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Workers’ Comp FAQ

The Law Office of Robert E. Wood Nov. 22, 2023

Workers' compensation is a system designed to protect employees who have been injured or become ill as a result of their work. It provides benefits like medical care, rehabilitation, and compensation for lost wages. But the process can be confusing, filled with legal jargon and strict deadlines. We're here to help make sense of it all, providing clarity so you can focus on what's most important—your recovery. 

At The Law Office of Robert E. Wood—serving Oakland, California, and the San Francisco Bay Area —we understand the challenges and uncertainties you're facing right now. Dealing with a workplace injury is tough enough without having to navigate the complex world of workers' compensation claims. We're here to provide you with the information, support, and representation you need during this difficult time. At our firm, we'll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about workers' comp, helping you understand your rights and options. 

Who Qualifies for Workers' Comp? 

In California, nearly all employees are covered by workers' compensation, regardless of whether they're full-time, part-time, or temporary. If you've suffered a work-related injury or illness, you're likely eligible for benefits. However, independent contractors aren't typically covered. Rest assured, our attorney, Robert Wood, is here to assess your specific situation, guide you through the process, and fight for the compensation you deserve. 

How Much Time Do I Have to File? 

California law generally gives you one year from the date of the injury or the date you became aware of the injury to file a workers' comp claim. However, it's crucial to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. We understand the importance of timely filing and will assist you in gathering the required documentation and ensuring your claim is filed correctly and promptly. 

What if My Employer Retaliates Against Me for Filing? 

It's illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for filing workers' comp claims. If you're experiencing retaliation—like termination, demotion, or harassment—after filing a claim, you have the right to take legal action. We're committed to protecting your rights and will take swift action against any employer who engages in such behavior. 

Can I Go to My Own Doctor? 

Typically, your employer or their insurance company has the right to choose the doctor who provides medical treatment for your work-related injury. However, if you're dissatisfied with the care you're receiving, you may be able to request a change of physician.  

What if the Injury Was Partially My Fault? 

Even if the injury was partially your fault, you may still be entitled to benefits. California's workers' comp system is no-fault, meaning that you're generally eligible for benefits regardless of who caused the workplace injury.  

What Benefits Are Injured Employees Entitled To? 

As an injured employee, you might be entitled to a range of benefits, including coverage for necessary medical expenses, compensation for lost wages during recovery, financial support for long-term impairments, and assistance in returning to work or finding alternative employment.  

What if I Have Pre-existing Medical Conditions? 

If your job duties or workplace conditions have aggravated or worsened a pre-existing condition, you may still be eligible for workers' comp benefits. Typically, demonstrating a clear correlation between your job duties and your injury or illness is required. Medical evidence usually plays a significant role in this, which includes doctor's reports and medical records. Also, witness accounts can be valuable, especially if your injury resulted from a specific incident at work.  

Do I Need an Attorney to File a Workers' Compensation Claim? 

While it's not mandatory to have an attorney for filing a workers' comp claim, having an experienced lawyer by your side can make a significant difference. At our firm, we'll navigate the complexities of the process, fight to receive the maximum benefits, and stand up for you if your claim is denied. 

What if I Was Injured on My Way to Work or While on a Break? 

Injuries that occur while commuting to or from work, or during breaks, aren't typically covered by workers' comp. However, if you were doing something related to your job when the injury occurred, you might be eligible for benefits. It's a nuanced area of the law, and we're here to help clarify it for you. 

How Does the Workers' Compensation Process Work? 

The process begins when you report your injury to your employer, who should then provide you with a claim form. Once you've submitted your claim, it will be reviewed by the workers' compensation board and your employer's insurance company. 

Get Elite Representation Now 

Navigating the world of workers' compensation can be overwhelming, but you don't have to do it alone. With The Law Office of Robert E. Wood by your side, you'll have knowledgeable, friendly, and hardworking representation. We're dedicated to helping our clients understand their rights, navigate the complexities of workers' comp claims, and achieve the goals we set together. If you're dealing with a workplace injury, don't hesitate. Reach out to us today. We're here to help.