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5 Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Workers’ Comp in California

 Posted on February 22,2021 in Workers' Compensation

Santa Clara County workers compensation attorney

Those who are injured at their workplace have certain rights outlined by the state of California, regardless of the nature of their position. There are a number of misconceptions about California’s workers’ compensation policy, including the assumption that this financial assistance is solely reserved for those in especially dangerous fields such as construction. It is important to have an understanding of your rights as you join the California workforce since a single injury can leave you in physical and financial disarray. 

1. What Should I Do If I Have a Work Injury?

After any type of injury, it is common to “wait it out” to see if reporting the injury or seeking medical treatment is truly necessary. Perhaps you slipped on wet floors or have a gash on your arm from improperly stowed tools and believe that your injuries are fairly minor. Regardless of the nature of your injury, you should immediately report the injury to your employer and seek medical treatment. This report will ensure that the nature of your injuries is recorded from the onset and prevent you from problems and delays in receiving benefits.

2. What Benefits Am I Entitled To?

The state of California offers five basic workers’ compensation benefits. The costs of your medical care for an injury or illness caused at work will be covered by your employer. You may be eligible for temporary disability benefits if you are unable to perform your job while recovering from your injuries, and those who do not recover completely will be eligible for permanent disability benefits. Supplemental job displacement benefits are vouchers that will help pay for retraining or skill enhancements if you cannot fully recover and return to your previous workplace. Finally, spouses, children, and any other dependents will be eligible for death benefits if the injury causes their loved one to die.

3. Who Provides Coverage for My Employer?

You may not realize that your employer offers workers’ compensation if you are in a job position that rarely leads to injuries, but all California employers are mandated to either purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy from an authorized insurer or become self-insured. If you are interested in who provides your employer’s coverage, you can visit the California Workers’ Compensation Coverage website or the Self Insurance Plans website hosted by the Department of Industrial Relations.

4. Am I Legally Considered an Independent Contractor?

The state of California does not require employers to provide workers’ compensation to independent contractors, and thus some employers may refer to you as an independent contractor to avoid these responsibilities. It is important that you have definitive knowledge of your type of employment so that you are receiving the appropriate benefits owed to you. A true independent contractor has complete control over how the work is performed. If the person paying you does the following, you are likely not a true independent contractor:

  • Controls the details or ways of your work

  • Is legally able to terminate your employment

  • Pays you a salary or hourly wage

  • Deducts unemployment or social security from your paycheck

  • Provides you with tools or materials

  • Requires you to work on specific days or hours

5. Can My Employer Use a Portion of My Paycheck for Workers’ Comp?

Workers’ compensation costs are a part of running a business, and an employer is responsible for these costs. An employer cannot ask you to help pay for their workers’ comp insurance premium or take the funds out of your paycheck.

Contact a Gilroy Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Workers’ compensation claims can bring out the worst in your employer, even if you previously had an amicable relationship. The costly ramifications of an injured employee can lead many employers to do anything possible to try to avoid their responsibilities. At Cramer & Martinez, LLP, our legal team provides personal attention to each of our clients and advocates on their behalf. We have been helping protect injured employees for over three decades, and that remains our commitment today. If you have been injured at work, contact our Santa Clara County workers’ compensation attorneys today at 408-848-1113 to schedule your free consultation. 



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