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Frequently Asked Questions

Vallejo, California, Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Serving Clients throughout the Bay Area in Northern California

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation, also known as workmans’ comp, is the country’s oldest state-mandated social insurance program. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, which means that employees who have been injured at work need not prove that another person caused their injury in order to get benefits. Each state, including California, has it’s own laws and programs for workers compensation. Workers’ compensation for federal employees is administrated by the federal government. Employees usually do not have the right to sue their employer in court for damages for their injuries in exchange for workers’ compensation.

Do I need an attorney for my work-related injury?

Yes. The workers’ compensation law is complex, and it is a complicated process to navigate. In addition, the job of the insurance company is to save money, therefore, they do not have your best interests in mind. An experienced California workers’ compensation law attorney can stand on your side to make sure you are treated fairly and you get the benefits you are entitled to. Attorney Scot Shoemaker is one of a select few attorneys recognized as a workers’ compensation certified specialist from the State Bar of California. Maintaining that certification requires him to take continuing legal education courses to stay on top of workers' compensation law.

Schedule a FREE consultation at our law firm by filling out the online form or calling our Vallejo law office at (707) 552-1000. Our law offices are conveniently located to serve clients throughout the Bay Area in Northern California.

What should I do if I get hurt at my job?

The first thing you should do if you get injured on the job is tell your employer or manager and fill out a workers’ compensation claim form, listing all body parts involved in the injury, then contact us as soon as possible.

When should I report my work-related injury?

If you have been injured on the job due to an accident, you must report the injury to your employer within 30 days of the injury.  Failure to do so wil not necessarily disqualify your case unless your employer can show that it was put at a disadvantage or damaged by any failure to disclose the injury within the 30 days.

Could I get fired if I file a workers’ comp claim?

No. Your employer should know that it is illegal to fire you or retaliate against you due to your work related injury and workers’ compensation claim.

What is required of my employer once I report my injury?

Your employer is required to have medical emergency treatment available to you if needed. They are also required to hand you a Workers’ Compensation Claim form to complete within 1 working day after you report the injury, or your employer learns about your injury from another source.  They must also allow up to $10,000 in medical treatment to be administered within 1 day of receiving the Workers’ Compensation Claim form while their insurance company investigates the matter.

How do I get by financially during the 90 days my employer has to investigate my claim?

You can seek State disability benefits from the Employment Development Department (EDD) if your employer takes the full 90 days to investigate your claim, provided you have paid into EDD. You are required to use your own health insurance during the 90 days, and your employer/insurance must pay up to $10,000 in treatment while the claim in being investigated.

What are my options if my employer disputes my claim?

If your benefits have been denied, you can appeal to a workers’ compensation judge by filing an Application for Adjudication of Claim and a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed to hearing before a judge. Medical evidence must be submitted before filing for a hearing. Our law firm can help with this.

Am I entitled to workers’ compensation if my injury happened while I was not working?

Yes. You may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if you were injured while at lunch, break, or even at a company event.

Will my employer/insurance company attempt to disprove my injuries by following me and taking video or pictures of me?

Yes. This is a normal practice and is legal for them to do.

Will I qualify for workers’ comp benefits if my work related accident was my fault?

Yes. You are owed benefits for any work-related illness or injury, regardless of who was at fault.

How long does temporary disability last?

As long as you are off work and your disability is supported by a doctor you will receive benefits. Once the doctor makes the determination that your disability is stationary or permanent, your employer will end temporary disability. By law your benefits may not last for more than 2 years from the date of first payment. Injuries after January 1, 2008 you may receive two years of temporary disability within a five year period.

Am I entitled to a jury trial?


How much money do I have to pay a workers’ compensation attorney?

You pay no fees until we achieve a money settlement. In workers’ compensation cases are set by law and are generally 15% of the award. If there is no award or settlement, then there are no fees for you to pay.

How are permanent disability awards determined?

For injuries after January 1, 2005, the permanent disability award is based the AMA Guides.

Who pays for the medical costs?

Your medical treatment is paid for by the insurance company, under California Law.

Can I sue for civil damages for a work injury?

Workers' Compensation is a no fault system, meaning that employees who have been injured at work need not prove that another person caused their injury in order to get benefits and the injured worker cannot sue their employer

Can I recover money for my pain and suffering in a workers' compensation claim?


Authored by Scot D. Shoemaker



Let Our Lawyers HelpExperience You Can Trust

  • Certified Specialist From the State Bar of California +

    Scot Shoemaker is one of a select few attorneys recognized as a workers' compensation certified specialist from the State Bar Read More
  • 100% Focused on Workers' Compensation Legal Matters +

    Our law firm is totally focused on legal matters related to workers' compensation. You will get our full attention, and Read More
  • Over 60 Years Combined Experience +

    Attorney Scot Shoemaker has over 20 years experience helping Northern California residents like you with workers' compensation legal matters. Read More
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