What are the California Workers Compensation Laws?
In California, the Division of Workers’ Compensation determines the amount of money that people injured in accidents at work or sickened by occupational diseases can receive to cover their medical expenses. California has drafted its workers’ compensation laws with the goal of preventing disputes between employers and employees while being fair to both. If your workers’ compensation case is simple, such as for a relatively minor injury, then simply following the instructions on form DWC-1 should be enough to get the medical expenses for your work-related injury covered. If there is a dispute, or if your injuries are severe, then you should hire a California workers’ compensation lawyer.
The Basics of Workers’ Compensation Law in California
If you get injured in an accident at work, you must notify your employer within 30 days that you have been injured and plan to file a workers’ compensation claim. You and your employer should then promptly complete your respective portions of form DWC-1, and your employer should file the form. Within two weeks, the insurance company will confirm receipt of the form, and within 90 days, you will receive a decision about whether your claim has been accepted. If it is denied, you can apply to have your claim adjudicated. While preparing for your adjudication hearing, you should work with a workers’ compensation attorney.
What Makes California Workers’ Compensation Laws Special?
In case you are worried that trying to get workers’ compensation benefits will be a frustrating, tedious process, the following details about California workers’ compensation laws will be reassuring:To get workers’ compensation to cover your expenses, you do not need to prove that the injury or illness was your employer’s fault. You only need to prove that the cause was an on-the-job accident or an occupational disease.
You do not have to pay taxes on the workers’ compensation benefits, including reimbursement for medical expenses or educational expenses related to retraining for a new job after a workplace injury leaves you unable to perform the duties of your previous job. Temporary or permanent disability benefits you get from workers’ compensation are also tax-free.
You cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer in relation to an injury for which you have filed a workers’ compensation claim. Instead, disputes between you and your employer related to compensation for the work injury take place in a separate division of the court devoted to workers’ compensation cases.
While California has many provisions that make it easier for California workers to collect workers’ compensation benefits, the deadlines for the various stages of the process are strict. You should meet with a Los Angeles workers’ comp lawyer as soon after getting injured or being diagnosed with an occupational disease as possible to make sure that you are taking all the steps properly and to discuss your questions about possible problems that could arise. A California workers’ compensation attorney will help protect your rights and help you get the benefits you need.