Workers’ Compensation Basics
Workers’ compensation insurance and benefits protect employers and employees when an injury occurs. Understanding workers compensation laws in your state will help you know what to do when an injury occurs, what is and isn’t covered, and if you can choose your doctor. The 5 questions and answers below provide basic knowledge about California workers compensation benefits.
- What is Worker’s Compensation?
Workers’ compensation insurance protects business owners and their employees from personal financial loss when a worker is injured. Workers’ comp provides medical benefits for injured employees, so they do not pay out of pocket for an injury that occurred at work. They protect employers by covering work related injuries instead of the employer paying for medical care using business earnings.
- What is covered by workers’ compensation benefits?
Workers’ comp covers medical care, lost wages, physical therapy, on-going care, or funeral expenses incurred from injury or illness that happens because of a work-related accident or due to repetitive motion. Injuries that are result of a fight that you incited, incurred when you are under the influence of a drug or alcohol, or that are intentional will typically be denied coverage.
- What should I do if injured at work?
If you are injured at work, report the injury to your employer as soon as possible and document the details of the accident or injury. Failure to report an injury within 30 days may result in denial of benefits, according to California law. If an accident happens and you do not think you are injured, it is still important to report it to your employer, as some injuries do not show immediate signs or symptoms. If you are exhibiting signs of a repetitive stress injury, or work-related illness such as stress ulcers, report these symptoms immediately, as well.
- Can I visit my own physician?
If your workers’ compensation insurance is accepted by your regular doctor, you will be able to see him or her for your injury or illness. Most worker’s compensation insurance companies have specific health care providers that are designated to diagnose and examine work related injuries and illnesses. You do have a right to get a second opinion or to choose a different doctor if the doctor assigned to you does not handle your case within a reasonable amount of time, as designated by state law.
- Will I be allowed to go back to my old job?
If your injury or illness does not prohibit you from performing the same duties as before, you should be able to return to your old job once you are cleared to return by your workers’ compensation doctor. If you are gone long enough for a replacement to be hired, your employer is not required to fire the replacement, so you may be placed in the next closest position available.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Who Care
If you are concerned about the circumstances of your claim or if your claim is not proceeding as it should, contact our team of workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Wax & Wax. We can help you with claim processing, denied claims, and social security disability. When you need help from a professional, experienced team, you can count on us.