What is Workers' Compensation for employees injured on the job?

Workers’ compensation (also known as “workman’s comp” or “workers’ comp”) is a no-fault benefit system that was put in place to protect workers who are injured on the job. Under the workers’ compensation system, which is governed by state law, employers must purchase insurance that provides benefits to workers who suffer an injury at work or as the result of job-related duties. The injured worker can file a claim for compensation benefits to help cover medical expenses, loss of income, and other financial hardships resulting from their injury or illness.

Regardless of how careful a person is when performing their job duties, accidents happen, and workplace injuries take place every day. These may be due to a single event such as a back injury after a fall or to repeated exposure such as hearing loss from constant loud noise. Unfortunately, many employers and claims administrators use the complexities of the workers’ compensation system to deny the claims of injured workers and deprive them of the benefits they’re due. A skilled and experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help you build your case, navigate the workers’ compensation system, and fight on your behalf so you receive the maximum benefits you’re entitled to.

What Should I Do If I Get Injured on the Job in San Diego?

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If you’ve been hurt at work, the first thing you need to do is to report your injury to your employer or immediate supervisor and seek emergency treatment if necessary. In the State of California, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days of the workplace accident. In the case of injuries or illnesses that develop over time, such as repetitive motion injuries, you must report the injury to your employer within 30 days of noticing that the injury or illness is work-related. Failure to do so can result in the denial of your benefits.

Your employer must give you a workers’ compensation claim form (DWC-1) within one working day of learning about your injury. If your employer does not give you or mail you a claim form, download it here or contact a workers’ compensation attorney right away. Once you have obtained the claim form, you must fill out the “employee” section of the form, describing your injury in detail and including every part of your body affected. If you need help filling out the claim form, a workers’ comp lawyer can help.

After you have filled out the workers’ compensation claim form, you must “file” your claim by giving the form to your employer. Keep a copy for your records, and if you mail the form, be sure to use certified mail and buy a return receipt.

In order to recover and get back to work, you may need medical care. It’s important that you seek quality medical care from a doctor who understands your particular type of injury. Be sure to tell any health care provider who treats you that your injury or illness is job-related. Your carefully chosen primary care physician will be able to prescribe care and determine when you can return to work, as well as evaluate what kinds of duties you should avoid in order to prevent re-injury. Your physician will refer you to specialists if necessary and write the medical reports that will help determine the benefits you receive.

A workers’ compensation attorney can help you select the best doctor (or Qualified Medical Evaluator QME) for your case.  

It’s crucial that you keep records of everything.

What kind of workers’ compensation benefits are available?

When you suffer from a workplace injury, you have a legal right to collect workers’ compensation benefits that will cover your medical bills and lost wages, as well as additional damages for any permanent disability. A workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure that you get every dollar you’re entitled to. Your workers’ compensation benefits may include:

Medical care workers' compensation benefits

If you are injured on the job, you have a right to benefits to help pay for any treatments, tests, medicine, equipment, or other medical care necessary for your recovery.  All medical care is subject to a utilization review to justify the treatments or services. A workers’ compensation attorney can help in the event of a utilization review denial.

Temporary disability benefits workers' compensation benefits

If you have to miss more than three days of work due to a workplace injury, you have a right to temporary disability benefits, which are paid at two-thirds the rate of your average weekly earnings. These disability benefits are paid bi-weekly and are limited to 104 payments.

Permanent disability workers' compensation benefits

If you’ve been hurt on the job and your injury or illness results in a permanent impairment, you have the right to workers’ compensation benefits. The amount you receive is determined by a complex formula. Benefits are paid bi-weekly, in some cases for life, and in some cases until you reach a given dollar amount. A skilled and experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help make sure you receive the maximum amount you’re due.

Supplemental job displacement workers' compensation benefits

This voucher helps pay for vocational rehabilitation or training for injured workers who receive permanent disability benefits and are unable to return to their jobs. For workplace injuries that took place between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2012, the amount depends on the level of disability. For workplace injuries that took place after January 1, 2013, the voucher amount is $6000 regardless of the injury.

Death workers' compensation benefits

Those dependent on the support of a deceased employee are eligible for death benefits if the death was due to a job-related injury or illness. A workers’ comp lawyer can help spouses, children, and other dependents receive the compensation they’re entitled to in the death of a loved one due to workplace injury.

How much does it cost to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer?

The answer to this, of course, depends on which workers’ compensation law firm you call.  At the Law Offices of Gerald Brody & Associates, we offer our services with ZERO OUT OF POCKET FEES OR UPFRONT COSTS.  We do this because we understand that after you’ve been hurt on the job, you’re already anxious about medical bills and lost wages, and the last thing you need while recovering is to worry about how to pay a lawyer. Our legal team of San Diego workers’ comp lawyers will fight on your behalf with NO OUT OF POCKET FEES OR COSTS so you can focus on getting well and getting back to work. We don’t get paid until you get paid.

How is Gerald Brody & Associates Law Firm in San Diego Different?

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Gerald Brody and Matthew Russell are two of the best workers’ compensation attorneys in San Diego. They have been navigating the workers’ compensation system on behalf of injured workers for a collective 45 years, and they know all too well the difficulties involved after sustaining an injury on the job. Unfortunately, many workers face an uphill battle in collecting the benefits they’re due. Some employers refuse to acknowledge their employees’ injuries as work-related, while others have even gone as far as to terminate these injured workers.

At the Law Offices of Gerald Brody & Associates, we have a vast knowledge of the workers’ compensation system, and we fight aggressively to ensure that our clients receive the maximum benefits and the best medical care available. We walk every client through each step of their case so that they remain informed and feel empowered along the way.  Our services include, but are not limited to:

The types of cases we represent include, but are not limited to:

Even if you don’t see your injury or industry on the list above, please reach out to us. Every workers’ compensation case is different, and we’re happy to discuss your case with you.

Call today for a free consultation with one of the best workers’ compensation lawyers in San Diego.