After you’ve been injured at work, the last thing you want to think about is legal matters. However, this is something that needs to be handled as soon as possible. An experienced work injury lawyer in Orange County will help make the process as seamless as possible so that you can focus on recovering physically and emotionally. Here are a few signs you’ve got a strong workers’ comp case.
1. You have a workplace accident report.
The employer is required to create an accident report and provide the injured worker with a copy. The accident report is used in the claims process to determine benefits eligibility and by the Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer to build a case.
The report details how the accident occurred, includes witness information, and plays a key role in helping the injured worker obtain the benefits and compensation they deserve.
2. You can prove employee status.
It’s important for an injured worker to prove they were an employee at the time of the accident. Their Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer will need copies of pay stubs and correspondence between the employee and the employer to verify employee status. The attorney will also need photos of the accident scene, time clock reports, and copies of witness testimony to support the workers’ comp case.
3. You have evidence of your injuries.
Injured workers will need to keep a record of their illness or injury, treatment, and actions following the accident. The Orange County workers’ compensation lawyer will need copies of medical records and bills, photos of the injuries, and doctor’s reports after every appointment.
This evidence will be used by the attorney to determine the value of your case, establish a link between the accident and the injuries, prove your willingness to pursue treatment, and increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement.
Thomas F. Martin, PLC is an award winning work injury lawyer in Orange County, helping injured workers secure the compensation and benefits they deserve. Contact his office today to schedule a consultation and begin your journey to legal justice.
California businesses may soon see their workers’ compensation insurance rates rise. On June 7, the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) hosted a hearing to discuss updates to rates.
At the beginning of 2021, the rate was $1.45 per $100 of payroll. The rating board, which evaluates trends in claims to determine the appropriate rate, recommended $1.50 for $100, a 2.7% increase.
Mark Priven, the public actuary who represents organized labor and advises the commissioner while working for the Bickmore risk management firm, recommended lowering the rate to $1.34. This would be nearly 20 cents lower than the current benchmark, and less than half the $2.50 rate set in 2015 in California.
Rating bureau CEO Bill Mudge said the rates in the competitive market have been going down, but the question is, how long will they last?
According to Mudge, “(Carriers) may choose to just be competitive. But if carriers feel like they’re having to recover those costs, they may raise the rates — unless they’re just going to be competitive.” Nationally, workers’ compensation is valued at $55 billion.
The factors cited for the suggested increase in rates include costs associated with medical-legal and primary care services. The effects of COVID-19 on the workplace were not considered.
California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will be reviewing rates recommended by WCIRB and has promised to be on the lookout for changes or challenges to the marketplace.
Lara said, “With the pandemic continuing to create uncertainty for the near future, we need to continue to review the data along with the impact of both vaccine distribution and additional and necessary public health measures to bend the curve.” He added that he’s, “not persuaded that there is sufficient and reliable data upon which to base an adjustment for COVID-19 costs.”
In response to COVID the bureau is adding a new worker classification — remote worker. Industry insiders believe the remote working trend is here to stay and agree this has created a major shift in how employees work.
It remains to be seen, however, how the new class of workers will affect rates.
A recent study found that rising temperatures caused an additional 20,000 workplace injuries per year, costing an estimated $1 billion for workers, employers, and the state.
The researchers gathered data on 18 years’ worth of claims from the California workers’ compensation system and found that “workplace injuries and accidents increased by as much as 9% on days when temperatures were in the 90s and rose by as much as 15% on days in the 100s,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Contrary to popular belief, high temperatures not only impact outdoor workers, but also indoor workers employed in manufacturing, warehousing, and wholesale. Heat may have a calming effect on workers, creating a false sense of security and impairing judgment.
Heat has a much greater effect on people than previously thought. For example, one study found that New York City students were more likely to fail an important state exam on a 90-degree day, than when it was 72 degrees outside.
In the workplace, heat increases the risk of a fall, being hit by a moving vehicle, or mishandling dangerous machinery. Men and younger workers are more likely to suffer injury on a hot day, even in indoor settings. Low-wage workers suffer the most, partly because they tend to have more dangerous jobs and are more likely to live and work in the hottest parts of the state. According to the study’s findings, the bottom 20% of earners were five times more likely to be injured on a hot day, than workers in the top 20%.
The connection between heat and workplace injuries began to have less of an effect on workplace injuries in 2005, around the time when California adopted a heat illness prevention regulation that required employers to provide outdoor workers with shade, water, and training on how to avoid heat exhaustion. However, enforcement has been sporadic and California farmworkers are still at risk of dying during heat waves.
The study’s researchers cautioned that more research is necessary to determine whether the state’s outdoor heat regulation was truly effective.
Suffering a career threatening injury can be a frightening experience. The physical pain and suffering aside, the fact that you might not be able to work for the foreseeable future can make you feel anxious.
As unnerving as the situation might be, it is important for you to take certain steps so that you can receive the compensation and benefits you are entitled to under California law.
Steps to Take after a Career Threatening Injury
Get Medical Help
Call 911 or ask one of your coworkers to get you to the emergency room right away. Tell the doctor that your injury or illness is work related. Do not try to exaggerate or hide any symptoms from the doctor.
Report Your Injury
As soon as you are physically able to do so, inform your supervisor or employer that you have been injured or that you have developed a work-related health condition. Do not – for any reason – wait to report your injury or illness. If you fail to inform your employer about your career threatening injury within a span of 30 days, you might not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Fill Out The Workers’ Compensation Form
After you report your injury, your employer will provide you with a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1). You need to fill out the ‘employee’ portion of the form and give it to your employer. Once you do, your employer will fill out the ‘employer’ portion of the form and give it to the claims adjuster.
Contact a California Workers’ Compensation Attorney
This is perhaps the most important step you need to take after suffering a career threatening injury. It is critical for you to be represented and guided by a skilled workers’ comp attorney, as it is the only way you can make sure your rights are not violated by your employer or the insurance company at any point during the claims process.
The attorney will review your claim, tell you what kind of benefits you are eligible to receive, and make sure you do not make any mistakes that could delay the claims process.
In case your claim is unfairly denied by the insurance adjuster, your attorney can help you challenge the decision by filing an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).
Follow the Doctor’s Instructions
While recovering from the injury, it is important for you to follow your doctor’s instructions. Not doing so can not only affect your recovery, but also make it difficult for you to receive all the benefits you are entitled to.
Need to File a Claim for a Career Threatening Injury? Thomas F. Martin Can Help You!
If you have suffered a career ending injury, attorney Thomas F. Martin can help you get the compensation and benefits you deserve. Over the last 25 years, Mr. Martin has handled thousands of work injury claims and helped his clients get the compensation and benefits they are entitled to under the law.
A highly successful workers’ compensation attorney, Thomas F. Martin is aware of all the underhanded tactics that the insurance company might employ to delay or deny your claim. He can counter them effectively and help you get a substantial compensation that covers the cost of your medical care and lost wages.
For a complimentary consultation, call us at 714-547-5025 or fill out this contact form today.
Nobody expects to get injured on the job. The truth, however, is that every year, thousands of workers are injured in California – due to their own negligence in some cases and due to their employers’ negligence in some other cases. Irrespective of the cause of the injury, any worker who is injured on the job has the right to receive quality medical care and compensation.
Work Injury Rights in California
The first thing you should know about California’s workers’ compensation system is that it is a no-fault system. What it means is that as an injured worker, you are entitled to receive medical care and compensation – even if the injury or illness in question was caused as a result of your own negligence.
Given below is a brief list of your work injury rights in California.
- Right to file a workers’ comp claim
- Right to receive quality medical care
- Right to receive temporary or permanent disability compensation (depending on the nature, extent, and severity of the injuries you suffered)
- Right to return to work only when approved by the physician who treated you
- Right to file an appeal if you are not satisfied with your employer’s or the insurance company’s decision regarding your claim
- Right to be represented by a California work injury attorney during the claims process
Under California law, employers are strictly prohibited from taking any action that might infringe upon or violate a worker’s injury rights. These include:
- Persuading, coercing, or threatening an injured worker into not filing a claim
- Forcing an injured worker to pay their injury-related bills through their own health insurance policy
- Bullying, harassing, or discriminating against a worker or depriving them of their benefits for filing a claim
- Terminating a worker for filing a claim
Work Injury Rights in California – What Are the Benefits and Entitlements You Can Avail?
Cost of Medical Treatment
It covers the costs associated with your evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Temporary Disability Payments
If you have to take time off work due to a work-related injury or illness, you can qualify for temporary disability payments. You are entitled to receive temporary disability payments for a period of up to two years.
Permanent Disability Payments
If your work-related injury or illness leaves you with a permanent disability, you can qualify for permanent disability payments. You are entitled to receive permanent disability payments for a period of up to 14 years.
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
If you are not able to return to your previous job due to your injuries and if you are not offered a suitable job by your employer, you can receive supplemental job displacement benefits, which are meant to cover the cost of your educational retraining or skill enhancement programs.
Need a Lawyer Who Can Protect Your Work Injury Rights in California?
Attorney Thomas F. Martin has over 25 years of experience in handling California work injury rights claims. Rated highly by his clients as well as peers, Mr. Martin is a recipient of numerous awards and professional honors. He can offer you the legal guidance you need, make sure your rights are not violated at any point during the claims process, and help you get the compensation you deserve. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at 714-547-5025 or contact us online.
It is well known that California’s workers’ compensation system is notoriously difficult to navigate. Unless you are guided by an experienced work injury attorney, you might not be able to get the compensation you deserve.
Choosing the right California workers’ compensation attorney to handle your claim, however, is not an easy task, as you have so many options to choose from. To make your job easier, we have listed four key factors you should consider while choosing a California work injury attorney.
1. Specialization in Workers’ Compensation Law
The first thing you should consider while looking for a workers’ comp attorney is whether they specialize in workers’ compensation law or not.
While a personal injury attorney might also be able to handle a workers’ compensation claim, they will never be able to bring the same level of legal knowledge and expertise. So, you should look for a work injury attorney who exclusively handles workers’ compensation claims.
When it comes to handling workers’ compensation claims, there is absolutely no substitute for experience. A young and inexperienced attorney – regardless of how knowledgeable they are – might struggle to handle a complicated claim – especially if the employer in question is deliberately trying to delay or deny the claim.
An experienced work injury attorney, on the other hand, will be able to spot the employer’s as well as the insurance company’s delaying tactics from a mile away and take the necessary steps to avoid unnecessary delays in the claims process.
Moreover, an experienced work injury attorney is likely to have handled claims similar to yours in the past. As a result, they will be able to handle your claim with confidence, negotiate with the insurance company aggressively, file an appeal if necessary, and help you get the compensation you deserve.
3. Track Record
All the legal knowledge and experience in the world do not matter if an attorney is not able to deliver the results you need. So, it’s crucial to look for a California workers compensation attorney with a track record of recovering substantial compensation for their clients.
What kind of reputation does the attorney enjoy in the legal community? This is an important question you need to ask while choosing a work injury attorney to handle your claim.
A reputable attorney would be willing to go the extra mile to win your case and help you get the compensation you deserve, as they would want to protect their hard-earned reputation at any cost. So, look for an attorney who regularly features on ‘Best Attorney’ lists and has been recognized and honored by professional organizations.
Need a Reliable California Work Injury Attorney to Handle Your Claim?
Attorney Thomas F. Martin has over 25 years of experience in handling workers’ compensation claims. Consistently rated as one of the best workers’ comp attorneys in the state by the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and several other publications, Mr. Martin has a reputation for recovering substantial compensation for injured workers.
Apart from being a successful work injury attorney, Thomas F. Martin is also a highly sought-after speaker in the legal community. He has the legal knowledge, experience, and resources required to take up any kind of workers’ comp claim – regardless of how complicated it might be.
For a complimentary case review with California work injury attorney Thomas F. Martin, contact us today at 714-547-5025 or write to us online.
At Thomas F. Martin, PLC, Orange County Workers’ Compensation Attorney Thomas Martin has helped many injured workers seek fair workers’ compensation benefits after being in a workplace accident. But no matter how much we enjoy our job and serving injured workers, it would be better if there were no on-the-job accidents in the first place. After all, workplace safety may ultimately be the responsibility of employers, supervisors, regulators, and parent companies.
Keep these tips to avoid common workplace accidents in mind whenever on-the-job: (more…)
Employees working in a variety of industries and fields may encounter dangerous toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, some workplaces are not promoting the safe handling of chemicals, leading to tragic work injuries each year. (more…)
According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), workers’ comp laws across the country could be in for a big change down the road. Currently, most workers’ compensation programs are run at a state-level but talks of developing legislation could potentially add massive federal government oversight. Many organizations, including the popular National Public Radio (NPR), have expressed concern that this would likely lead to a trend of weakening compensation benefits and laws as a whole; other groups with the same sentiment include insurance companies and small-scale employers. (more…)