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Every year, thousands of workers suffer on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Many workers become sick, and some even die because of work-related hazards. Workplace injuries often lead to a substantial loss of income, astronomical medical expenses, and in some cases permanent, life-changing disabilities.
If you suffered injuries in a San Diego workplace accident, you do not have to go through this ordeal, nor shoulder all the horrific repercussions, on your own. In San Diego, if you become sick or injured while working, you may qualify to apply for workers’ compensation benefits, which provide compensation for medical costs, wage loss, and other benefits.
Unfortunately, obtaining these benefits often proves more difficult than injured workers expect, especially when they face a denial or delay while they cannot return to work due to their injuries. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we are standing by ready to help; our San Diego workers’ compensation lawyers can fight for workers’ compensation benefits on your behalf and protect you when your employer or insurance company treats you unfairly.
Gomez Trial Attorneys is a San Diego trial and personal injury law firm handling some of San Diego’s most prominent cases. In fact, our legal team has dealt with some of the most notable cases in the state, including the Pizza Hut delivery case, the Kristin Rossum American Beauty Murder case, and the runaway Lexus case, which resulted in the tragic deaths of California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Mark Saylor and his family.
Led by founding partner John Gomez, who has tried cases on behalf of the United States as a federal prosecutor and now exclusively represents families, individuals, and small businesses seeking accident compensation, our legal team consists of dedicated, experienced, and skilled attorneys ready to take on your fight.
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we understand the struggles you face after a devastating accident impacts your life, and we want to help. We do this by standing by your side through the whole legal process, providing you the legal assistance you require, and going after maximum compensation on your behalf. Because of this commitment and dedication, our firm has collected over $750 million in settlements and verdicts over the past fifteen years, with more than 135 awards of more than one million dollars each. We have also obtained jury verdicts above one million, ten million, and one hundred million dollars.
Although we cannot guarantee that your case will have these same results, we can assure you that when you work with Gomez Trial Attorneys, we can fight hard to pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
Workers’ compensation is insurance that protects companies and employees from financial loss when an employee sustains an injury on the job or gets sick because of a work-related cause. In these circumstances, the employer does not have to pay for its worker’s medical care. Instead, the company’s workers’ compensation insurance will pay for the required medical treatments and losses.
Generally, when an employee is hurt on the job, workers’ compensation insurance will cover:
In addition, depending on the extent of the injury, insurance companies can also provide the injured workers supplemental job displacement benefits, a non-transferable voucher to pay for skill enhancements, or educational retraining.
Typically, workers’ compensation payments depend on the type of injury the employee sustained, the medical evaluation related to the disability, and the employee’s average weekly salary.
Working with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand these factors and give you better insight into how much money you can receive.
San Diego workers’ compensation claims often prove stressful for employees trying to get the money they need to cover the cost of their injuries. Adjusters frequently deny claims for no reason, and employees often don’t know what to do to appeal a denial. Fortunately, with the help of a skilled and knowledgeable San Diego workers’ compensation lawyer, you do not have to figure out this process by yourself. Retaining an attorney with experience handling workers’ compensation claims, including appeals of denials, will ensure that you maximize your chances of recovering compensation and avoiding a claim denial. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we have successfully negotiated and litigated numerous workers’ comp claims in San Diego.
Once you retain Gomez Trial Attorneys, our San Diego workers’ compensation lawyers can:
Workers’ compensation insurance in San Diego covers injuries that arise during the scope of an employee’s job. This means that if the worker suffered harm while performing an authorized work task, workers’ comp should cover any injuries that resulted during this time.
Typically, these work-related injuries fall into two categories:
Regardless of the category, the harm still needs to have occurred during the normal scope of the employment for the injury to qualify for coverage. Otherwise, if the injury results from an act or an accident outside the scope of work, workers’ compensation insurance will not cover the injury.
Take, for example:
If you have suffered harm on the job but don’t know for sure if your injuries qualify for workers’ compensation, you should speak with an experienced San Diego workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. These attorneys can review your accident and injuries and determine whether you have a viable workers’ compensation claim.
In California, an employee only has one year from the date of the job-related injury to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, employees must meet other deadlines in addition to the statutes of limitations for filing. Otherwise, the insurer will likely deny the claim. For instance, employees must report their work-related injury to a supervisor or manager 30 days from the date of the injury.
In addition, for cumulative work injuries, the statute of limitations usually begins to run when the employees knew or should have known their injuries occurred because of their jobs, or they took time off work because of their injuries.
Consequently, determining the statute of limitations for a workers’ compensation claim can prove complicated. When you work with skilled workers’ compensation lawyers, such as those at Gomez Trial Attorneys, these lawyers can help you determine not only how much time you have to file your case, but also ensure adequate preparation and timely filing of all of your documents before time runs out.
Although workplace injuries can result in various types of harm, potentially affecting virtually every part of the body, some injuries tend to occur more frequently than others.
These injuries often include:
Workplace injuries can occur for many reasons. However, the three leading causes of work-related injuries include (1) slips and falls, (2) overexertion, and (3) contact with objects and equipment. These causes account for more than 84 percent of nonfatal injuries that result in days away from work.
Overexertion activities tend to include non-impact injuries and repetitive motion injuries:
Slip and fall accidents often include:
Accidents involving workers coming into contact with a piece of equipment often result when:
Additionally, workers can also suffer harm on the job from:
In San Diego, if you have suffered an injury while working, you may qualify for workers’ compensation insurance. However, before you can collect your benefits, you must take certain actions after the accident to protect your rights and ensure that you can receive the money. These steps include:
If you suffer severe injuries, you need to seek medical care immediately and call 911 or head to the local emergency room. However, even if you believe you only suffered minor injuries, you should still see a doctor for a thorough examination. Seeing a medical professional immediately after your workplace accident is not only important for getting the necessary medical care and treatments your injuries need, but also to properly document your injuries. If you want to claim workers’ compensation benefits, you need to show that your injuries stem from a work-related incident or workplace exposure. Fortunately, obtaining comprehensive medical records can help satisfy this requirement.
However, before you get checked over by a physician, you need to make sure that the medical care network your employer uses for work-related injuries includes your chosen doctor. Plus, you need to remember to inform that doctor that you’ve sustained a workplace injury.
Following the accident, you need to notify your employer promptly. According to California law, you only have 30 days to report your injury to management or your supervisor. If you do not report these injuries within that deadline, you lose your right to receive benefits. Consequently, even if you do not believe the workplace incident was serious, you should still report it, as even minor injuries can develop into significant health problems.
Since you may qualify to pursue compensation for lost wages, you need to keep careful records of all the time you missed from your job.
If your injuries keep you out of work for an extended time, you should seek temporary or permanent disability benefits.
If you want to continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you should follow your doctor’s medical treatment plans. If you are unhappy with your doctor’s treatment or not satisfied with the care you are receiving, you may qualify for a second opinion. However, you should speak with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney regarding these types of changes to ensure that you take the appropriate steps.
To make sure that you protect your rights and that you can pursue the workers’ compensation you need, you should reach out to a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney as quickly as possible. These attorneys can help you get through this tedious process, ensure that you file your documents within the time limits, and make sure that you understand your legal options. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we have significant experience representing individuals who have suffered workplace injuries and illnesses; contact us today to schedule a free evaluation with an experienced member of our legal team.
Regardless of where you work in San Diego, you may have numerous questions about your next steps following an on-the-job injury. For this reason, we provide answers to some of the questions that we hear most frequently from clients to provide you with the information and answers you want. These questions cover some of the most common concerns that employees have regarding the workers’ compensation system. However, if you do not see your specific question listed below, please reach out to us for further information and to discuss your case one-on-one.
Workers’ compensation shares many similarities with mandatory health insurance. In California, all employers need to purchase workers’ compensation to provide health care and other benefits to those workers who need it. Usually, workers’ compensation insurance covers workers in all situations, regardless of whether the workers’ actions contributed to or caused their injuries. California follows a no-fault workers’ compensation system. Under this system, the employee can claim workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of who caused the workplace accident.
However, in exchange for workers receiving these benefits, they typically do not have the right to sue their employers, although some exceptions do exist to this general rule.
If you have suffered harm on the job in San Diego, you usually do not have the right to sue an employer directly. Instead, you need to seek recovery by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Workers do not need to prove liability when submitting these claims; however, they cannot obtain pain and suffering damages through workers’ compensation.
In limited circumstances, employees can sue their employers for work-related injuries.
However, to qualify to file such a claim, at least one of the following circumstances must have occurred:
If you believe your injury fits one of those exceptions, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, such as those at Gomez Trial Attorneys, as soon as possible. These lawyers can review your accident and determine whether you have a viable case to pursue a lawsuit against your employer.
Third parties constitute individuals other than employers and coworkers. In situations where a third party injures a worker, the worker may have an additional claim against that party for job-related injuries or illness. However, you must keep in mind that filing a third-party claim can affect workers’ compensation benefits, so you should consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer before you decide to file.
Typically, third parties liable for a work-related injury include:
In California, you can use your own doctor following a workplace accident. However, you would have to give your employer written notice before the injury that you want to use your doctor as your treating doctor. Called a predesignation, this written notice allows you to see your doctor from your injury date until completion of the treatment. This doctor must serve as your regular treating physician, maintain your medical records, and be willing to treat you in the event of a workplace illness or injury. If you decide to predesignate your doctor, make sure you keep a copy of your forms for your records.
If you do not predesignate a physician, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will pick the doctor for you. These doctors often fall within the company’s network.
California has two different types of workers’ compensation settlements that injured workers may receive. First, a compromise and release means that the entire case closes once the injured worker receives a lump sum of money. However, if the employee requires any future medical care, the settlement will not cover this care, even if it relates to the workplace accident.
Second, both sides can enter into a stipulated agreement, as opposed to waiting for a judge to impose a decision. Yet, once the judge reviews and signs this settlement, it will have the same effect as if the judge had ordered the award.
If you suffered a job-related injury or illness, your employer cannot fire you to avoid paying you compensation benefits. If your employer does so, this constitutes a flagrant violation of the law. Employers also generally cannot fire employees for causing a workplace accident.
If your employer has fired you because of your involvement in a workplace accident, you should speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer, like those at Gomez Trial Attorneys, as soon as possible. These lawyers can review your case and determine the legal actions that you need to pursue and the benefits for which you qualify.
If you qualify to pursue a work-related injury lawsuit in San Diego, you may qualify for certain types of compensation. California laws define this type of compensation as compensatory damages, which fall into two basic categories—(1) economic and (2) non-economic damages.
Economic damages: These damages refer to the actual and measurable losses that a victim endures following an accident.
These damages often involve:
Non-economic Damages: These damages are subjective losses that often prove difficult to quantify, including:
If you suffered a work-related injury or illness in San Diego, you have a right to receive a standardized level of care from the medical professional giving you care. This standardized level of care refers to specific medical treatment guidelines that determine the appropriateness, frequency, and duration of all the treatment plans.
All the Medical Provider Network physicians must follow specific treatment guidelines through a process called the utilization review. Employers use the utilization review to assess medical treatments to determine if they qualify as medically necessary. Under this review, medical treatment requests go to an independent doctor who can approve, modify, or deny the request. After the workers begin the treatment, the physician can continue to take care of the worker until the physician believes that no further treatment is required or no additional effective treatments are available. Once complete, the doctor will finalize the findings in a report called the Permanent and Stationary Report.
Most businesses in California must carry worker compensation insurance coverage. However, some employers are expressly excluded from the coverage. You also may not qualify if you work for an immediate family member.
Some employers try to get out of paying workers’ compensation benefits by claiming that the worker serves as an independent contractor instead of an employee. If the employer makes an inaccurate classification, however, this constitutes a violation of the law. That is why, following a work-related injury or accident, you should talk to a worker’s compensation lawyer, such as those at Gomez Trial Attorneys, promptly. These lawyers can verify your classification and determine if you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
If a workplace injury or sickness disrupted your life, do not wait any longer to get the legal help you need. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at 866-TRIAL LAW (866-874-2552) for a free case evaluation, and let our lawyers show you how we can fight for justice and compensation on your behalf.
During your free evaluation, you can discuss the details of your workplace accident, ask questions about your legal options, and determine whether you qualify to pursue workers’ compensation benefits.
Don’t wait to consult an experienced San Diego workers’ compensation attorney—contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“I’d like to take a moment to provide feedback regarding my interactions with Lisa Cox at Gomez Trial Attorneys. Lisa is a consummate professional. She is extremely knowledgeable and thorough, and takes her time providing me full and detailed information regarding my case. She always makes herself available to answer any questions that may come up, and never delays in providing responses to my numerous emails. Lisa is an exemplary representative for The Gomez Trial Attorneys, and I strongly recommend this company, and Lisa to anyone requiring their services.”
Review by: Mabel M.
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