Frequently Asked Questions
We have established our reputation as effective, tenacious, credible advocates for our client’s worthy cause.
As part of our firm’s longstanding commitment to the working people of San Diego County, we have attorneys who specialize in the practice of Workers’ Compensation law and a dedicated staff who assist them in their efforts on behalf of injured workers.
California’s Workers’ Compensation system is designed to assure every California worker certain basic rights when injured in the course of employment regardless of fault. There are generally two categories of workplace injuries: those resulting from a specific incident, such as a fall from a ladder; and those resulting from a continuous or cumulative trauma, such as repetitive typing on a keyboard.
In some situations, an injured worker has a right to receive compensation under both the Workers’ Compensation law and under the civil law. Here are some examples:
When an injury occurs as a result of the worker’s use of a tool, piece of equipment or machinery if it was defectively designed or manufactured or inadequate warnings were given to the worker as the end user of the product. In such cases, the manufacturer or another party — in addition to your employer — may be responsible under the civil law for the harm caused.
When an injury occurs as a result of the negligence or fault of another person outside your place of employment — such as another driver when you are on the road in connection with your employment, or as a result of the negligence or fault of a person working for another employer — such as a worker on a construction site working for one subcontractor when you work for another. In such cases, the other party or other party’s employer — in addition to your employer — may be responsible under the civil law for the harm caused.
When an injury or its long-term consequences are made significantly worse by the negligence of a doctor or other medical provider who treats the injured worker. In such cases, the medical provider — in addition to your employer — may be responsible under the civil law for the harm caused
To protect your rights under the civil law — in addition to your rights under the Workers’ Compensation Statute — it is often critical that evidence be preserved, inspected and photographed on a timely basis. On these occasions, getting competent legal representation can make the difference between a complete and only a partial recovery for all the harm done.
Whether or not another party will or may become accountable for the harm you have suffered, your employer remains responsible for your injury under California’s Workers’ Compensation law regardless of fault. You have five basic rights under the Workers’ Compensation system.
Your Five (5) Basic Rights
Special penalties apply when an injury results from an employer’s serious and willful misconduct.
An employer also may not discharge or discriminate against an employee who is injured on the job because he or she filed a Workers’ Compensation claim, received a rating, award or settlement of a claim, or testified in another employee’s case. An employer who does so commits a misdemeanor entitling the employee to reinstatement, back pay, and half of the Workers’ Compensation benefits to which he/she is entitled up to $10,000.
When an employer discharges or discriminates against an employee based on his/her work-related injury (regardless of his/her participation in claim proceedings), a civil damage remedy under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act may also be available. See Disability/Pregnancy Discrimination..
We handle Workers’ Compensation cases on a contingency fee basis — meaning that an injured worker does not pay any attorney’s fees unless there is a recovery of money. A judge must approve any attorney’s fees to be paid to the attorney for the injured worker and these attorney’s fee awards are a percentage of the permanent disability recovery or of weekly benefits paid during the injured worker’s participation in vocational rehabilitation services, usually ranging from 12% to 15%.
Consultations, however, are free until a representation agreement is made and a fee Disclosure Statement is reviewed explained and signed by the injured worker. Take advantage of the opportunity for a free consultation to make sure you know your rights and get the benefits you deserve and have earned as a California worker..