injuries.
Below are perfect examples of cumulative trauma injuries.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome due to excessive pressure on the hands while at work.
- Chronic illnesses such as arthritis result from continuous heavy weight lifting at work.
- Frequent exposure to chemicals leads to illness.
- Chronic skin diseases result from constant exposure to radioactive rays while at work.
Steps to Take After You Are Injured at Work
If you are injured at work, no matter how severe or minor the injury is, you must follow these steps.
Report the Injury to the Employer Immediately
Suppose you experience an injury while on duty in California. It’s your responsibility to report it to your employer within thirty days of the injury. Your employer is required by law to keep a record of an occupational injury, and your efforts in reporting it will help ensure that the record is kept accurately.
Get Necessary Medical Treatment in Modesto CA
You also have the right to seek medical care and treatment if you are injured on the job. Immediately taking care of your injury is essential. You can’t claim your worker’s compensation benefits if you are gone.
Cooperate With Your Employer
Your employer may investigate the cause of your work-related injury. If they think you contributed to your injuries, that may threaten your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits. It is essential to cooperate with your employer during such an investigation.
Keep Good Records
You can’t file a workers’ compensation claim without keeping good records of your injuries, treatment, and expenses. The longer you wait to gather your evidence, the less likely you’ll be able to obtain the total amount of benefits due you to your injuries.
One great tip: If you get injured at work, your employer may push you to sign a waiver or release. Please don’t do it!
Types of Benefits Are There for Workers Compensation Cases in Modesto California
There are several different kinds of benefits from workers’ compensation in California. These benefits can include court-ordered medical care, temporary disability payments, permanent disability payments, death benefits, or a lump sum award.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Temporary disability benefits are usually paid when the employee is injured or sick until they are well enough to return to work. The state of California requires employers to pay for this medical treatment.
Workers with temporary disabilities can still do other jobs, but they need workplace modifications to accommodate any injuries because of their job. These modifications can include such things as:
1. Seating changes
2. Exercising in a different location
3. Use of specialized machines
You are entitled to modifications from the state of California for your workplace within the area for three months after your injury has happened or until the doctor says that you are well enough to return to work, whichever is longer.
Payment of Medical Bills and Costs
The employer must pay for medical treatment and services required for an employee’s work-related injury or illness. The only exception is if there is a reason to believe that the employee’s sickness or disability is due to something else. The employer must also pay any costs of following up on workers’ compensation claims, such as special reports and expert opinions needed by the state controller’s office.
Medical bills are essential expenses in a workers’ compensation case. These expenses can include x-rays, physical therapy, medications, and more.
Permanent Disability Payments
Permanent disability payments last until the injured worker passes on. However, these payments can change in the future if you return to work. In that case, you will no longer be entitled to receive monthly disability benefits checks.
These payments are usually given to workers whose injuries or illnesses have left them with total disability, making them unable to work. However, only an approved doctor can certify if you have a permanent disability.
Death benefits are paid to dependents of workers who die of job-related injuries or illnesses. Each state has a different set of laws for determining the monthly amount of death benefits.
The dependents may include close family members such as the spouse, children, or other people who directly depended on the deceased for a living.
Death benefits also include burial expenses.
Lump-Sum Workers’ Compensation Awards
Under certain conditions, the injured may end up getting a lump sum instead of scheduled temporary disability payments if they stay out of work for some time.
Benefits of Filing for Workers’ Compensation in Modesto CA
If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, it is not as straightforward as it appears to be.
There are benefits and rules involved in filing for workers’ compensation. Benefits of filing for workers’ compensation include:
- It gives you a chance to negotiate a better and fair settlement for your injury.
- Your medical expenses from when you were injured until you recovered from your injury are completely settled.
- You get paid for time lost from work.
- It ensures that you don’t lose your job.
- It provides a means of living for the dependents if the injured worker loses his life..
It is essential to know that your pain or injury may not automatically result in a worker’s compensation. You will only receive benefits after filing a claim with your workplace in California.
In California, the workers’ compensation system is complex. Every case is unique, and the facts of each case determine whether it is appropriate to file a claim for workers’ compensation.
Although filing for workers’ compensation can benefit some injured people, it can also be detrimental if not appropriately handled by a Modesto workers compensation attorney.
An attorney can help you determine whether filing is the best course of action, as well as help you through the workers’ compensation claim process.