Los Angeles Workers Compensation Attorney
A workplace injury can be painful, emotionally draining, and confusing. If you or a loved one suffers a work injury, it’s essential to understand your rights and take the necessary steps to protect yourself. Your first step should be to speak to a Los Angeles workers compensation attorney. Workers’ compensation benefits or worker’s comp exist to help those suffering from a work injury heal, recover, and have a better quality of life.
The process is complex and could be lengthy, so having a workers comp lawyer represent you is vital. One mistake could result in your claim or medical treatment being denied. If you or a family member suffers a work injury you need the representation of an experienced Los Angeles work injury lawyer. You need one of the attorneys at Pacific Attorney Group PLC working for you. Our attorneys have years of collective practice and are ready to work for you.
How Common Are Workplace Accidents in Los Angeles?
Workplace injuries can occur in any occupation and are more common than most people realize. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.8 million nonfatal workplace illnesses or accidents occurred in Los Angeles in 2017. Approximately 900,000 resulted in workers having to take days off. The most common workplace injuries were:
- Bodily stress injuries from carrying, lifting, pulling, and pushing
- Explosions and fires
- Getting stuck or caught by moving machinery
- Slips and falls
- Vehicle accidents for workplace equipment operators and on the road
Workplace injuries may occur due to any of these circumstances:
- Improper safety protocols
- Insufficient employee training
- Machinery that’s not properly maintained
- Slippery floors
- Improper or not enough supervision
Among the injuries that may occur as a result of negligence are :
- Brain injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Inhaling toxic substance fumes
- Joint replacements
- Respiratory problems
- Spinal injuries
Workplace injuries can result in time off and loss of income. Workers that suffer serious injuries may need extended time off from their jobs, lengthy hospitalizations, and ongoing medical care. Many workers need long-term physical and/or occupational therapy following a serious accident. When a worker is the primary income provider financial support for families is a necessity. Without the necessary financial assistance, many families face serious financial hardships.
Most Common Causes of Workplace Injuries in Los Angeles, California
There are several common causes of work-related injuries. These can vary depending on the industry and type of work being performed. Here are some of the most frequently observed causes:
- Slips, Trips, and Falls: These are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries. They can occur due to wet or slippery floors, uneven surfaces, cluttered work areas, or inadequate lighting.
- Overexertion: Overexertion injuries often result from lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying heavy objects. Improper lifting techniques, repetitive motions, and working in awkward positions can lead to muscle strains, sprains, and back injuries.
- Falling Objects: In industries where objects are stored at height or overhead, falling objects pose a significant risk. This can happen in construction sites, warehouses, or manufacturing facilities where tools, equipment, or materials are stored above ground.
- Machinery Accidents: Operating heavy machinery, such as forklifts, cranes, or manufacturing equipment, can be dangerous if not done properly. Lack of training, inadequate maintenance, or equipment malfunctions can lead to serious injuries.
- Vehicle Accidents: Workers who drive as part of their job, such as truck drivers or delivery personnel, face the risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents. Collisions, rollovers, or being struck by a moving vehicle while on foot are all potential hazards.
- Struck by Objects: Workers may be struck by objects moving at high speed or falling from height. This can occur in construction sites, manufacturing plants, or during transportation and loading/unloading activities.
- Electrical Accidents: Electricians, maintenance personnel, or workers in construction and engineering face the risk of electric shocks, burns, or electrocution when working with electricity or near live electrical systems.
- Workplace Violence: Incidents of workplace violence can lead to physical injuries. This can include assaults by coworkers, customers, or intruders in sectors such as healthcare, hospitality, or security.
- Ergonomic Hazards: Poor ergonomics can result in musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) caused by repetitive motions, awkward postures, or improper workstation setup. Prolonged computer use, assembly line work, or heavy lifting without proper ergonomics can contribute to MSDs.
- Hazardous Materials: Workers exposed to hazardous substances or chemicals may suffer from chemical burns, respiratory problems, poisoning, or long-term health issues. This includes industries such as manufacturing, laboratories, construction, and agriculture.
It’s important for employers and workers to prioritize safety measures, provide proper training, and adhere to occupational health and safety guidelines to mitigate these risks and prevent work-related injuries.
Can I Sue My Employer for Workplace Injury
In California, employees are generally barred from suing their employers for work-related injuries. This is because California has a workers’ compensation system that is designed to provide benefits to injured workers, regardless of who is at fault. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Employees can sue their employers if the injury was caused by:
- Willful misconduct by the employer. This means that the employer acted intentionally or with reckless disregard for the safety of the employee.
- Fraudulent concealment by the employer. This means that the employer knew about a dangerous condition in the workplace and deliberately kept it from the employee.
- A defective product that was manufactured by the employer and that caused the injury.
- An injury that is not covered by workers’ compensation. This could include an injury that occurred while the employee was working offsite or that was caused by a third party.
If you have been injured at work, you should speak to a Los Angeles work injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. An attorney can help you determine if you have a case against your employer and can represent you in court if you decide to sue.
Third-Party Workers’ Compensation Claims in Los Angeles, California
In addition to potential workers’ compensation benefits, there may be other parties who could be held responsible for your work-related injuries in California. These parties are known as “third parties” and may include:
- Negligent Third Parties: If someone other than your employer or a co-worker was negligent and their negligence contributed to your work-related injury, you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against that third party. For example, if you were injured in a car accident while driving for work and the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, you could potentially sue that driver for damages.
- Product Manufacturers: If a defective product caused your injury while you were working, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor of that product. This can apply to defective machinery, tools, equipment, or other products used in the workplace.
- Property Owners or Contractors: If your injury occurred on someone else’s property or at a construction site, and the property owner or contractor failed to maintain a safe environment or provide proper safety measures, you may have a premises liability claim against them.
- Subcontractors or Independent Contractors: In some cases, if you were injured by the actions or negligence of a subcontractor or an independent contractor working alongside you, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against them.
It’s important to note that pursuing a personal injury claim against a third party is separate from filing a workers’ compensation claim, and the processes and legal requirements can be different. Consulting with a Los Angeles work injury lawyer who specializes in workplace accidents in California can help you determine if there are other parties who may be liable for your injuries and guide you through the legal process.
Do I Qualify For Workers’ Compensation Benefits Under California Law?
A resident of California qualifies for worker’s compensation benefits if the injury or illness suffered occurred while doing your job and due to your job. It’s advisable to inform your employer as soon as possible after an injury or illness that occurs at work. A worker’s comp claim should be filled in by the employer and employee within 30 days of the occurrence. You should contact a workers comp lawyer as soon as possible to handle the case for you.
Under the California worker’s compensation system there are five types of benefits:
- Benefits of medical care
- Temporary disability benefits
- Permanent disability benefits
- Supplemental job displacement benefits
- Death benefits
Benefits Of Medical Care under Workers’ Compensation in Los Angeles, California
Under California law, workers are entitled to medical treatment for injuries or illnesses received on the job. Medical care may include hospitalization, physician visits, diagnostic and other lab procedures, medical equipment, prescription medications, and travel expenses for medical appointments.
1. Temporary Disability Benefits
California workers are entitled to cash benefits to compensate them for wages lost while they’re sick or injured and not able to work. The stipulation is that the illness or injury must be work-related. Temporary disability is only paid when a worker is healing from an accident. Temporary total disability benefits may be paid as long as the person is unable to work. The amount disbursed spends on the worker’s average weekly wages.
2. Permanent Disability Benefits
If the illness or injury causes permanent disability the worker may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. The benefits apply if one suffers from a mental or physical condition that’s permanent, impacts his or her ability to be employed, or has an impact on normal function. Depending on the part of the body that’s affected and the extent of the physical or mental disability, a lump sum payment may be authorized.
3. Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
When a worker is unable to return to his or her previous position, permanent disability benefits may be awarded. He or she may be entitled to receive a voucher to pay for retaining their current skills or to enhance their skills to allow them to enter a new field. The amount may vary depending on the worker’s condition. The maximum amount allowed under California law is currently $6,000.
4. Death Benefits
If the on-the-job illness or accident results in a worker’s death the family may be entitled to death benefits. the amount the family is entitled to may include payment for the lost earnings of the family member and money to cover burial expenses.
Different factors can have an effect on the number of weekly benefits or lump sum payments that may be awarded due to a work injury. The laws are specific about liability payment. It’s advisable to contact a Los Angeles workers compensation attorney who will advise you of your rights and the benefits that are allowed under California law. A workers comp lawyer will represent you if your work injury claim is disputed by an employer or denied by the claims administrator.
How Pacific Attorney Group Can Help After You’re Injured at Work in Los Angeles
In addition to the pain, employees that suffer a work injury in Los Angeles often deal with tremendous stress. Some employers make it difficult for employees to receive compensation for an injury by failing to submit documentation within the time frame or by not corroborating the claims of the employee. Some workers encounter problems with excessive documentation proving their claim, denying the claim, or deliberately delaying payments when the claim is approved. Under these circumstances, a Los Angeles workers’ compensation will work diligently to protect your rights.
No one can take advantage of you when you have a worker’s comp lawyer working for you. Your lawyer will fight for your rights. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company for the compensation you should receive based on your injury. If negotiations with the insurance company don’t achieve the results you want, your lawyer will take the case to court. Hiring a workers comp lawyer is the best way to be awarded the compensation you deserve. Our Los Angeles work injury lawyer at Pacific Attorney Group have decades of experience handling worker’s compensation claims. We have the expertise to secure the compensation you’re entitled to under California law.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Workers’ Compensation in California
1. How Much Is My Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
Each worker’s comp case is different. For temporary benefits, the amount is calculated by two-thirds of the weekly wage before the injury. the minimum and maximum amounts are recalculated each year. Permanent disability benefits are calculated as percentages based on the worker’s age, impairment level, and occupation. A Los Angeles workers compensation attorney is best qualified to guide you through the process of applying for worker’s compensation benefits.
2. What Benefits Can I Get From Workers’ Compensation In California?
California law requires employers to carry basic worker’s compensation insurance to cover medical care including any hospitalization, doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, lab, and other diagnostic tests, and travel expenses for medical visits. Depending on the case employees may receive temporary or permanent disability benefits and supplemental benefits. In the event of death, the family may receive death benefits to cover medical and funeral expenses.
3. What Are My Rights Under Los Angeles CA Workers’ Compensation Laws?
Los Angeles has the same worker’s comp laws as all locations in California. Worker’s compensation is the exclusive remedy to receive compensation for medical expenses or lost wages due to a workplace injury. A Los Angeles workers compensation attorney can represent you so you receive the settlement to which you’re entitled.
4. Can I Sue My Employer If They Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
In California employers and employees are protected by worker’s compensation laws. Employer liability insurance policies will usually cover legal expenses if a worker blames their employer for a work-related injury or illness. Under California law employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. If an employee is injured on the job and the employer doesn’t have worker’s compensation insurance the penalty could amount to $10,000 per employee at the time the injury occurred.
5. Can I Sue a Third Party for Additional Money?
Under the California labor code, employers and employees may file a claim of right of action. An employee or family may file for damages that result in the injury or death of an employee caused by a party other than the employer. Worker’s compensation is a no-fault system that allows a worker to collect benefits as long as the injury or illness occurs on the job. A third-party lawsuit may be filed against a party other than the employer. If an injury or illness occurs when a person is at work and the negligence is caused by a third party, you could have a case against the person or persons. A workers comp lawyer can advise you of your rights.
6. Can I Sue My Employer for Denying My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A Los Angeles workers compensation attorney is the most qualified person to handle your worker’s comp case if your claim is denied. If a worker receives a letter from the claims administrator stating the claim is denied, there are several steps to take. The necessary paperwork that’s filed must be in by a specific deadline. some workers may choose to represent themselves. However, it’s best to have legal representation.
7. Can I Still Recover Compensation If I’m Being Blamed For an Accident at Work?
California has a no-fault worker’s compensation system. An employer can’t terminate an employee for requesting worker’s compensation benefits. The employee must only prove that the injury or illness occurred at work.
8. What Are Common Workplace Injuries?
Workplace injuries affect workers in every occupation. The most common injuries that occur on the job are auto-related accidents, injuries while working on construction sites, injuries that result from falling objects, and slip-and-fall accidents.
9. How Much Time Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in California?
According to California state law, all employees must file a form with the California State Board of Worker’s Compensation within one year. California workers must report their work-related injury to their employer within 30 days of the accident. Failure to report the incident within the allowed time frame could result in being denied worker’s compensation benefits.
10. What Mistakes Could Compromise My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
1. Failure to act immediately following an accident could compromise a worker’s comp claim. You should document all the details including what you were doing before the injury, how the injury occurred, and what you did immediately following the incident.
2. Report all your symptoms to your doctor including symptoms that change or get worse. You should never embellish your injury or symptoms.
3. Never falsify symptoms or injuries. Doctors will perform an array of diagnostic tests to determine if your claims are legitimate.
4. Never discontinue the treatment plan required by your doctor. You may feel better but symptoms could return or intensify. If you don’t follow your doctor’s instructions the insurance company may assume your injury isn’t as severe as you reported.
5. Insurance companies use the services of private investigators to ensure an employee isn’t engaged in activities beyond their doctor’s restrictions. If you lift a heavy object against the doctor’s instructions, your claim could be denied.
11. What Should I Do After I Get Hurt On the Job in Los Angeles?
The first thing to do is to report your injury to your employer. If your injury is serious seek immediate medical care. Fill out the worker’s compensation claim form for your employer. You should never attempt to handle your worker’s comp claim yourself. The attorney at Pacific Attorney Group has wide experience in handling worker’s comp cases.
12. How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Los Angeles?
Your worker’s comp lawyer won’t charge you for handling your claim. The attorney fee is paid out of a portion of the benefits you receive when your claim is settled.
Contact Our Los Angeles Workers Compensation Lawyers For a Free Consultation. Call Pacific Attorney Group at 800-358-9617 or submit your case online for a free consultation.
We Handle All Workers’ Compensation Claims
Pacific Attorney Group handles all worker’s compensation cases in Los Angeles. If you’re been in a work-related accident you’re entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits, as long as the injury or illness occurred at work. The attorneys at Pacific Attorney Group can assist you with filing your claim with all the necessary information. We’ll file your claim before the deadline. We can handle all communication and negotiations between claims administrators, employers, and any third parties that are involved. With a worker’s comp attorney working for you a lot of the stress related to your circumstances is alleviated. We can help you to receive the highest settlement based on your case.