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San Bernardino Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Every day, San Bernardino area residents leave their homes and head to work at retail establishments, downtown office buildings, large logistics centers at the airport and rail yards, and countless other locations around the Inland Empire. None of these individuals expect to suffer serious injuries on the job that day or to develop a serious illness because of hazardous conditions at their workplaces.

Unfortunately, for some San Bernardino workers, the workday ends in disaster. Through car accidents, falls, equipment failures, exposure to toxic chemicals and materials, and numerous other dangerous incidents, workers may suffer serious harm that disrupts their lives and livelihoods. Suddenly, they face mountains of medical bills and other expenses that they may have never expected. They cannot work because of their injuries or illnesses and need help with household chores and errands just to get through the day.

The physical, emotional, and financial strain of a San Bernardino workplace injury or illness can weigh heavily on workers and their families. Fortunately, California law protects workers from at least some of those challenges by providing for payment of workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages.

Unfortunately, San Bernardino workers often find that obtaining full workers’ compensation benefits is complex and difficult. Insurance companies deny or reduce claims, employers try to undermine workers’ rights, and even when benefits arrive, they barely cover the cost of essentials.

Workers confronting this difficult time in their lives need an experienced, skilled workers’ compensation lawyer who is fighting to make sure they maximize their insurance benefits and other forms of compensation. In San Bernardino, injured and sick workers can turn to Gomez Trial Attorneys for that sure-handed legal representation. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Gomez Trial Attorneys Advocates for San Bernardino Workers

Gomez Trial Attorneys is an award-winning personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm with offices throughout Southern California. Our team consists of experienced, knowledgeable trial lawyers who have spent their careers fighting for the rights of people who suffer harm in preventable accidents and incidents.

Over our years of practice, we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients through jury verdicts and settlements. We also have a long track record of success in advocating for workers who were unjustly denied workers’ compensation benefits. Of course, we can never guarantee a favorable outcome in any particular case, but we can promise that our clients will receive personalized attention from top-notch lawyers who know how to get results and deal with insurance companies, defense lawyers, judges, and juries.

Overview of Workers’ Compensation for San Bernardino Workers

Workers’ compensation is insurance that protects employees against the costs of work-related injuries and illnesses. With extremely limited exceptions, California law requires employers, regardless of size, to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Virtually all San Bernardino workers have the right to benefit from the protections of workers’ comp, including minors and undocumented workers.

California law entitles San Bernardino workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses to the following benefits:

  • Medical benefits that pay for the cost of medical care for a work-related injury or illness
  • Temporary disability benefits that pay a portion of the worker’s wages when a worker must miss work to recover from a work-related injury or illness
  • Permanent disability benefits when a work-related injury or illness causes a permanent disability
  • Supplemental job displacement benefits to help pay for worker retraining, if a work-related illness or injury prevents a worker from returning to work in the worker’s prior capacity
  • Death benefits, payable to the families of workers who die as a result of a work-related injury or illness

The amount of benefits that a worker can receive will vary depending on the type and severity of the injury or illness. Workers have the right to receive these benefits, however, no matter who caused the injury or illness. In other words, even if the injury or illness resulted from the worker’s own negligence, the worker will still have the right to receive benefits.

Calculating the value of a workers’ compensation claim is difficult and best left to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to discuss the details of your workplace injury or illness and to determine your eligibility to pursue compensation.

How Workers’ Compensation Works in San Bernardino: Theory vs. Reality

The California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) oversees workers’ compensation insurance in California. Workers who visit the DWC website will find lots of useful information about their rights to receive benefits. Reading that information, San Bernardino workers may even think it is easy to obtain workers’ compensation benefits to pay for their work-related illnesses and injuries.

If only that were the case.

How It Should Work

The DWC website makes it seem like obtaining benefits is pretty straightforward: injured workers report the injury to their employers, the employers provide a claim form, and the workers visit a doctor, hand over the claim form, the doctor submits it, and the benefits get paid.

In an ideal world, that might reflect how workers’ compensation would work, but unfortunately, we do not live in the ideal world. We live in the real world, and in the real world, San Bernardino workers will likely encounter significant difficulty in seeking workers’ compensation benefits.

How It Actually Works

San Bernardino workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses can follow the exact instructions on the DWC website for filing a claim, and still, the result may not meet their expectations. Why? Because workers’ comp is a form of insurance, and like any other kind of insurance, the company that sells it would prefer not to pay full claims.

Instead of receiving the benefits to which they are entitled, San Bernardino workers who follow the rules by reporting their injuries, filling out claim forms, and getting medical treatment will often receive denial letters from insurance companies.

Workers’ compensation insurers may offer these justifications for denying claims:

  • That the worker did not meet deadlines or follow other technical rules for submitting a claim (even if the worker did)
  • That the worker’s injury is not as severe as the worker or worker’s doctor claims (even if it is)
  • That the worker does not need the medical care the worker seeks payment-for (even if the worker does)
  • That the worker did not suffer the injury or illness in connection with work (even if that’s exactly what happened)
  • That the worker was drunk or on drugs, or caused his or her own injury intentionally (even if that’s not what happened)
  • That the worker had a pre-existing condition that is not covered by workers’ compensation (even if that’s not true)

Making matters worse, San Bernardino employers will sometimes work behind the scenes to undermine workers’ claims. The employer might dispute the worker’s version of events, pressure the worker to downplay or retract the claim, or try to cover up the causes of the injury or illness. It is completely illegal for employers to engage in this kind of underhanded conduct, but it happens, and it only makes workers’ lives that much more difficult.

Plus, the process for appealing the denial of a claim may seem confusing and overwhelming for many workers. At each stage of that process, the requirements seem more technical and less able to manage without legal representation.

That’s why you want to call us as soon as possible.

How We Help San Bernardino Workers

At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our mission is to ensure that people who suffer injuries and illnesses in preventable accidents and incidents recover the money they need to recover their health and rebuild their lives.

San Bernardino workers often seek our help after having sustained a serious illness or injury in connection with their jobs. Sometimes, clients reach out to us before they file their workers’ compensation claims, and sometimes after they have received a denial from the workers’ compensation insurance company. The specific services we provide to clients will vary depending on their particular needs and priorities.

However, our attorneys have the skill and experience to help in the following ways:

  • Investigate the work-related accident, incident, or condition that led to the worker getting hurt or sick, which may involve gathering evidence from co-workers or documenting workplace health and safety violations.
  • Help prepare, file, and follow-up on initial workers’ compensation insurance claims, to give workers the best possible shot at receiving full benefits right off-the-bat.
  • Prepare, file, and litigate appeals of denied claims at every stage of the appeals process, which can range from an informal administrative hearing to a full-blown case in California courts.
  • Prepare, file, and litigate claims for wrongful and illegal conduct by workers’ comp insurance companies and/or employers who retaliate or work against employees who file, or try to file, workers’ compensation claims.
  • Prepare, file, and litigate claims against third parties (someone other than the worker’s employer or co-workers) whose unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions caused the worker’s injury or illness.

Oftentimes, through our hard work and detailed investigations, the team at Gomez Trial Attorneys succeeds in uncovering evidence that supports significant legal claims for damages that workers can seek in addition to their workers’ compensation benefits.

Our mission, throughout our representation of a San Bernardino worker, is to discover and pursue every avenue reasonably available to a worker to obtain as much money as possible to pay for work-related injuries and illnesses. In other words, for us, workers’ compensation is a good place to start in fighting to get an injured or sick worker paid, but we know it is not always the only place to go for payment.

What San Bernardino Workers Can Do to Help Themselves

The steps a San Bernardino worker takes in the aftermath of suffering an injury or illness in connection with work can have a significant impact on the worker’s rights and ability to recover compensation in the future. Every situation is different, of course, so there is no one-size-fits-all method for workers to protect their rights.

However, many injured or sick workers can help themselves by taking the following steps:

  • Reporting their injuries or illnesses as soon as possible. Sometimes, workers know right away that they’ve sustained an injury or illness, such as when someone falls from a ladder and breaks an arm. Other times, it takes a while for workers to realize that a situation at work has caused harm, such as when workers suffer illness from long-term exposure to a toxic chemical in the workplace. In either situation, the important thing is to report the harm as soon as the worker knows about it. By reporting, workers trigger legal obligations on the part of their employers and take an important first step toward compensation.
  • Seeking medical care whenever needed and appropriate. In a health emergency arising from a work-related injury or illness, seek emergency care. Do not wait for an employer’s permission if it’s an emergency. In other situations, report the condition to the employer and seek appropriate medical care as soon as possible. Be aware that a worker may have to visit a doctor designated by the employer in non-emergency situations, so it is always important to report the injury or illness to the employer first, if possible.
  • Contacting an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer right away, even before filing an initial workers’ comp claim. By talking to a skilled lawyer as early as possible, workers can ensure that their rights stay protected and that they take the appropriate steps to maximize their compensation.

Skilled Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in San Bernardino

At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we fight to make sure that San Bernardino workers who suffer injuries and illnesses in connection with their jobs understand how to pursue compensation.

We urge any worker who gets hurt or sick at work to contact us as soon as possible. Workers have limited time to pursue compensation, and the sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can begin building a strong case to support your claim. You can reach us online or by calling (619) 237-3490 to get a free, confidential case evaluation today.

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