Workers' compensation in California is meant to benefit employers and employees alike, but particularly employees. Generally, workers' comp is a type of insurance employers carry to avoid litigation while acting as a source of financial and medical support to employees when they have been injured on the job. The type and extent of benefits depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. Workers' comp payments are not equivalent to paychecks, so it is important that workers get the maximum they are allowed.
At the LAW OFFICE OF SHANE P. BRADLEY, APC, our workers' compensation lawyer in Sacramento helps clients understand how workers' compensation laws work, including the benefits that should be provided in any given situation. If you have been injured on the job but your employer is challenging your claim in all or in part, contact us at (916) 755-5929 to schedule a Free Consultation. We will review your case and advise you accordingly.
California Workers' Compensation Benefits
Workers' compensation benefits are typically available to workers who have been injured while on the job. They provide injured workers with the financial and medical support they need due to the job injury or job-related illness. These benefits are issued based on each state's workers' compensation rates.
Workers' compensation benefits are generally paid by the employer through a workers' compensation insurance policy. The cost of these insurance premiums to the employer vary greatly depending on the size of the business, the number of employees, the type of work the employees perform, the laws of the state, and the insurer.
Workers' compensation does not cover all injuries that happen in the workplace. Reasons why workers' compensation benefits may be denied include:
- The injuries were received in a fight initiated by the employee
- The injuries were received while the employee voluntarily participated in horseplay
- The injuries were received while the employee engaged in an illegal activity
- The injuries were received while the employee was intoxicated
Most states have their own requirements and system for administering workers' compensation benefits. This means that while there are a lot of similarities between the programs in each state, there are also differences. The discussion of the benefits listed below are an overview of how these benefits are generally treated in most states. If you live in California, contact our workers' compensation attorney to get more specific information.
Workers' Compensation Medical Benefits in California
Medical benefits available under workers' compensation generally include full payment for all costs associated with necessary medical treatment as approved by the insurance company. Medical treatment includes different treatment modalities depending on the injury, but can include:
- Hospital visits
- Doctor visits
- Physical Therapy
- Aqua Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Steroid Injections
- Nerve Conductions Studies (EMG/NCV)
- CT Scans
- Tens Unit
- Can / Walker / Orthopedic Devices
Also, keep in mind that payment of these benefits are limited to medical providers authorized by the insurance company.
Temporary Disability Benefits in California
The big concern when injured on the job is wages: when will the injured employee get paid again? Temporary Disability benefits are due when a Workers' Compensation doctor determines the injured worker is too injured to work at all, or gives work restrictions the employer cannot accommodate. Then the injured worker can receive 2/3 of their average weekly wage, subject to statutory minimum and maximums, for up to 104 weeks within five years of the date of injury.
Permanent Disability Benefits in California
Permanent disability is paid for the permanent impairment or derangement of a body part, body system, or illness found to be compensable. Injuries are rated as impairments by the AMA Guides 5th Edition. These ratings are adjusted by a schedule which considers the injured worker's age, occupation, and body part injured to provide a percentage of permanent disability. This percentage equates to an amount of financial compensation.
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit
The SJDB voucher is allows for $6,000.00 to pay for occupational education, and includes a $5,000.00 benefit from the State of California's Return to Work Fund if the employer does not make an offer of work within statutory timeframes.
Workers' Comp Death Benefits in California
Workers' compensation benefits typically include burial benefits for a worker who dies due to a work-related illness or injury. The amount paid depends on state law.
Death benefits are generally available for dependents of a deceased worker, which are usually the family members relying on the income and support of an employee who dies due to a work-related injury or illness. These benefits may be available for the:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving dependent children
- Surviving dependent grandchildren
- Other surviving dependent family members
Each state will clarify who is able to receive death benefits in their jurisdiction. The purpose of these death benefits is to compensate the family members for the loss of financial support they have suffered with their family member's death.
Contact a Workers' Compensation Lawyer in Sacramento Today
We work to pay our bills and improve our overall quality of life for ourselves and our loved ones. When an unexpected injury occurs while working in California, it can upend anyone's life. Making sure you get the resources you need to recover is critical, and that's exactly what we do at the LAW OFFICE OF SHANE P. BRADLEY, APC.