There's a lot of misunderstanding about workers' compensation in California. Many workers are not aware of their rights, and other workers may be discouraged from filing a claim because they fear retaliation from the employer.
Make no mistake: employers have a legal obligation to provide workers' compensation benefits when someone is injured in the scope and course of employment. Here are three top things you need to know about workers' comp in California:
1. It's best to get medical treatment immediately after an injury and from a doctor who really cares.
In far too many cases, employers and insurance companies try to reduce or deny claims for workers' compensation. One way of doing this is to send an injured worker to a doctor who will be influenced by the employer or insurance company.
A workers' comp attorney can connect you with a doctor who will provide full and appropriate treatment and not send you back to work before you're well.
2. Workers' comp claims are handled on contingency.
What does that mean for you? It means that your workers' compensation lawyer gets paid only if you receive your benefits, so there is no out-of-pocket cost for you.
3. Injured workers do not have to pay for their medical treatment -- it's covered by workers' comp.
That means there is no need to fear the cost of medical care. In fact, putting off getting treatment because you fear the cost could hurt your workers' comp claim because the insurance company might say that your injury isn't as bad as it truly is.
This third point also relates to the first point: get medical treatment immediately after an injury. Doing so creates a medical record that can be used in your workers' comp claim to document the type and extent of your injury.
Dixon & Daley, LLP
At Dixon & Daley, LLP, we have been handling workers' compensation and personal injury claims in Southern California for more than 40 years. For more on these matters, please see our overview of workplace injuries.