Workers Compensation Lawyer in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is a city in west-central California, U.S., lying at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains and on the shores of Monterey Bay. Santa Cruz is a Spanish name meaning “Holy Cross.” It was named by Gaspar de Portola (1769), a Spanish explorer. The area remained under Mexican control until U.S. settlers arrived in the 1820s. In 1846, the region came under U.S. control, and the settlement was mainly classified as an agricultural, fishing, lime-processing, and lumbering center. The current primary industries in the region include manufacturing, tourism, high technology, and food processing. As an industrial region, a large population is employed by different industries. These employees require laws to protect themselves from manipulation, extortion, mistreatment, and other occupational legal issues. In Santa Cruz, California, all employers should offer workers’ comp reimbursements to their workers as ascribed under Labor Code Section 3700.
Employers in California are required to post a sign on the job site that details the company’s workers’ compensation coverage and where employees may get medical treatment for work-related injuries. Failure to publish this statement is a misdemeanor punishable by up to $7,000 in civil penalties. Employers must also distribute a workers’ compensation leaflet to newly recruited employees, which explains their rights and duties.
The California Labor Code penalizes employers that do not acquire workers’ comp insurance. Any employer not offering workers’ comp insurance may face a stop order from the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The order would necessitate a closure of the firm and stop of all operations until the management complies with the labor laws.
What Are My Rights Under California Workers’ Compensation Laws?
California’s workers’ compensation laws were adopted in the 1910s based on the no-fault system. California’s no-fault workers’ compensation system benefits both employees and employers. This law inhibited workers from suing their employers. The employees were not expected to prove in a court of law that their employers were at fault for any work-related injuries they suffered.
My rights under the workers’ compensation laws in California include several benefit entitlements, including:
• Temporary disability payments
• Life pension payments
• Permanent disability payments
• Medical treatment costs
• Vocational retraining costs
• Death benefits
What Mistakes Could Compromise My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
When you get hired, your employer focuses on the value you bring to their company by accomplishing tasks and solving problems. However, when you get hurt while dispensing your duties, many employees do not know they need to file a workers’ compensation claim. Please avoid the following mistakes since they could compromise your claim.
1. Failure to report injuries immediately.
Follow the instructions in your employee manual to report injuries. Ensure that all your leaders are aware, including supervisors, the human resource manager, and co-workers.
2. Failing to fill your compensation claim in time.
When you tell your employer about the injury, do not confuse that with filing a compensation claim. The claim form should be filed within 30 days of your injury and returned to the employer.
3. Allowing to go by your employer’s choice of physician.
In Santa Cruz, CA, the employer can choose a medical practitioner to diagnose and treat your injuries. However, it is essential to note that you do not need to continue visiting the same doctors after your initial assessment. You can select any other doctor from the preapproved doctors specializing in work-related injuries.
4. Failure to follow through with your treatment.
Avoid having your wage loss benefits suspended because of failure to attend all scheduled appointments with your doctor. If you get suspended, the benefits may take a long time to be reinstated, affecting your healing process.
5. Avoiding a second opinion.
Injured employees have a right to disagree with one doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan and seek a second or even third opinion. If you do not agree with these opinions, you can request an independent medical review (IMR).
6. Hesitating to consult a workers compensation lawyer in Santa Cruz.
Do not hesitate to find the best attorney and seek their professional services. The lawyer will get a share of the settlement but note that a good Santa Cruz workers compensation attorney may dramatically increase your benefits.
Can You Sue Your Employer While on Workers’ Compensation?
The workers’ compensation laws inhibit employees from suing their employers for work-related injuries. However, it is imperative to take note of exceptions where the court may allow a worker to sue their employer. The court will only allow this when there is tangible evidence of criminal wrongdoing or egregious negligence.
On some occasions, an employee may explore financial aid after an accident through the workers’ comp scheme and further seek approval of a secondary claim. The courts may approve this claim to send a message to employers who would otherwise practice a high degree of negligence.
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation in Santa Cruz, California?
Every employer in Santa Cruz, CA, is required to have workers’ comp insurance. For you to qualify for this insurance policy, you must:
• Be an employee
The classification of employees in California is comprehensive; it encompasses independent contractors, freelancers, consultants, professionals, and regular workers.
• The injury or illness you suffer must be work-related
Including back injuries while offloading shipments, carpal tunnel syndrome from typing, and chemical exposure.
• Operate under the specific worker rules
The rules are specific for undocumented workers, agricultural workers, domestic workers, leased employees, and casual laborers.
How Are Santa Cruz Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Paid?
You may consider hiring a workers compensation lawyer in Santa Cruz if you’ve experienced a work-related accident or sickness. An expert Santa Cruz workers compensation attorney can assist you in obtaining medical proof to support your claim, negotiating a fair settlement, and representing you in a workers’ compensation hearing or on appeal.
When the case is won, your Santa Cruz workers compensation attorney takes a percentage of the settlement, between 10 and 20%, depending on the complexity. However, there are other out-of-pocket costs in addition to the attorney’s fee.
• Filing fees
• Deposition fees
• Postage and copying costs
• Covering travel expenses of attorneys
• Paying for independent medical examinations
Law firms pay these amounts but document them for reimbursement once the settlement is released.
Is it Worth Getting a Santa Cruz CA Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
It is possible to represent yourself in the law courts during a workers’ compensation case. However, when any complexity arises, it is time to consult an experienced workers comp attorney. Examples of situations that could necessitate a Santa Cruz workers compensation attorney include:
• When your employer offers a settlement that does not cover your medical expenses or the lost wages.
• When your employer fails to pay your benefits in time or denies the claims.
• If your medical issues make it difficult to return to work or limit your productivity.
• If you suffer consequences from your immediate manager for filing a workers’ comp claim.
• When your injuries result from a third party’s actions or serious misconduct.
An experienced Santa Cruz workers compensation attorney will generally walk you through the process and point you to any existing or potential pitfalls as you begin the litigation journey. You should involve a Santa Cruz workers compensation attorney from the beginning and act as per their appraisal of whether you are in a position to handle the case on your own or not.
You are discouraged from representing yourself in a workers’ comp case, not unless you spend your free time researching workers’ comp guidelines and cases. One of the reasons not to represent yourself is that the insurance company will have an experienced attorney handling their case.
How Can a Santa Cruz Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help?
A workers comp attorney in Santa Cruz will enable you to develop medical evidence that proves your claim, represent you in hearings and negotiate a fair settlement. If you have been injured or sick at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation payments. Unfortunately, even when workers’ compensation claims are justified, employers and their insurance companies often refuse them, leaving wounded workers to navigate a complicated appeals process. Many applicants quit at this stage, while others try hard to figure out how to get around the system independently.
You’ll have a far higher chance of getting the payments you deserve if you hire a committed Santa Cruz workers compensation attorney. The Santa Cruz workers compensation attorney will speak with the workers’ compensation insurance on your behalf. Workers’ compensation claims are often refused due to a lack of medical proof. Even if your claim is granted, having suitable medical proof will increase your chances of receiving all of the medical care you require and the other benefits you are entitled to.
A workers comp attorney may assist in the development of medical evidence by:
• Gathering evidence from all medical records.
• Recommending trustworthy medical professionals for their opinion.
• Representing you during depositions and guiding your answers.
• Conducting depositions with medical professionals.
A Santa Cruz workers compensation attorney is familiar with insurance firms’ negotiation strategies, ranging from low-ball proposals to phony “final offers.” An experienced workers comp attorney is more likely to participate in highly productive negotiations. Your lawyer makes sure that your settlement agreement is correctly prepared so that you don’t end up with any legal problems later.
Can I Sue My Employer for Denying Workers’ Comp?
Regardless of why your claim was rejected, you have the opportunity of engaging a skilled Santa Cruz workers compensation lawyer in Santa Cruz to sue your employer. One of the aforementioned reasons for a claim to be challenged is if an employer distorts the facts to cast you negatively or sabotage the process. This is sometimes done at your expense to save dollars on premiums or expenditures.
You can also sue your employer for denying workers’ comp in the following circumstances:
• If the employer is not compliant with the law of workers’ comp.
• Negligent third-parties.
• Intentional misdemeanors, including battery, assault, or sexual offenses.
• Dangerous and reckless conduct.
• Failure of your employer to file the claim with the workers’ comp carrier.
Will Workers’ Comp Offer Me a Settlement?
You are accepting a trade-off when you embrace a settlement. You get money to assist with bills and avoid potential legal action from your company, but you miss out on long-term benefits. Evaluate your issue with a Santa Cruz workers compensation attorney if you’re unclear if to take a settlement offer. They can help you determine what form of settlement is appropriate for you and how much you should ask for in a settlement offer.
You may not qualify for a settlement offer even if you receive workers’ compensation payments. Several things influence this choice. Your employer may believe you’ll be back on the job soon or that you’ll be able to work. This might affect the decision whether you should get a workers’ compensation settlement offer.
You may wish to accept the settlement in the following circumstances:
• You’ve had enough of waiting for the workers’ compensation case to be resolved.
• When you’re concerned that your claim could be lost.
• If your doctor believes you will not be able to recuperate any further.
• You and your employer have had enough of one another and wish to split ways.
• When your healing has stalled.
• When you have to start afresh because of an injury.
• When your employer is being sued.
You could also prefer getting the money immediately rather than waiting weeks or months for it to arrive. On top of your rehabilitation, dealing with the insurance provider might be aggravating. If you accept a settlement offer, you won’t have to worry about the insurance company following you around or attempting to show you’re lying about your injuries, which may be intrusive and unsettling for some individuals.
Get a Free Consultation with a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Santa Cruz
When you experience a work-related injury, do not hesitate to reach the pacific attorney group and set up a free consultation. You will be received by attorneys who are highly experienced in the case, and they will listen to your plight and offer you a way forward. Workers compensation lawyer in Santa Cruz from the Pacific Attorney Group have recovered more than 100 million for their clients. This is a display of commitment and dedication to their job. The free consultation will begin a journey that will end with great success.