WORKER’S COMPENSATION: A COMPLETE GUIDE, Suffering an injury at work can turn your life upside down. In a matter of seconds, an injury can occur during your workday. Suddenly, you’re worried about your finances, providing for your family and, if the injury is serious enough, being able to return to your job.

The worker’s compensation system is designed to support you and your family during this difficult time. However, it is easy to find multiple obstacles along the way. And if a loved one is tragically killed on the job, filing a workers’ compensation claim may be too much during this difficult time.

California Workers’ Compensation Law allows you to file a claim to cover your medical bills and related costs if you are injured on the job. A portion of your income will also be replaced if you are temporarily or permanently unable to return to work. If a family member dies on the job, heirs can recover compensation. This is intended to pay reasonable funeral and burial costs, as well as replace a percentage of lost income.

While this all sounds great, the worker’s compensation system can also be very difficult to navigate. That, along with the obstacles posed by employers and their insurance companies, often makes the compensation process difficult. That’s why having an experienced workers’ compensation attorney by your side every step of the way can make all the difference. Plus, you can focus on your recovery while your attorney handles every detail of your claim.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions by people who are injured on the job and their families. This guide is intended to give you a complete overview of the workers’ compensation system. This way you will have a better idea of ​​how the process works and what to expect. 

What is Worker’s Compensation and how does it work?

If you are injured or become ill while working, your employer must pay you workers’ compensation benefits. In California, employers with even one employee are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In exchange for having the right to file a workers’ compensation claim, you give up your right to file negligence claims against your employer if you are injured while working.

Worker’s compensation is a no-fault system. This means that you do not have to prove that your employer negligently caused your injury or illness. Most workplace injuries and illnesses will be covered by this no-fault system. This is intended to speed up the process: receiving benefits without having to file a lawsuit against your employer, while at the same time, your employer is not required to admit any fault.

When you are injured on the job or sick because of your job, you must report it to your employer within a specific time frame. Your employer must report it to their workers’ compensation insurance company. Once your claim is filed, your employer and provider will have a set time limit to accept or reject it.

If an employee dies due to a work-related injury or illness, death benefits are available to their dependents. The definition of who is a dependent can include non-family members, such as a boyfriend or girlfriend, as long as they live in the same household. Before death benefits are paid, the employer’s insurance company will likely conduct a thorough investigation that will include anyone claiming to be a dependent.

You can find the current law governing workers’ compensation in California by referring to California Labor Code 4 sections 3200 to 6002. Please note that if your employer and their insurance company dispute or deny your claim, you have the right to appeal that decision.

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