Accidents can happen when you least expect them, particularly at work, where you spend most of your week. The good news is that you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits and take time off to recuperate from workplace injuries. Unfortunately, some employers, as well as their insurance companies, tend to deny these benefits or undercut them. This can be a difficult situation for injured victims who will not be able to receive adequate medical care. Besides slowing down recovery, denial of workers’ comp benefits creates financial hardship for many disabled workers in Los Angeles and their families.
We Fight for Your Rights
Our firm has represented hundreds of injured workers across Los Angeles and collected compensation and medical benefits on their behalf. If you have been hurt in a workplace accident, it is important you hire a Los Angeles workers compensation attorney as soon as possible. When you hire an attorney to represent your interests, you put yourself in the best position to succeed.
At Koszdin, Fields & Sherry, we are experienced in litigating workers’ compensation cases throughout Los Angeles and nearby cities. Our Los Angeles Workers Compensation Attorneys represent victims whose work-related injuries have interfered with their ability to work. While there are laws that protect workers in this type of situation, hiring an experienced Workers Compensation Attorney in Los Angeles ensures that you and your loved ones receive the compensation you are entitled to receive.
California Workers’ Compensation Costs Compared to Other States, National Median
SOURCE: Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, 2022 Oregon
Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking Summary (September 2021)
California Workers’ Compensation Laws
California laws are designed to make sure every worker injured or disabled through a workplace injury receives monetary compensation to alleviate the financial burdens imposed on them by this pain and suffering. Following a workplace injury, it is important that the victim hires an experienced attorney to help them navigate the complex process of filing for the compensation they deserve.
Some of the most common types of benefits covered by California’s workers’ compensation laws include:
- Medical care – This includes hospital bills, doctor visits, tests, medical equipment, x-rays, or any other possible treatment.
- Temporary disability – Some victims may qualify for temporary disability, which means they will need to take some time off work but no more than 104 weeks. During that time, you will receive temporary benefits.
- Permanent disability – Some people may need more time to fully recover due to their long-term physical or mental condition. In such cases, they can receive permanent disability benefits, depending on the extent of their disability.
What are the Most Common Work Injuries in the Los Angeles Area?
According to data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries or illnesses across the country during the latest reporting year. While not all of these injuries were severe, many resulted in employees missing time from work.
In some cases, work injuries are severe. At Koszdin, Fields & Sherry, we have extensive experience helping clients who have sustained the following injuries:
- Severe sprains and strains
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Crush injuries
- Open head wounds
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Respiratory illnesses
- Occupational cancers
- Hearing and vision loss
- Emotional and psychological trauma
Our team helps workers in this area who are suffering from a variety of repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and hand and wrist injuries. These injuries typically occur over time in the workplace due to sub-optimal working conditions and inadequate equipment. Many workers in our area can also sustain repetitive motion injuries to their neck, back, knee, and hips.
Our Los Angeles workers comp lawyers regularly help clients who have sustained heart and vascular injuries due to the nature of their occupation, as well as chronic lung conditions and disabilities that arise due to exposure to hazardous working conditions. Many of these injuries are more complicated to prove because they develop over longer periods of time. While they may be more difficult to prove, that does not mean that they are any less severe. Repetitive stress injuries and chronic health conditions can significantly impact a person’s ability to perform their work duties.
How Do Workplace Injuries Occur in the Los Angeles Area?
Workplace injuries can occur in a variety of ways. Contrary to what many people think about work injuries, anyone is at risk of sustaining an on the job injury. Whether you work in an office building or on a construction site, you can be harmed. Some of the most common causes of workplace injuries include:
- Slip and fall incidents
- Employers not providing proper training
- Employers not providing proper equipment
- Defective equipment or tools
- Electrocution injuries
- Getting caught in between objects
How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Cost?
At Koszdin, Fields & Sherry, we understand that the victims of work injuries may not be in the best financial situation. Along with regular weekly and monthly expenses, injury victims may have incoming medical bills and additional injury-related costs. Affording a lawyer in these situations may seem impossible. That is why our workers’ compensation attorneys take these cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients pay no upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to their cases. We only collect legal fees after we secure the compensation our clients need for their cases.
How Long Do You Have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in LA and the Surrounding Areas?
In general, a worker who sustains an injury should report the incident to their employer as soon as possible. You have 30 days to notify your employer of a workplace injury. Failure to do so could result in you not being able to receive benefits. Notifying your employer is not the same thing as actually filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you are injured at work, you have one year from the date the injury occurred to file a claim.
If your workplace injury was caused by a third party, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover compensation beyond what is available through workers’ compensation benefits. The time limit to file a lawsuit against a negligent third party is two years from the date the injury occurred.
What should an Injured Worker Do After a Workplace Accident in Los Angeles?
Taking certain steps in the immediate aftermath of a workplace accident can dramatically improve your chances of recovering workers’ compensation benefits. These steps include:
Reporting the Incident
Unless you are incapacitated or in need of urgent medical care right away after your workplace accident, you should report the incident to your supervisor or whoever is the highest-ranking team member on the premises. You need to establish that you made an official report of your accident immediately after it occurred.
Depending on where you were injured, it’s possible that there were security cameras monitoring the area that might have caught footage of your accident. Ask your supervisor or the property owner if this is the case. If it is, request that the footage not be deleted. You may want to have a witness on hand who can confirm that you made this request in case your supervisor or a property owner later claims you did not make such a request.
Determine which of your coworkers might have witnessed your accident and make a list of their names. You should also identify any witnesses who might not be coworkers, such as customers. Get their names and contact information as well.
Documenting the Scene of the Accident
Take pictures of the conditions at the scene of the accident. Although you do not need to show that your accident resulted from anyone’s negligence to recover workers’ compensation benefits in California, you may nevertheless want to document the conditions of the accident scene in case doing so provides you with any evidence that your accident occurred because someone else was careless. It might be possible to recover additional compensation beyond what a workers’ compensation insurance company will provide by filing a third-party claim or lawsuit against a negligent party responsible for causing your injuries.
Seeing a Doctor
Do not make the mistake of waiting to seek medical care after being involved in a workplace accident. You must see a doctor right away, even if you do not believe that you have been injured.
There are various reasons you might not realize that you’ve been harmed after an accident. For example, the symptoms of injuries like concussions sometimes don’t manifest until hours or even days after an accident occurs. Additionally, when you are involved in an accident, you may experience a surge of adrenaline which will prevent you from noticing symptoms like pain.
Your injuries will only worsen if you do not receive treatment right away. You need to see a doctor to confirm that no immediate care is necessary.
It’s also vital that you understand the role that seeing a doctor can play in your Los Angeles workers’ compensation case. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier might try to avoid paying you by suggesting that you haven’t shown a link between your injuries and your workplace accident if you failed to see a doctor that day. On the other hand, if you did seek medical care right after your accident, you can easily show that the incident in question caused your injuries.
Contact a Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Law Firm
The suggestion that your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier may attempt to deny your claim should not surprise you. Insurance companies are businesses. The insurance company’s goal is to avoid paying you whenever possible.
If an insurer cannot deny your claim altogether, they will still attempt to settle for as little money as possible. You thus need representation from a qualified Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney who can reject low offers and document your compensable losses to show why you deserve to recover more compensation that is being offered.
Reach Out to Our Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Our skilled legal team would be happy to review your case and advise on the best course of action. It is important you seek emergency medical attention or go to your medical provider to tell them about your accident or any injuries you may have sustained at work. Some injuries don’t show up right as they may need more time to develop. This is why ongoing treatment is so essential.
Workers’ compensation claims have tight deadlines. Also, you will need to file the appropriate documents, which you may not be familiar with. This is why we are here, to help you with the whole process and make sure you get the right monetary compensation to pay any costly medical bills and lost wages. Contact our offices today to schedule your initial case assessment.