When Are Your Injuries Covered?
You are entitled to compensation while NOT even at your worksite, or not even actively engaged in your work at the time of injury!!! If you are truly an independent contractor, you may not have Workers’ Compensation coverage, but you may be found to be an employee, even if you think you are not. Otherwise, if you are providing a benefit or service to someone else, and you are receiving money for it, chances are good you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits if injured or killed during the activity. (Indeed, there are many “volunteer” activities that are covered, too!)
Call for a free consultation to find out if you are covered by the Workers’ Compensation laws. In the unfortunate event of death, a dependent should seek a consultation to determine whether the death was job related, entitling certain dependents to benefits. Many people are surprised to find out that, under certain circumstances, injuries or even death is compensable while waiting at or near a jobsite, while commuting, or even off work but living in company-provided housing while away from home.
What Kinds Of Injuries Are Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
What Kinds Of Claims Can Be Filed Together With A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
There are several types of claims that can be filed in connection with a work related injury. Depending on what type of claim it is, these “ancillary” claims may be prosecuted against an employer, its insurance company, or a “third party,” that is, a party other than the employer.
These claims can provide significant benefits to the injured worker beyond and in addition to benefits provided through the regular Workers’ Compensation benefit package. Sometimes, they can also provide protection to injured workers from adverse action, harassment or discrimination that may be taken against them by an employer. We believe that the presence of an attorney will often give the employer or insurance company an extra reason to follow the dictates of the law.
These “ancillary” claims can include the following:
THERE ARE STRICT TIME LIMITS FOR FILING ACTIONS IN THESE CASES, WHICH, IF MISSED, WILL FOREVER BAR YOUR ABILITY TO RECOVER!
EARLY INTERVENTION WORKS!
How Are Attorney’s Fees Paid?
YOUR INITIAL CONSULTATION IS FREE!!! And Kim’s fee will be paid only after a resolution of your case, and then it is deducted as a percentage (generally 15%) of the settlement or amount of Partial Permanent Disability benefits payable to you! You need not advance any funds for fees or costs to prosecute your claim. All attorney’s fee requests must be reviewed by a judge, found to be reasonable, and approved. Regardless of when an attorney is retained, there is neither an increase nor reduction in total fees.
Insurance companies will often suggest that you don’t need an attorney to get benefits, and remind you, correctly, that an attorney’s fees are deducted from your award. The interest of any insurance company is to minimize any award to be paid to you. They may try to dissuade you from obtaining legal counsel because an attorney will often produce more in benefits than their charged fee. The fee is deducted from the last payment to be made to you. The attorney’s fee is deducted from your award, and you need not pay for any fees or costs “up front.”
What Benefits Are Payable Under A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
This section deals only with standard injury claims, without reference to the “ancillary” claim types noted above. While the benefit packages are limited, you are still entitled to benefits even if the injury was your fault. And as of February, 2009, the benefit package could be more than in the past because of new and significant WCAB decisions—case decisions the insurance companies will not recognize until your attorney forces the issue.
A standard injury claim will entitle you to the following benefits:
All these benefits must be provided by your employer or its insurer when an employee has suffered a work related injury, and if they unreasonably withhold providing you with any of them, substantial penalties can be assessed and paid to you.
When Should I Call An Attorney?
Work related injuries often can involve some of the “ancillary” actions noted above that can provide extra protection and extra benefits to injured workers. There are several reasons to call an attorney soon after an injury, and no real reason to NOT call one early on after suffering an injury. Obtaining legal representation early gives you the benefit of legal advice and representation throughout the process, AND COSTS NO MORE than waiting to contact an attorney when the flow of benefits is interrupted or after treatment is concluded. Early representation will help insure your benefits flow smoothly to you, as opposed to seeking advice only when your benefits or rights have been threatened or denied.
If you have a work related injury, the odds are very high that you will benefit by using an attorney. The rules and regulations of the Workers’ Compensation system are very complicated. Employers and insurance companies spend much time and money to minimize their own expenses (at your expense) when they are dealing with a work related injury. Choosing an evaluating physician is a crucial step in the process, and familiarity with the evaluators is essential in obtaining a fair or even favorable evaluation. Legal time limits go by very quickly at this stage of a claim, and choosing the wrong evaluator can permanently prejudice your interests. The insurance companies and employer’s claims administrators are trained and experienced in this regard, and they are NOT looking out for your best interests. Kim LaValley WILL protect your interests to maximize your benefits.
Often, the insurance company’s attorneys will want to take your sworn deposition before a court reporter to provide your statement to investigators, the employer, or to health care providers. The assistance of an attorney at this stage is crucial. You should never submit to questioning without an attorney’s assistance. The impact on your claim can be quite large.
Additionally, there are time limits to filing an Application For Benefits before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board that must be met. “Ancillary” claims must also be filed in a timely manner.
Once benefits to which you are entitled have been disrupted, even a little, it often takes extra time, additional inconvenience and frustration before benefits are restored. Ongoing legal representation can help insure everything stays “on track” and will allow for a much faster resolution of problems if and when they arise.
Additionally, the determination of the value of your benefits involves complicated calculations which are necessary to insure you receive everything you should receive. Aspects of your benefit package can be increased, sometimes dramatically, when reviewed and presented properly. For information about how attorney’s fees are billed and collected, see the FAQ below.
CLICK HERE FOR SOME MORE IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PROCESS
EARLY INTERVENTION WORKS!
Have A Question?
Contact Kim LaValley now!