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Understanding the Workers’ Compensation Process

injury-claim-form

If you are injured while performing your duties at your job, your employer is required by law to provide workers’ compensation benefits. You might get hurt in a single isolated incident such as getting burned by a chemical, getting in a car accident while making deliveries, or just by falling and hurting your back. Alternatively, you are also entitled to workers’ compensation if you are injured due to repeated exposures in the workplace such as losing your hearing or constantly performing the same motion. If you fit into either one of these categories, the Law Offices of Jeffrey M. Greenberg in San Francisco may be able to guide you through the workers’ compensation process to get what is rightfully yours.

Under workers’ compensation laws, you may receive benefits that include temporary and permanent disability, medical care, supplemental job displacement and death benefits for your close family. These benefits are available regardless of who is to blame for the injury. As long as you have health care coverage for medical conditions unrelated to your job, you can predesignate your regular doctor in writing to your employer so that that medical practitioner can treat you. Even if you do not actually miss time from work, your employer is still required to pay for medical care. Additionally, you may be eligible for coverage if you are only working temporarily, part-time or as an independent contractor. You cannot be punished or fired by your employer for requesting these benefits if you believe your job caused the injury.

We Are Ready to Help in the San Francisco Area

It is easy to feel alone and powerless when you suffer a debilitating injury at work, especially when your finances are on the line. With the Law Offices of Jeffrey M. Greenberg in San Francisco, you are never alone. Give us a call today at 415-409-9900.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN A NUTSHELL

Every employer is required to provide an employee that has been hurt on the job with workers’ compensation benefits regardless of fault by the employer. If you have been hurt while working you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Various types of work related injuries are:
  • Specific injuries while lifting, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Repetitive trauma injuries such as lifting, pulling or carrying objects over a period of time
  • Specific injuries such as a slip and fall or being struck by an object
  • Injuries caused by machinery or vehicles
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Injuries caused by co-employees while at work
  • Injuries at work resulting in death
  • Injuries caused as a result of inadequate staffing
  • Any work injury resulting in the need for medical care
  • Any work injury resulting in the loss of time from the job
If you feel you’ve been injured at work whether or not there is employer fault please contact us by email at Greenbergworkcomp.com or telephone at 415-409-9900

WHAT TO EXPECT

Hearings are held by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board to determine what benefits a hurt worker is entitled to.  The hearings are held in from of Workers’ Compensation judges and the process can be a long, involved and difficult to endure.  The following is what you should expect to experience during the process.
1) REPORT THE INJURY – If you are hurt on the job, request a claim form from your employer, fill it out and return to your employer within 24 hours.  This just lets the employer know that a claim is being made.
2) ACCEPTANCE/DENIAL OF CLAIM – Once a claim is filed an employer has 90 days to investigate any claim.  This includes, but is not limited to, obtaining medical records, statements, medical examinations, etc.  If you were hurt after January 1, 2005 the employer is required to pay for up to $10,000 of medical care during this period.
3) CLAIM ACCEPTED – If the employer accepts the filed claim the hurt worker will select a treating doctor.  Temporary disability benefits will be terminate when the medical condition becomes permanent and stationary.  When this condition is met an evaluation will be made to determine the level of permanent disability.
a. PERMANENT DISABILTIY DISPUTED – When an evaluation of permanent disability is disputed by the employer an evaluation may be performed by a QME (Qualified Medical Examiner)
b. NO RESOLUTION TO DISPUTE – If a resolution to the dispute is not made a Workers’ Compensation judge may hold a hearing and make a ruling.

4) CLAIM DENIED – The employer and/or their associated insurance company may deny the workers claim.
a. DECISION – If the claim is denied the worker must decide to either accept the decision or go to trial.
i.  ACCEPT DENIAL – No further action is required.
ii.  TRIAL – The worker decides they want to contest the decision and go to trial to determine the final outcome.
  1. PRE – TRIAL - The worker will obtain medical reports for evidence.  These reports would be obtained from the treating doctor and/or any QME that was involved in the evaluation process.  Attorneys Greenberg and Poppy will assist the worker in obtaining the medical evidence and prepare it for presentation at trial to ensure that it presents the workers perspective in the strongest possible light.
  2. TRIAL – During the trial medical evidence will be presented and witnesses may be called to testify.
  3. DECISION – Based on information presented the judge will issue a decision.  Either side may appeal the decision.  This appeal is made to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.  They will review the decision made by the judge and either confirm or reject the decision.  Depending on the decision, cases might be appealed further to the Court of Appeals or the California Supreme Court.
5) FEES – All fees are set by law and are payable only when a hurt worker receives and award from a judge or settlement.  The Workers’ Compensation Judge will set the fee between 12% and 15%.

THE LAW OFFICES OF JEFFREY M. GREENBERG

In Business Since 1992



PHONE
415-409-9900


ADDRESS
825 Van Ness Ave., Suite 601

San Francisco, CA 94109

EMAIL
info@greenbergworkcomp.com

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