Every job comes with some risks. But as an employee, you deserve a safe workplace. Your employer should do everything in their power to keep you out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. Employers sometimes cut corners or neglect to keep a safe work site. Often, the result of these actions is injury.
Those injuries can have a significant impact on your life. You could miss weeks of work, or experience an injury that leaves you permanently disabled. In either case, you don’t deserve to suffer. A worker’s compensation attorney in Fresno can help you seek compensation for your suffering.
Here at Grossman Law Offices, we know about the devastation of a workplace injury. We want to work to get you the benefits you deserve. According to the Labor Code, you are eligible for compensation for certain accidents. If you had a work-related illness or injury, you should contact our firm. We can represent you in your fight for compensation.
WHAT INCIDENTS WARRANT WORKERS COMPENSATION?
Workers’ compensation was designed to protect workers from injuries in the workplace. However, workers’ compensation doesn’t only apply to traumatic injuries. They also apply to injuries that are a result of long-term actions. For instance, being in a loud environment could eventually result in the loss of your hearing. You could seek compensation for your hearing loss.
That compensation isn’t immediate. If you want money for your losses, you need to file a worker’s compensation claim. And to do that, you need to go through the right channels. Our law firm can walk you through the process.
Most employers have insurance that covers workers’ compensation claims. Therefore, the employer is not directly responsible for paying your damages. Rather, the insurance company is responsible. You might need to fight the insurance company for a fair payout. However, this is difficult to do on your own. When you work with someone who has knowledge of workers’ compensation law in Fresno, you improve your chances at a successful outcome.
COMMON TYPES OF CLAIMS
Injuries and illnesses in the workplace come in many forms. Here are a few common types of claims:
1. Dangerous Designs
If an employer has you working in a workplace with a dangerous design, you could find yourself in an accident. For instance, they might have a walkway that contains an unsteady incline. It’s their responsibility to keep walkways and other design elements safe.
2. Slip and Falls
It’s quite common for slip and fall accidents to occur in the workplace. This is especially true for those who work in blue-collar jobs. With 24.94% of Fresno’s workforce working in blue-collar jobs, there are many people at risk for workplace injuries.
Slip and fall accidents can happen in many ways. For example, a worker can fall from a broken ladder. An uncleaned spill could cause an employee to slip and break a bone. Often, the accident is a result of neglect. If you are a victim of a slip and fall, our firm can fight for your right to compensation.
3. Dangerous Products
Many workers rely on their equipment to get jobs done safely. However, the equipment doesn’t always work the way it should. When it malfunctions, an injury can occur. There are several possible reasons for this type of accident.
In some cases, the equipment manufacturer uses low-quality materials. In other cases, the employer doesn’t use the right equipment for the job. They also might fail to provide regular inspections.
Whatever the reason may be, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation. A workers’ compensation attorney in Fresno could assist you in your journey to justice. Contact our office today for more information.
4. Lack of Training
There are many jobs that require training. However, some employers fail to provide proper training. In an effort to save time and money, they make workers learn by trial. Sadly, this can be a recipe for disaster.
3.5% of workers in Fresno are in the construction industry. If some of those workers don’t receive proper training, their lives are at risk.
A lack of training could result in a serious injury or death. But the incident isn’t your fault. Rather, it’s the fault of your employer. They owe it to you to provide you with the proper training for your tasks.
What Does Workers Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation gives you money for several facets of your claim. It covers all of the following:
1. Medical Treatment
You deserve the best medical treatment for your injuries. However, that treatment can be costly. Workers’ compensation should cover the cost of all the medical care you need to fully recover from your accident. In addition to including medical bills, this also includes rehabilitation and prescription medication.
2. Temporary Disability Benefits
If you need to take time off from work to recover from your injury, you deserve payment. Temporary disability benefits allow you to receive money while you recover.
Insulation workers, for instance, only have a mean annual wage of $40,210 in Fresno. At that wage, a week of missed work can put you in debt. Grossman Law Offices can help you receive the money you need to cover your expenses. If you’re interested in learning more, contact our office.
3. Permanent Disability Benefits
In some cases, you may never fully recover from your injury or illness. As a result, you could receive permanent disability benefits.
4. Job Displacement Benefits
Your accident could keep you from ever working your job again. Fortunately, supplemental job displacement benefits give you money to enhance your skills or train for a different position.
5. Death Benefits
In some cases, a workplace injury results in the death of the worker. The immediate family members of the spouse deserve compensation for their loss. With death benefits, they can try to recover without a financial burden.
What Should You Do After an Accident?
One of the first things you should do after a workplace accident is to contact a worker’s compensation lawyer. However, there are a few other steps you should also take.
First, you should get the medical attention you need. If you have an injury that requires immediate care, get treatment immediately. The longer you wait to get treatment, the worse your symptoms could become. Be sure to tell your doctors that the injury was a work-related incident. When they document your medical issues, they will include that in the chart. You get more evidence that your injury was a direct result of your job.
If you don’t need to go straight to the hospital, you should report your injury to the supervisor. Failing to report the incident puts your worker’s compensation claim at risk. It jeopardizes your claim. At the very least, it could delay your claim.
By reporting your claim quickly, you can get access to workers’ compensation funds sooner. You can seek medical care right away and be on your way to a successful recovery. By law, you only have one working day to notify your employer of the incident. If you don’t know about the injury until after the fact, you have one day from the discovery to tell your employer.
Filling Out Your Claim Form
After you report your injury, your employer should give you a worker’s compensation claim form. However, you can also get your own form by contacting us.
If your employer does not give you a form, you should take it as a warning sign. Their insurance company might be hesitant to give employees the money they deserve. When this occurs, you could benefit from working with a lawyer. We have the experience and resources you need to take on the insurance company.
Whether or not the insurance company is cooperative, you might need help filling out the claim form. If you fail to do so properly, you put your claim at risk.
The form details the incident and states that it was caused by work. By filing, you could receive up to $10,000 in medical treatment. Keep in mind that your treatment needs to be in line with the insurer’s guidelines.
Submitting your claim also could get you more in disability payments. If your employer or their insurer is late to pay you, then you could receive more money.
With the claim form, you take the first steps towards resolving your workplace injury. It’s a way to get the ball rolling and move towards a successful outcome. When you work with us, we help you avoid any mistakes that could delay or hurt your claim.
Why Do You Need a Workers Compensation Attorney in Fresno?
Because your employer has insurance to handle your claim, you might question whether or not you need a lawyer. However, workers’ compensation isn’t as simple as you might imagine. There are many ways in which you can benefit from working with a workers’ compensation attorney in Fresno. Here are a few ways we can help you:
1. Explain Your Treatment Options
If you don’t receive the right type of treatment, you could be on the hook for paying your medical bills. You need evidence-based treatment, which means you need to receive treatment that is proven to cure your injury or illness. If the insurer does not approve of the treatment, they could deny payment for the medical services.
There are guidelines regarding the type of medical treatment you can receive. The guidelines dictate the frequency of treatment, the intensity of the treatment, and the duration of the treatment. For more information on those guidelines, you can contact our office. We can make sure you get the proper treatment for your injuries.
2. Determine Eligibility
Not everyone is eligible for workers compensation. On the other hand, some individuals don’t realize that they are eligible for compensation. To find out about your eligibility, you should speak to a lawyer.
One of the determining factors is your worker status. Some workers are independent contractors and not employees. According to California law, independent contractors are not eligible for workers compensation. Only employees are eligible.
Determining whether or not you are an employee can be difficult. With no strict definition, some employers can mistakenly classify employees as contractors. Doing so allows them to avoid paying out for accidents. Therefore, it’s crucial to speak with a lawyer to determine your true status.
There are a few ways to determine your worker status. For example, a contractor has complete control over what they do. Meanwhile, an employee received orders and has limited control of the way they work. Other important details include how you are paid and who supplies materials for your job.
3. Get Fair Compensation
The median pay in Fresno is a mere $15.80 per hour. With such a low hourly wage, most Fresno residents can’t afford to miss work. Our firm can work towards getting you fair compensation for your bills.
After your accident, you deserve all of the help you can get. Our firm wants to stand up against insurance companies that attempt to cheat you on your claim. With our help, you can fight for what’s yours. Whether we settle in or out of court, a workers compensation attorney in Fresno is on your side.
4. Receive Advice
Many people don’t know what to do after a workplace accident. If you are unsure of how you should act after your accident, you should contact someone from our firm. We can advise you on the steps you need to take to get a successful outcome.
There are several common mistakes people make after workplace accidents. By working with us, you can learn how to avoid those mistakes. This improves your chances at getting the compensation you deserve.
Working with Us
Don’t settle for less than you deserve. If you need help with your
When you work with us, we treat you with the respect you deserve. We believe that everyone has the right to a safe workplace. For that reason, we strive to hold employers and insurance companies accountable.
The sooner you seek advice on your situation, the sooner you can be on your way to receiving compensation. Instead of handling all of your bills alone, let us help you get the money that is rightfully yours. Contact us today for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers Compensation in Fresno
The following questions are intended to provide you with a general overview of the answers. Keep in mind that for us to give specific and comprehensive answers, there are a lot of details that we will need to consider and explore first. The best way to get the answers that you need about your own rights and options regarding workers’ compensation is by contacting us as soon as possible and scheduling an initial consultation. During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the specifics of your own situation, and how we can help as experienced workers’ compensation attorneys in Fresno.
Am I eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim after my injury?
If you were injured either on the job or while performing a job-related task, even if you were commuting for work or on a business trip, then you are likely able to seek compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation policy that they are legally required to carry. Speak with your employer first to understand the proper procedure for filing, as they may be able to give you additional insight that is not immediately apparent.
Realistically, the most important thing for you to do is to partner with a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. When you are represented by an attorney, you can be confident that every impact, cost, loss, and expense is included in your claim, meaning that you are able to focus on recovery without worrying about the financial impact of your workplace-related injury.
According to statistics provided by the Insurance Information Institute, the occupation with the highest number of work-related injuries and illnesses is a laborer, at 7.6% of the overall workforce reporting these issues. The second is a truck driver, with 5.5% of the workforce dealing with illness or injuries that stem from work-related issues.
Between these two occupations, about 100,000 injuries and illnesses were reported in 2018 nationally. These workers’ compensation statistics may cause alarm in some people, but knowing that there are risks associated with every occupation, it is important to know that there is an attorney available to help you get the money that you deserve.
Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that is mandated by the state of California for EVERY employer, no matter how few or how many employees they have. This insurance policy provides two-way protection, in that this “no-fault” policy covers an employee for any job-related illnesses or injuries while additionally protecting the employer from the possibility of a lawsuit.
After you have been injured on the job, or have come down with an occupational illness, you will need to file a claim with the company that provides the workers’ compensation insurance for your employer. You will need to work directly with your employer or a Human Resources representative of the company to get the relevant information, such as who to file your claim with. Once you file the claim, the insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to your case that will investigate all of the relevant details of your claim before determining how much you are entitled to for compensation.
Workers’ compensation is divided into four different, distinct types. Depending on your needs, you may be eligible for only one of the four or may receive benefits for more than one. When you are going through the claims process and working with a workers’ comp lawyer in Fresno, you will be able to understand what your options are and what you should be expecting for benefits.
Medical coverage is essential to your health after an injury or sickness that happened because of a workplace hazard or occupational issue. Your medical coverage will be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation policy so that you can get the treatment you need after becoming sick or hurt at work or while performing work-related duties.
Disability benefits are intended to protect you financially in the event that your sickness or injury leads to a short-term or long-term disability period where you are unable to return to work.
Rehabilitation benefits are intended to provide you with financial support as you are working to rehabilitate from your sickness or injury during and after your treatment. Rehabilitation expenses, such as physical therapy, can be costly.
In the unfortunate event that you lose a loved one in a workplace-related injury or as a result of an occupational illness, then the surviving family is entitled to death benefits in order to compensate for the loss of economic support.
There is a wide range of injuries and illnesses that ultimately qualify for workers’ comp. The main thing to determine is whether or not this impact is work-related, meaning that we will need to prove that it happened either on the job or while you were taking part in some sort of activity that was relating to work, such as commuting or traveling for work.
Some common types of injuries and illnesses that are handled with workers’ compensation claims are as follows:
Repetitive Strain Injuries
The most common types of repetitive strain injuries are things like bursitis or carpal tunnel, and are common in office jobs and other jobs where typing or repetitive motions are part of the work. There are a variety of serious impacts that an RSI can have you your life, especially if it interferes with your ability to go about your normal activities or earn an income as you normally would.
When you strain in order to lift something, move an object, or another physical activity that you are performing for your job, and injure yourself in the process, this is considered a “overexertion” injury, and is covered by your workers’ compensation policy. In order to recover from these types of injuries, you may need to undergo surgery to repair a hernia or ruptured disk, stay away from heavy lifting for an extended period of time, attend physical therapy, and more.
Each measure that you must take in order to recover from an overexertion injury is costly, in both time and money, and you deserve to be compensated for these costs through your workers’ compensation policy.
Slips and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls at the workplace are common, and can cause serious injury depending on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of the damage done. While slips and falls are typically associated with workplaces like construction sites or warehouses, an office worker can just as easily be injured on a wet floor or a loose stair tread as a construction worker can be injured.
Regardless of how your slip and fall came about, or the type of industry that you work in, you deserve compensation for these injuries that you should be able to seek through your workers’ compensation policy.
Struck by Falling Object
Falling objects pose a serious threat to warehouse and construction workers, and 278 workers were killed in 2018 after being struck by a falling object or equipment. There are roughly 50,000 of these cases reported each year, meaning that it is an alarmingly common type of injury in certain industries.
If you have been struck by a falling object, then it is absolutely essential that you get the treatment you need, and the workers’ compensation payments that you require in order to focus on recovery without suffering significant financial impacts to your life.
It is important to note here that you do not need to be physically at your place of work while you are injured to qualify for workers’ comp benefits. If you are traveling for business, taking part in a work-related activity outside of work hours, and a variety of other situations count, and we will be happy to work with you in order to prove that your illness or injury is work-related if there is any question.
According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s (NCCI), workers’ compensation claims averaged just over $40,000 between 2016-2017. However, this average accounts for a range of accidents and the payouts associated with them. For instance, accidents involving motor vehicles paid nearly $80,000 on average, about twice the overall average. However, these statistics do not necessarily indicate what your own accident settlement is worth.
Workers’ compensation has limitations that typically generate smaller settlement amounts than a personal injury lawsuit because it does not include non-economic damages and protects the employer from being sued if they are at fault for the injuries. While this can be viewed as a drawback to the protection, the most important thing to remember is that this policy is intended to protect everyone, and ensure that employees are guaranteed financial compensation in the event of an injury.
Economic damages account for all of the actual, financial impacts on your life; basically, everything that comes with a receipt. This includes your medical bills and expenses, as well as the impacts to your earning abilities, your long-term income, and more. If you must hire services to help you perform tasks that you had previously been able to do on your own, you will also be able to seek compensation for these things (within reason).
When you are working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Fresno, you can be confident that there is someone fighting to make sure that every financial impact is accounted for, and that you are able to move forward with your life with the right economic support for your situation.