The workers’ compensation system is a crucial safety net for injured workers, providing coverage of their medical expenses and limited disability benefits for the time they are unable to work. Workers’ compensation insurance also protects employers, preventing them from facing civil liability for their injured workers’ damages in most cases. If you suffered an injury or contracted an illness while working in Desert Hot Springs, you likely have grounds to claim workers’ compensation benefits. However, workers’ compensation does not cover every injury you might suffer while working.
It’s important to know the issues that are not covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. While workers’ compensation covers a wide range of workplace injuries and work-related illnesses, some issues do not qualify for benefits. When you are unsure whether you have grounds to seek workers’ compensation benefits, English Lloyd & Armenta can provide the guidance and support you need in this situation, helping you discern your best legal options for recovery.
Acts of God
In the legal world, an “act of God” is any unforeseeable event that is beyond the scope of human influence, meaning that such an incident could not have been predicted and/or stopped by anyone. Also referred to as “force majeure,” an injury resulting from this type of incident does not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. The most common examples of acts of God that can result in the denial of benefits include natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, or tornadoes.
Common One-Time Illnesses
While you can seek workers’ compensation benefits if you develop a serious illness like cancer from your work environment, workers’ compensation does not apply to one-time illnesses such as migraines, the flu, or a seasonal cold. You may have the option to use sick time for the time you are recovering from these common one-time illnesses, but they are not covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
You can only qualify for workers’ compensation if you suffered an injury or developed an illness while working. You cannot seek these benefits if a preexisting condition arose before you started your job. One caveat to this would be in the event a new injury at work exacerbated a previous injury or condition. In this situation, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier would likely only cover the additional medical expenses and lost income related to the new injury, and you will likely need an experienced attorney to help parse out the details of this type of claim.
Ordinary Diseases of Life
You cannot seek workers’ compensation benefits for an “ordinary disease of life” or some illness that the general public is vulnerable to acquiring. To qualify for workers’ compensation, an illness must be acquired through the course of performing your job duties and/or consistent exposure to a specific work environment. Most workers’ compensation insurance policies include terms regarding “presumption,” as certain conditions are presumed to be risks of performing specific types of work. Outside of presumptive work-related illnesses, ordinary diseases that anyone can acquire generally do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
If you are unsure whether you qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim in Desert Hot Springs, it’s best to contact an experienced attorney quickly. The right attorney can help you determine your eligibility for benefits and assist you in filing a claim if you are able to do so. Additionally, you could have grounds for a third-party personal injury claim in addition to your workers’ compensation claim depending on how your injury or illness manifested. When you choose English Lloyd & Armenta as your legal counsel, we will do everything we can to streamline your recovery process and secure as much compensation as possible for your injury or illness.
Q: How Do I Know if I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in California?
A: Generally, if your injury or illness was acquired while performing your job duties, you can likely file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you are unsure whether you qualify or if your employer refuses to provide you with the claim forms and other materials needed for your claim, it’s best to consult a trustworthy workers’ compensation attorney as soon as you can after your injury.
Q: How Much Can I Claim in Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
A: If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in California, your claim should yield compensation for all of the medical treatment you require, plus ongoing disability benefits for the time you cannot work. Most claimants who cannot work at all in recovery will receive about two-thirds of their average weekly wages in weekly disability benefits. It’s also possible to qualify for partial disability benefits if you can still work but cannot earn as much as you did prior to your injury.
Q: Can I Still Claim Benefits if I Caused My Own Injury?
A: Causing your own injury at work does not immediately disqualify you from workers’ compensation benefits. As long as you caused the injury through a mistake made in good faith or simple negligence, you should still qualify to receive benefits. However, if you were working under the influence of alcohol or drugs, intentionally violated a workplace safety policy, or engaged in reckless horseplay or other misconduct, these factors could disqualify you from benefits.
Q: Do I Need an Attorney to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
A: Technically, no, you can file your workers’ compensation claim on your own without hiring legal counsel. However, you have a much better chance of maximizing your compensation with an experienced attorney representing you. Your legal counsel can make filing your claim much easier and help you secure the maximum amount of benefits available to you. If there are grounds for additional legal recourse, they can assist you with these proceedings as well.
English Lloyd & Armenta have many years of professional experience in California workers’ compensation law. If you were recently injured or became ill while working, you may have grounds to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Our team can clarify your legal options and guide you through the process of securing the benefits you need to recover. To learn how an experienced attorney can empower your recovery, contact us today and schedule a case evaluation with our team.