Workers’ compensation is designed to provide individuals who are injured on the job with medical benefits and the replacement of lost wages as a result of the injury. While this sounds simple enough, actual California workers’ compensation cases tend to be a little more complex. Here are answers to the top five workers’ compensation questions.
1. How Long Will I Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits?
How long you receive workers’ compensation benefits depends on how long you are out of work, and you will be paid only for the amount of time you were unable to work due to your injury. Generally, your workers’ compensation claim is open for a maximum of one year from the date of the injury.
2. What Happens If My Employer Fires Me For Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Many people are hesitant to file a claim for workers’ compensation, because they fear their employer will retaliate against them for doing so. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), retaliation is against the law. If your employer retaliates against you for filing for workers’ compensation, you may be able to file a claim against them with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.
3. Can I Choose What Doctor I See?
Generally speaking, your employer can require you to see their preferred doctor for all treatment related to the injury that occurred at work. However, in the case that your condition requires more specialized treatment, you may be able to visit your own doctor(s) once they have been approved.
4. Will My Family Get Money If I Am Killed in a Work Accident?
If you are killed in an on-the-job accident, your family will likely receive some monetary benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, it is unlikely that the amount provided to your family will be enough to cover your funeral expenses, any medical expenses relating to the injury, and your lost wages. Consider taking out an adequate life insurance policy and discuss the possibility of a wrongful death claim with your family in the event you are killed in an accident at work.
5. What If My Employer Pressures Me to Come Back to Work?
It’s only natural that your employer would want you to get back to work as quickly as possible after the accident. However, you should only return to work once you are released by your physician. You may need to return to light duty for a period of time before getting back to your typical job responsibilities. Never do more than your doctor has cleared you to do, even if your employer tries to pressure you to do otherwise.
Navigating through workers’ compensation claims can be a challenge. By working with an experienced Orange County workers’ compensation attorney, you can get the legal guidance you need through every step of your case. Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Holmes today at (714) 667-6844 for a consultation to meet with a skilled workers’ comp lawyer.