During more than 30 years of serving Southern California residents as a Palm Springs workers’ compensation attorney, we have tackled many difficult cases. We have gone up against large corporations and won. Our team looks forward to helping you get the compensation you deserve.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
When employers and their insurance companies know you are entitled to Palm Springs workers’ compensation, they may attempt to fight you out of receiving it. Insurance companies do this to reduce payouts and keep profits high. Employers go along with this to maintain lower premiums as too-frequent accidents and claims can cause premiums to spike.
The premiums companies pay are for insurance to cover workers who become injured or develop occupational illnesses on the job. The benefits received from this insurance should help to pay for medical bills and lost wages. Unfortunately, after an injury, many people who are eligible for benefits do not file a claim. Instead, they pay for medical expenses on their own and take unpaid leave from work.
Why Do So Many People Fear Filing a Claim?
There are several reasons people decide not to file a workers’ comp claim even when they know they can. The first is the fear of retaliation. However, this is illegal in California. If employers retaliate against an employee for filing a claim, they only create a bigger legal mess for themselves.
Another common reason is immigration status. Many immigrants who have not yet completed the legal process believe they do not have rights as workers. This is true in many states, but California is not one of them. California provides protections even for workers who do not yet have a valid SSN.
The final common reason many people do not file a claim is that they do not know they can. Immigrants and young workers tend to fall victim to this as they may not be familiar with the state laws and the protections offered. Speaking with an experienced attorney can help ensure you get all the information you need to make a sound decision on how to proceed.
What Health Conditions Qualify?
Employers often withhold information and deny facts to prevent workers from exercising their rights. This is why even American-born citizens often get tricked into taking low workers’ compensation payments or asking for nothing at all. One piece of information employers are likely to withhold involves the qualifying health conditions. Here are the four main ones you should keep in mind:
- Psychiatric Injury: If you suffered mental distress as a result of your job, you can file a workers’ comp claim. Note that California law makes provisions for mental disorders, psychological stress and other factors.
- Occupational Diseases: You might think only certain specific workers face exposure to chemicals that can affect their health later on. However, this can happen to anyone. Even white-collar workers could be working in buildings with asbestos that was not properly covered or removed.
- Physical Injury: Accidents that cause physical injury are among the most common reasons people file for workers’ compensation. However, what many employers do not share is that work-related accidents that happen away from the office or work site also qualify.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries: Some jobs require body movements that are repetitive. Unfortunately, this can cause you to overwork a specific part of the body until you develop painful conditions, such as tendonitis. These also qualify for workers’ compensation.
How Do Workers File a Claim?
At English Lloyd & Armenta, we provide advice on how to file a claim based on the specifics of your case. Remember that workers may file a claim for any number of reasons, and each reason or other connected cases can affect the claim. Whatever the situation, here are some general steps you can follow:
Get Medical Advice
When you become injured at work, you might feel pressured to shake it off and keep working. However, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Let a doctor decide if and when you should return to work.
Inform the Employer
If possible, report the incident immediately or ask someone else to do so on your behalf. It is best to make the report in writing so you have proof of the time, date and response. Ask for a copy of the report when completed as well.
Providing proof of what happened and why can help improve your case if it goes to court. Remember that even if you are partially responsible for what happened, you may still be entitled to Palm Springs workers’ compensation.
Complete the Claim Form
California gives employers one business day to mail a claim form to you, but many choose not to. If this happens, the California Department of Industrial Relations provides one that you can download.
Mail in the Claim Form
After an attorney assists you with filling out the form, submit it to the DIR via certified mail. Store your receipt with the other documents you have related to the case. Remember that it’s important to not only submit the form but to do so on time.
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