Being injured on the job is no small thing. An individual may experience significant pain, incur a massive amount of medical debt and face the challenges imposed upon them by lost wages. Fortunately, workers' compensation benefits are available to most of these Californians who have been hurt in a workplace accident. There are some people, though, whose claims are denied for a variety of reasons. There may be disagreement about whether the accident occurred while the worker was performing his job duties, or about whether the claim was filed in a timely fashion. Yet, one of the most common reasons workers' compensation claims are denied is because the injury is not serious enough to keep the individual out of work. This can affect not only an initial claim, but also the amount of benefits received.
Going to work and performing your job duties should be a pretty straightforward process. For most Californians, it is. But for others, a routine day at work can pose many challenges that can prove injurious. Whether suffering harm in a construction accident, a warehouse incident or a repetitive motion performing what you might think of as a menial task, a workplace injury can leave you with serious damages. You might need costly medical care and, if your injury is severe enough, you may find yourself temporarily out of work, which means lost wages.
When people in California go to work each day, they are usually just focused on what they need to do at their jobs. They don't usually think about whether they will be injured or not while they are working. Despite this, many people are injured on the job in all types of employment. These injuries can be very devastating for workers and their families if they rely on that income to meet their needs.
The U.S. Department of Labor released a report earlier this month on the workers' compensation system. Their recommendation is for further exploration into enacting federal oversight and federal minimum benefits for workers' compensation. Since workers' compensation is currently regulated at the state level, this could change circumstances significantly for some injured workers.
Two newly-signed laws will help to improve California workers' compensation, and build upon reform efforts that began in 2012. These new laws, signed by Governor Jerry Brown on October 2, concentrate on cracking down on fraud by health care professionals and reducing the delays applicants experience in obtaining medical evaluations.
By law, those who are eligible for workers' compensation benefits should receive them. A recent investigation by the NBC Bay Area news, however, reveals that this may not always be the case in California. Instead, many injured workers face denials of their claims for their treatment claims and very few denials overturned during the appeals process.
In our last post, we discussed what steps take after a workplace accident, from reporting it to your employer to filing your workers' compensation claim form. But what happens if your claim is denied? What steps can you take to obtain the medical coverage and wage benefits you deserve?
You've been injured at work or become ill because of your workplace environment. Now what?
At first glance, it may seem obvious what workers’ compensation does: it compensates people financially for a work-related injury or illness. But what, exactly, gets compensated? Are all damages covered, or just certain types?