Millions of Americans get injured on the job each year. In 2018 (the latest data available to us), the Bureau of Labor Statistics tallied 2.83 million non-fatal work-related injuries. Often, these injuries cause workers to miss time from work, resulting in tremendous financial strain and stress.

Workers’ compensation has been put in place to help workers after an injury. However, there are still many employees who do not realize what benefits are available to them.

If you suffer an on-the-job injury, the Escondido workers’ compensation attorneys at Marino & Tye LLP can help you secure compensation for the full cost of your injuries. Please call (760) 741-7643 right away for a free consultation.

California Laws on Workers’ Compensation

Each state has different laws when it comes to workers’ compensation. These laws outline workers’ rights as well as their responsibilities and also detail certain obligations that all employers have to their workers.

In California, all employers are required to hold workers’ compensation, even if they have only one employee. When an employee is hurt on the job, that person should report the injury as soon as possible.

If you are injured at work, your employers should provide a workers’ compensation claim form to you within one working day after the work-related injury is reported. If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, the legal team at Marino & Tye LLP can help you determine whether you have the right to appeal. Moreover, we can help you with the application, greatly reducing the likelihood of denial and the need to go through an appeal.

Common Injuries

Depending on where you work and what you do, workplace injuries can vary from minor cuts and scrapes to serious life-threatening injuries. That is why it is crucial to know your rights when it comes to filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you have questions regarding an Escondido workplace injury, an experienced attorney can help. Common workplace injuries include:

  • Broken bones: These are often the result of a fall or a crush injury. For minor injuries, the break may heal on its own. For more severe cases, the patient may require surgery. A broken bone can cause long-term pain and can affect mobility.
  • Repetitive stress injuries: These are some of the most common on-the-job injuries in Escondido. While commonly associated with office positions and skilled trades, repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel, are common among workers of medical facilities, specifically card dealers. Carpal tunnel occurs when pressure is put on the median nerve in the wrist, which causes pain and numbness. Physical therapy and medication can help these injuries, but in some cases, injured individuals may need surgery.
  • Sprains, strains, and tears: A sprain occurs when the ligaments connecting your joints are overextended. While a sprain affects the ligaments, a strain affects the muscles. In a lot of cases, a person with strains and sprains can recover with no or limited medical interventions. If the injury results in a tear, however, a doctor may recommend physical therapy, medication, or surgery.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs as the result of a sudden hit or penetrating wound to the head. This can cause the person to lose consciousness. In some cases, symptoms of a TBI may not be apparent until days after the injury. While many TBIs go away with no lingering effects, there are cases where a person may experience dizziness, headaches, memory problems, or sensory issues.

Compensation for Your Injuries

If you suffer an injury on-the-job, seek compensation for your injury. However, it should be noted that workers’ compensation is not a personal injury claim. You cannot sue your employer for negligence. California laws outline compensation available to injured employees. While the amount you receive will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, some of the most commonly included damages are the following:

  • Medical bills: The coverage includes payments for doctor visits, medical transportation, surgeries, medication, and rehabilitation.
  • TTD or TPD: Temporary total disability (TTD) covers lost wages if the injury causes you to miss work. You can receive two-thirds of your lost gross wages during recovery. In California, the maximum amount that a worker can receive per week is USD 1,215.27 (2018 data). The amount can change each year based on the statewide average wage.
  • Vocational rehabilitation: In some cases, the injury may be so catastrophic that you are unable to return to the job that you held before your injury. In such a case, your employer may be obliged to provide vocational rehabilitation. It is designed to help you find a new job that will pay you a similar wage to what you were making pre-injury.
  • Disability (PPD or PTD): At some point in your care, your doctor will determine that you are medically stationary. Meaning to say, they do not foresee your condition getting any better or worse. At this point, the doctor will give you a disability rating that will be used to calculate your permanent partial disability (PPD) or permanent disability (PTD).

Escondido Workers’ Compensation FAQ

Contracting an occupational illness not only causes physical pain but can lead to severe emotional and financial distress. The vast majority of Escondido employers, and employers across the nation, must carry workers’ compensation insurance that provides benefits for their workers. They help protect their employees in case they get injured or sick in the line of duty.

If you have begun the workers’ compensation claims process, or you have been injured recently on the job, or a loved one suffered a fatal workplace injury, then you likely have several questions in mind about workers’ compensation in Escondido. While some workers can handle a simple workers’ comp claim on their own, many employees benefit from discussing their workplace injury or illness during a free consultation with the highly-qualified attorneys from Marino & Tye LLP.

In the meantime, we have provided below the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive regarding Escondido workers’ compensation.

My injury didn’t happen at work. Am I still covered under workers’ compensation?

The geographic location of where your injury or illness happened does not matter as long as your injury or illness arose in connection with your job. Thus, your employer-provided workers’ compensation insurance should cover its costs.

How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim in Escondido?

It is imperative that you notify the employer within 30 days of the date of the injury. Failure to provide notice within that period may cause you to lose the right to make a workers’ compensation claim. Please note, however, that submitting a claim form commences a 90-day period during which the claims administrator has the opportunity to deny your claim without being required to overcome a presumption that the injury is compensable. It should be noted further, if your employer (or its insurer) does not deny liability within 90 days, the Division of Workers’ Compensation will presume that you have sustained a compensable injury. Therefore, it is crucial to file a claim form promptly because you may avail of medical treatment or other benefits from a presumption that your injuries are compensable if your claim is not denied within 90 days after filing.

How long do I have to wait to receive my workers’ compensation benefits?

Within 14 days after receiving your DWC-1, your employer must accept, reject, or delay your claim. If delayed, they will have 90 days to investigate your claim. During this period, your employer must pay your medical bills; they do not have to pay temporary disability benefits. If you are out of work due to your injuries, you may seek temporary disability under State Disability Insurance (SDI) or any other disability policy you may have. If your claim is not denied within this time period, it will be “presumed compensable” and your disability payments will be required to begin.

What situations disqualify me from receiving workers’ compensation benefits?

Workers’ compensation covers you against the cost of workplace injuries and illnesses. In general, benefits do not depend on how an injury or illness happened or who caused it. However, a few situations can disqualify you from collecting benefits, such as:

  • You intentionally harmed yourself
  • You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when your injury occurred
  • You sustained an injury or illness while committing a crime

If a workers’ compensation insurance company denies your claim for any of these reasons, then contact your highly qualified Escondido Workers’ Compensation attorney at Marino & Tye LLP as soon as possible to determine the best course of action for your situation.

What should I do if my employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance?

California laws require virtually all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, so generally, that should not happen. If it does, you should still seek medical treatment for your work-related injury or illness.

The concerned government agency can investigate your employer’s status to determine whether the employer should carry workers’ comp, and if so, what consequences your employer should face. In the meantime, you may have the right to file a claim with the DIR for benefits paid out of the state’s Uninsured Employer’s Account.

Can my employer fire me because I filed a workers’ compensation claim?

No, your employer cannot fire you because you filed a workers’ compensation claim. Retaliation for exercising rights to workers’ comp benefits is against the law and can give you the grounds to sue your employer. If you feel your employer terminated you (or you suffered any other sort of negative job consequence) in retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim, speak with an experienced attorney at Marino & Tye LLP right away.

Contact Marino & Tye LLP To Learn More About Your Rights

After a workplace injury, it is understandable to feel confused and overwhelmed. But do not let these emotions hinder you from getting proper care and just compensation. California’s workers’ compensation laws are put in place to protect workers in the event of an accident. An experienced Escondido workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the process, ensure you receive all of the benefits for which you are eligible, and advise you about the steps you need to take to recover.

If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim, the legal team at Marino & Tye LLP is here ready to help. Contact our office at (760) 741-7643 for a free consultation.