According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly half a million California residents get injured on the job each year. When you have a work-related injury, you are entitled to financial compensation. However, claiming workers’ compensation within the time frame and according to state filing rules can be challenging. You will want to consult with a workers’ comp lawyer as soon as possible. If you ask the right questions of prospective lawyers, you will ensure that you hire the best California lawyer for your case.
You do not have to hire a lawyer to file a workers’ compensation claim; however, working with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is the best way to protect your legal rights and receive the maximum compensation you deserve. In addition to your workers’ compensation claim, you may have a personal injury claim. Trust your case with a California personal injury lawyer who is experienced in workers’ compensation matters.
During your initial consultation with a lawyer, you will want to ask questions. The type of questions you ask a prospective lawyer can give you some insight into how they might handle your case. Here are twelve questions you may want to ask:
Most lawyers specialize in specific types of law. If you work with a lawyer that normally does not handle workers’ compensation, the lawyer may not be up to date on new laws, procedures, or defense strategies.
An experienced lawyer may not tell you the exact number of cases they have handled. Still, they should be able to give you an idea of how long they have practiced in workers’ compensation matters and provide testimonials from past clients.
Many law firms have paralegals and case managers who handle a portion of the work on clients’ cases. However, you still want to be able to talk to your attorney when you have questions about your case.
Your goal is to obtain the maximum amount of benefits, and you will want to make sure that your attorney is prepared to take your case to trial if that becomes necessary.
You could be eligible to receive the following benefits under workers’ compensation:
After describing your situation to your lawyer, you can ask if you qualify for any of these benefits.
Generally, your injury must force you to miss a specific number of days from work before you can be eligible for disability benefits. However, even if you do not miss work, you may still be entitled to medical compensation. Your lawyer should be able to explain your state’s workers’ compensation benefits to you in detail.
Lost earnings are based upon your average weekly salary before you were injured. Checks will not start until a person has been disabled for at least one week. Workers’ comp should cover 100% of all necessary medical treatment with no co-pay or deductibles.
Typically, you have 30 days to report your injury; however, there is a second deadline to file a claim formally with your state’s workers’ compensation commission. This deadline is typically much longer. Your workers’ comp lawyer should explain the rules that apply in your state.
Whether or not your claim is accepted is decided by the workers’ compensation insurance company. Insurance companies often find ways to deny or reduce an employee’s benefits. If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you are struggling to obtain benefits, or you believe you are entitled to more than you are receiving, you should discuss your case with an experienced attorney.
Generally, employees cannot sue their employer if they are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. There are exceptions for specific circumstances. An experienced California workers’ compensation attorney will be able to assess your legal rights and determine whether you can sue your employer.
Most workers’ comp attorneys will offer a free consultation where they take the time to listen to the various details of your situation and determine whether you are likely to win your case.
A good lawyer will not waste your time. If they do not think you have a chance of winning your case, they should let you know before you have invested any more time in pursuit of your claim.
Workers’ compensation cases in California are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that a fee is paid to the attorney only if a benefit or settlement is obtained for you. The attorney will receive a percentage of your compensation if you receive payment, negotiate a settlement, or win a verdict at trial.
Recovering losses after an on-the-job injury is a complicated process that takes time, commitment, and a clear understanding of the relevant California laws. KCNS Law Group has 40+ years of combined experience successfully handling workers’ compensation and personal injury cases in Southern California.
KCNS Law Group will handle your claim by filing for you, helping calculate your losses, keeping you advised of progress, and helping you make informed decisions to protect your rights. We are prepared to negotiate a fair settlement or take your case to trial, and we may be able to obtain the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact us at (877) 513-9007 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.