WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Palm Desert Workers’ Compensation Attorney

With more than 30 years of experience, our accomplished attorneys are here to guide you through these difficult times and get the compensation you deserve.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Did you know that most hard-working Americans who are eligible for workers’ comp never file a claim? One of the main reasons for this is that the workers may not know their rights or believe that exercising it might cost them their job. So instead, they take unpaid leave and return to work when they feel better — or have run out of savings. If you have suffered an injury on the job, we want to help you understand what you are entitled to and how to go about getting every penny you deserve.

Workers’ comp is the money employees receive after suffering a workplace injury. It is a constitutional right. This money covers lost income and medical expenses that the employee incurs after an injury or after becoming ill at work. California employers are required by the Constitution pay into an insurance plan to cover these costs when they arise.

After an injury occurs, many employees fear retaliation from their employers, which does happen. However, there are legal protections against retaliation too, so your employer’s actions might only serve to strengthen your case. The first issue might arise when employers or supervisors refuse or neglect to record or report the incident.

Even when the employer does not put up a fight, its insurer might not want to pay for the physical and financial injuries. Other times the employer flat out lies about the circumstances of the injury wrongly thinking that the lie might help save insurance premiums. The insurance company often just accepts these lies in order to not pay legally mandated benefits.

These are just some of the many obstacles that arise during the workers’ comp process that compel workers just like you to reach out to a lawyer. If the employer has a track record of refusing workers’ comp, not paying enough or retaliating afterward, workers often reach out to us before even beginning the process. We help prepare them for what might lie ahead.

What Are Some of the Qualifying Injuries?

Workers often get tricked by employers into believing that only injuries resulting from serious workplace accidents get covered. This is false. Here are some of the many different types of injuries that might qualify for workers’ comp:

  • Accidents: These cover a wide range of possible incidents, such as a severed limb while operating company machinery or a trip-and-fall accident due to blocked hallways. Accidents that happen away from the site also count, such as when workers doing road work get hit by a car.
  • Occupational Diseases: Even office workers can find themselves exposed to toxic chemicals in a building, but mining and construction workers often face the greatest risks. Lung cancer after continued exposure to asbestos is one common example.
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries: If you carry out a job that requires the same steps or motions every day, you could injure your muscles and tendons. This is a common injury on the assembly lines where workers handle the same jobs for long periods of time, but even typing can lead to this.
  • Mental Illness: California is one of several states that recognize psychiatric injuries caused by work-related stressors. Mental burnout is typical in high-paced corporate jobs. First responders and health care workers also often struggle with mental illness after a catastrophic event.

What Is the Process for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?

Every workers’ compensation case is different, but generally the claim starts with the claim form the employer is required by law to file when an injury requiring more than simple first aid is suspected. It is c crime not to file that report, but many employers try and avoid a claim and fail to file a form. Once the form is filed then a claims adjuster is assigned. The claims adjuster has a duty to investigate the claim in good faith, but that is not always the case unfortunately. Many injured employees rightfully conclude that the adjuster is out to shut down any benefits rather than perform a good faith investigation for the purpose of extending benefits.

There are many steps you can take, but remember-the more serious the injury the more likely it is you need a lawyer early in the case.

1. Seek Medical Attention
If you get injured at work or develop an illness, your first priority is to seek medical attention. Remember that even a minor injury can escalate into something major later on, so don’t underestimate an injury. You can get medical attention through the workers’ compensation system or if you encounter delays or denials go to your doctor. You need to document the injury early.
2. Report the Incident
Remember to report the incident or have a family member do so on your behalf. If the incident happened at work, someone else may have already reported the incident or the employer may have created a report. Make the report in writing such as a fax or email. Oral reports are nearly useless in court.
3. Gather Evidence
An attorney can help you discover what types of evidence may best suit your case and what information to disclose during the process. Remember that if the case goes to court, even the smallest slip can be taken out of context and twisted for use against you. Take pictures of the accident scene and of your injury. Collect names and contact information for witnesses. Keep copies of reports and emails about your injury.
4. Fill Out the Claim Form
If your employer does not mail you a claim form within one working day of the incident, this might already be a bad sign. However, you can download one from the Department of Industrial Relations. An attorney can help you fill it out. Even if you fill it out alone get it turned in via fax or email to your employer or the insurer.
5. Submit the Claim Form
The DIR recommends that you mail the form using certified mail and keep your receipt as proof of submission. Keep in mind that failure to submit the form might affect your case.

Should You Reach Out to a Palm Desert California Attorney?

If you have suffered an injury at work, it’s important to reach out to a workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible. Our legal team at English Lloyd Armenta can look into your claim and help you calculate if you have a strong claim and how much it is worth.

Even if your employer is cooperative, note that sometimes employers and insurance companies rush to offer a much smaller amount than you deserve. The idea is that workers might feel so grateful for their willingness to pay and the ease of the process that they never look into how much the case was actually worth or ask for more. Insurance companies rely on your fear and lack of knowledge. Hiring a well respected and competent workers’ compensation lawyer can restore an even playing field for you and get you the benefits the law entitles you to receive.

Even if your employer is cooperative, note that sometimes employers and insurance companies rush to offer a much smaller amount than you deserve. The idea is that workers might feel so grateful for their willingness to pay and the ease of the process that they never look into how much the case was actually worth or ask for more. Insurance companies rely on your fear and lack of knowledge. Hiring a well respected and competent workers’ compensation lawyer can restore an even playing field for you and get you the benefits the law entitles you to receive.

So, before you file a claim or accept the offer given, reach out to our attorneys to ensure you get every last dime your case is capable of earning. This makes it easier for you to focus only on recovering from your injury, instead of worrying about money and your family’s wellbeing. Do not let an insurance company take advantage of you and your family.

If you have already filed a claim or faced resistance, call us right away. We can turn the case around to your favor. You can reach our office at 760-895-1580.

Stalled Serious
Injury Cases

We specialize in reviving and closing stalled workers’ comp cases on your behalf.

Workers’
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