WHAT TO EXPECT
San Francisco Bay Area Law Firm Guiding Injured Workers Through the Workers' Comp System
If you have suffered an work-related injury, the process of determining what benefits you are entitled to can be difficult, especially since you might not even be receiving money from the insurance company (or small amounts). Our San Francisco Bay Area law firm helps guide injured workers through the California Workers' Comp System. As you begin this challenging process, there are a few things you need to know:
- Your work-related injury must be reported to your employer, and your employer needs to give you a Claim Form within 24 hours of your notification of the injury, and you must fill out this form. The claim form puts the employer on notice that a claim has been made, but does not mean that the employer is admitting the injury.
- Under California Workers' Compensation Law the employer has 90 days to accept or deny the claim. Your employer has 90 days to investigate a work injury claim. Your employer is allowed to ask you to visit a company doctor, receive medical records, or take a statement. Medical care costs will be covered up to $10,000 during the first 90 days for injuries that occurred after January 1, 2005.
- You may select a treating physician once the claim is accepted (from an employer provided list of doctors in some cases), and receive temporary disability benefits until which point your medical condition becomes stationary or permanent. You will be evaluated at that time to determine the level of permanent disability.
- If there is a dispute as to the level of permanent disability, then you may be evaluated by a Qualified Medical Examiner (QME)
- There will be a hearing at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board if the dispute cannot be resolved.
- The case may go to trial before a judge if your employer or insurance company denies the claim, however, you must provide medical evidence from the treating doctor or the QME.
- You and any witness may testify at the trial.
- Once the judge decides the case, you or your employer may appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. In some cases, you may appeal further to the Court Of Appeal or the California Supreme Court.
- Lawyers fees are payable upon the award received by the injured worker from a judge or settlement (contingent). Fees are usually set at 15% of the worker’s recovery by the judge.
Contact Us Today!
For more information about what you can expect from the Workers’ Compensation process, contact workers’ comp Law Offices of Scot D. Shoemaker at our San Francisco law office at (415) 463-5310 or our Vallejo, California, office at (707) 552-1000 or by filling out our online form.
Authored by Scot D. Shoemaker