Bakersfield Workers' Compensation Attorney
Did You Suffer Injuries at Work From an Accident?
State laws in California require all business owners to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This type of insurance provides employees with mandatory paid medical coverage and disability benefits, should they sustain a work-related injury. At Horizon Accident Lawyers in Bakersfield, CA, our experienced attorneys help injured workers file workers’ compensation claims and provide them with superior legal representation.
For more information regarding how our legal team can assist in your workers’ comp claim, contact Horizon Accident Lawyers today to request your free case evaluation. Our legal professionals will help guide you through your claim and make sure are getting the rightful compensation owed to you.
Why Hire Horizon Accident Lawyers for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Some may be surprised to learn that qualifying workplace injuries do not just include active movement or what may be considered dangerous occupations, like construction or industrial production.
In fact, an employee can be injured on the job at any time, regardless of the type of work. When this occurs, the injured worker may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, complications and missteps could compromise the case and affect an employee’s benefits.
Our Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyer helps accident victims collect the damages they are legally entitled to. Our legal team guides clients through the work comp procedures, confirms qualifying benefits, and will pursue maximum compensation on their behalf.
Our firm’s experienced Bakersfield workers’ compensation attorney has successfully recovered over $20 million in settlements and compensation claims for injured accident victims. With our knowledge and expertise, we can help you pursue your workers’ compensation claim–and at no upfront costs.
We work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay no fees unless your case is won. To learn more, schedule a free case consultation with our Bakersfield law offices.
When Should I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Employees who are injured on the job should notify their supervisors immediately following the accident. In order to qualify for benefits, any workplace injuries must be reported within 30 days of the accident.
Then, it will be the company’s responsibility to begin the workers’ compensation claim filing process, which needs to be completed within 10 days of being informed of the accident. In addition, the employer must also provide documents to fill out and sign, as well as a list of in-network physicians and facilities where treatment can be received.
Similar to a personal injury accident, the California workers’ compensation statute of limitations also limits how long someone has to file a claim. Therefore, injured workers have one year to file a workers’ comp claim. Also, if an accident is not immediately reported, it could appear to insurers that the injury is not work-related or that it was not as severe as it’s being made out to be.
In addition to abiding by state laws, it’s important to be treated as soon as possible to prevent an injury from worsening or becoming fatal. If an employer is failing to prioritize treating your injury or is illegally operating a business without insurance coverage, our Bakersfield law firm can help you secure the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to.
How Can a Bakersfield Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help?
Working with a Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyer provides guidance and clarity in a workers’ compensation case so that employees receive maximum coverage. While the filing process should be straightforward, there are occasional setbacks, like claim delays and insurance disputes.
When employers and insurance companies dispute workers’ compensation claims, it can delay an employee from receiving benefits or even result in the workers’ compensation claim being rejected entirely. This happens if there is not enough information available to support the case or if there was an error in the filing procedures.
Also, there are times when someone may not know if their particular workplace injuries qualify for medical coverage, so they do not report it within the statute of limitations. Our workers’ compensation lawyers review your medical records and confirm what type of coverage your case qualifies for, like medical treatment or temporary disability benefits.
Additionally, a Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm will work with your doctors to determine an accurate “disability rating.” This rating indicates the level of sustained injury, whether the injuries will affect long-term health, or if they caused permanent complications.
Based on this diagnosis, the injured worker’s disability benefits will vary. Our legal team will monitor this process to ensure you receive the most expansive benefits available.
Dispute an Unfair Settlement
If someone believes that they are not being fairly compensated for a work-related injury or if a claim has been rejected, the case can be disputed. An experienced Bakersfield workers’ compensation attorney can assist clients argue their cases with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).
This process starts by filing an application to dispute the case with the WCAB. This must be started within one year of medical treatment concluding or after benefits were no longer being provided. A legal battle with workers’ comp insurance companies will be challenging, especially when not in your best health.
The Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyers at Horizon Accident Lawyers simplify the filing process. By obtaining the necessary evidence and documentation, it can be proven that an employee’s injuries were work-related and that the employer must take full accountability.
Types of Workers' Compensation Injury Cases We Handle
At Horizon Accident Lawyers, we assist workers throughout Kern County and the neighboring cities recover compensation after being injured at work. Many different types of accidents can take place in the workplace. If you suffered an injury, you deserve to be compensated. Some of the most common cases our Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyers have handled include the following.
Most Common Workplace Accidents in Bakersfield, CA
A workplace accident and the harm it causes can vary based on the field of work. The regulations surrounding California workers’ compensation law were instilled to ensure injured employees are granted medical coverage in case they are injured on the job.
- Slip and Falls – any type of accident or force that caused someone to lose their footing and fall to the ground
- Toxic Exposure – inhaling or making contact with the skin of chemicals or other hazardous materials
- Construction Accidents – worksites containing large, heavy, and sharp equipment
- Motor Vehicle Accidents – driving while on company times or in a company vehicle
- Electrocution and Fires – exposure to high voltage levels or flammable materials
- Repetitive Motion Injuries – consistent actions and types of movement (lifting, pushing, bending) cause stress and wear to a particular part of the body
Every accident can cause different types of injuries. Back injuries, spinal cord injuries, head trauma, blindness, carpal tunnel, hearing loss, bone breaks, amputation, and more can all be caused by a workplace accident and can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
About Workers’ Compensation Benefits
California’s work comp laws were designed to protect workers after suffering a workplace injury. These laws provide employees with paid medical expenses and temporary to long-term lost wages (if unable to work due to disability).
The medical benefits are provided by the workers’ compensation insurance company of a business. The benefits are utilized based on a medical treatment utilization schedule (MTUS). Established by the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), the MTUS is a guideline, listing the medical care guidelines for determining an injured employee’s medical care.
“Medical care” includes doctor visits, surgeries, prescriptions, and even the cost of driving or being driven to treatment facilities. Before benefits end, the employee will be mailed a notification within 14 days of the final payment.
Temporary Disability Benefits and Permanent Disability Benefits
Those who cannot work while healing can receive temporary disability benefits, which grant two-thirds of regular earnings every two weeks. Any person who is able to return to modified work, but is earning fewer wages, can receive two-thirds of the wage differential.
These benefits can last up to 104 weeks over a five-year period. Payments typically cease when the employee returns to full work and after a doctor confirms that the injuries have either healed or cannot improve any further.
For serious injuries, like a traumatic brain injury that causes a disability, some people may be eligible for permanent disability benefits. This is a payout to compensate for the damage.
Average weekly wages are calculated to determine this amount. Another factor that is taken into account is a disability rating that is determined by the DWC’s evaluation unit, usually provided by the treating physician.
Supplemental Job Displacement
Permanent disability benefits offer supplemental job displacement. This program covers the cost of educational retraining or skill enhancement to prepare an injured worker to pursue a new career path.
These benefits are presented as vouchers and can be utilized to pay for tuition, books, certifications, and other educational-related expenses. The voucher must be sent to the claimant within 25 days of being approved for the benefits.
A Third-Party Claim
If a person or entity employed by a company caused an employee’s injuries, California law allows any person who was harmed due to another person’s negligence to pursue damages from that at-fault party. This can be done while also simultaneously collecting workers’ compensation benefits.
Examples of common third parties who can be found liable in a civil lawsuit include product manufacturers, property owners, and government agencies in the city of Bakersfield.
Recovering benefits when another party is involved is complicated in any type of personal injury case. Our Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyers are knowledgeable in these types of cases and possess the experience to recover maximum damages for clients.
Answers to Common Work Comp Questions
The experienced legal team at Horizon Accident Lawyers will review your case and help you obtain workers’ compensation benefits to cover the cost of medical bills, loss of income, and other damages that resulted from your workplace injury.
Refer to these commonly asked questions to gain more information on the work comp system. For more insight into your accident, schedule a free case evaluation to speak with a Bakersfield workers’ compensation lawyer today.
How Long Can I Stay on Workers’ Comp?
Those who qualify for temporary disability can stay on workers’ compensation for up to two years or 104 weeks. However, the limit can be increased up to 240 weeks for severe injuries. Injured workers who have been approved for permanent disability, can be awarded lifetime benefits.
Can I Be Seen by My Regular Doctor for Medical Treatment?
If you want to be seen by a doctor who is not part of the medical network provider of your employer’s insurance, you can predesignate a doctor in advance. However, the doctor must be approved before treatment, as well as agree to be predesignated to treat your injuries. Seeing a doctor before being approved could result in medical bills not being covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer for a Workplace Injury?
An employer who has workers’ compensation insurance cannot be sued by someone who was injured while working. The agreement between both parties is that the provided insurance coverage relieves the injured person of any medical expenses and lost wages. Therefore, if the employer meets its legal requirements, the business is protected from legal action being taken against them.
Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
No, an employer cannot fire someone for filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, anyone can be fired while on disability. An employer will not admit the termination is a result of filing a claim, as this would be considered retaliation (which is illegal). It is more likely an employer will state that the decision was based on job performance or from no longer being able to perform a job, making the action legal.
Contact Us to Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you were injured at work, regardless of the type of injury, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Therefore, immediately notify your supervisor of the incident no later than a month from the date of occurrence.
If you find that your employer is delaying your claim’s progress, or if you have not heard back from the insurance company, you could greatly benefit from working with experienced attorneys at Horizon Accident Lawyers in Bakersfield, CA.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys have a 99% success rate representing clients and recovering maximum compensation on their behalf. Whether you’re ready to file a claim or simply have questions about your case, feel free to schedule a free case evaluation with our law offices today. We can be reached day or night at your convenience.