Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Comp
At LTHZ Law, attorney Ben Helfman has talked to countless injured workers over the past few decades. He understands that being hurt at work leads to numerous concerns. Below are a few frequently asked questions and answers, but you are also welcome to call the Redding office to speak with a member of the legal team directly: 530-710-8522.
What If My Initial Claim Is Denied?
You will need to file a case at one of the offices of the Division of Worker’s Compensation (DWC) in the county where you live or were injured. Mr. Helfman is highly skilled in appealing denied workers’ compensation claims. He will provide the guidance and advocacy you require.
What If I Was Injured On The Job, But My Employer Doesn’t Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?
You can still file a workers’ compensation claim. You may also file a civil action lawsuit against your employer because failing to carry insurance is a criminal offense under Section 3700.5 of the California Labor code. Let LTHZ Law help you with this. Mr. Helfman has decades of experience with these types of concerns.
I’m An Undocumented Worker. Can I Still Get Benefits?
Most likely, yes. You don’t usually need to be a legal resident of the U.S. to get workers’ compensation benefits for a job-related injury.
I Was Hurt On The Job And Filed A Claim, But Then I Got Fired. Is That Legal?
Your employer is not allowed to discriminate against you because you filed a claim. It is against the law. An experienced lawyer will do everything in their power to right this wrong and ensure you get the benefits that you deserve.
My Employer Said That I’m An Independent Contractor, Not A Regular Employee, So I Can’t Get Benefits. Is This True?
Just because your employer calls you an “independent contractor” doesn’t necessarily make you one in the eyes of the law. Let an experienced attorney review the details of your employment situation and advise you accordingly. You may actually qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
I’ve Been Injured On The Job And My Insurance Company Wants Me To Settle With My Employer. What Should I Do?
What the insurance company is offering may or may not make sense for your situation. Before you make that decision, it’s worth your time to seek counsel from a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney. Call LTHZ Law’s Redding office and schedule a free consultation right away.
What Is A QME?
A qualified medical examiner (QME) is a licensed doctor or other medical provider who can examine a worker’s injury during the workers’ compensation claim process. This medical provider can determine the extent of damage and other factors that could influence benefits, such as whether the injury is related to work and whether the worker will be able to return to their job.
Remember: the QME is a neutral party. Although they may be helpful for your recovery in terms of health, they do not represent your legal interests. If you believe that the QME has provided an incorrect diagnosis or recommendation, it is important to contest their report within 30 days. Your attorney can help you dispute the QME’s findings and assess your medical options.
What If My Injury Occurred Over Time?
There are many types of cumulative injuries that could make you eligible for workers’ compensation, such as:
- Repetitive stress injuries due to repeating the same movements, such as typing or bending and lifting objects
- Loss of hearing due to a significantly loud work environment
- Long-term exposure to toxic substances, such as cleaning agents, coal dust, asbestos or smoke
It can be difficult to prove that these injuries are directly related to your job or workplace. However, work injuries that happen gradually are still work injuries, and they still warrant fair compensation.
Do I Really Need An Attorney?
In some situations, you may be able to obtain benefits on your own. However, here are 12 situations in which it makes sense to get an experienced advocate on your side.
What Should I Look For When Choosing A Lawyer?
Here are a few important things to consider when deciding which attorney to trust with your case.
How Much Will It Cost?
You pay no upfront fees or costs to retain Mr. Helfman. You only pay if he successfully recovers benefits for you. In addition, the firm doesn’t set its own fees. These are controlled by law and determined by the workers’ compensation judge in charge of your case. The bottom line is that you never have to worry about writing a check or handing over a credit card.
What Should I Bring To The First Consultation?
Bring information that would apply to your case, such as your employer’s information (name, address and phone number), the date you were hired, the date your injury occurred and the details of how it happened.
Mr. Helfman would also like to see a copy of your employee handbook and medical records for any treatment you have had for your injury. Finally, he’ll need to know your current rate of pay and what past injuries you’ve had, even if they are not related to your work.
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