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CA work injury lawyerFortunately, employees who are hurt on the job in California typically have access to reimbursement through workers’ compensation. While the law entitles most injured workers to compensation for medical expenses and a portion of their lost income, successfully obtaining this compensation is not always easy. There are specific steps an injured worker must take to get compensation after a work injury. Additionally, some mistakes can derail the process of obtaining compensation.

Mistakes That Can Impair Your Ability to Get Workers’ Compensation After a Work Injury

Work injuries can occur during a sudden accident such as falling, or slowly over time due to repetitive motions like bending or twisting. Whatever the cause, a work injury can damage your ability to earn a living. These injuries may also lead to steep medical expenses. Ideally, getting the compensation you need for these financial losses would be straightforward. Unfortunately, obtaining workers’ compensation is sometimes quite challenging. To give yourself the best chances of getting adequate compensation after a work injury, avoid these mistakes:

  • Incorrectly reporting the injury – If you are hurt at work, tell your supervisor immediately. Fill out the appropriate incident forms or other paperwork. If you wait too long to report the injury or do not have a paper trail to show that you reported the injury, it can be hard to prove the timeline of the injury.
  • Not following the doctor’s orders – For many people, going to the doctor is something that they avoid at all costs. However, not getting proper medical care after a work injury can significantly damage your ability to get compensation. The insurance company may claim that neglecting to get appropriate medical care proves that your work injury is not as severe as you claim.
  • Accepting an inadequate settlement – Save for very specific exceptions, injured workers have a right to workers’ compensation per California law. Do not accept an unreasonably low payment. Speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer for help if you feel that you are being offered an inadequate workers’ compensation settlement. Your lawyer can help you negotiate the settlement or file an appeal if your workers’ compensation claim is denied.

Contact a Hollister Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

At Cramer & Martinez, LLP, we understand the obstacles that many workers run into when trying to get workers’ compensation. Our team of skilled San Benito County workers’ compensation attorneys can help you with filing a claim, negotiating a settlement, appealing a denied claim, and much more. Call us at 408-848-1113 for a confidential consultation today.

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CA workers comp lawyerBeing a firefighter is one of the most dangerous jobs a person can have. However, traumatic injuries like burns or broken bones are not the only type of medical concern that may afflict a firefighter. Firefighters are also exposed to toxic fumes and carcinogenic substances in the course of their work that can cause cancer. If you are a firefighter who has been diagnosed with cancer, you may be entitled to financial compensation through workers’ compensation.

How Do I Prove My Cancer is a Work-Related Illness?

Workers’ compensation only covers injuries and illnesses that were acquired during the course of employment. Illnesses like cancer can take months, years, or even decades to show up on medical tests. You may wonder how you can prove that your cancer is a work-related illness. Fortunately, firefighters, peace officers, and the Department of Forestry workers are specifically addressed by California workers’ compensation laws.

Per the William Dallas Jones Cancer Presumption Act of 2010, cancer suffered by firefighters and other designated workers is presumed to be work-related. Unless sufficient evidence to the contrary can be shown, cancer is automatically considered a work-related illness for the purposes of workers’ compensation claims. This presumption extends to former firefighters for a period of three months per year of service for a maximum of ten years.

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CA job injury lawyerIdeally, workplace accidents would never happen. Unfortunately, even the safest workplaces experience employee injuries. If you were hurt in a workplace accident, you may have questions about your ability to get reimbursement for medical bills and lost income through workers’ compensation. You may wonder, “Can I get compensation if I caused my injury?” Typically, workers’ compensation coverage is “no-fault” meaning that an employee is covered even if he or she was at fault for the accident or injury. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

Criteria for Workers’ Compensation Coverage in California

To know if you can get financial reimbursement through workers’ compensation, you must first determine if you qualify for workers’ compensation coverage. Employers with one or more employees are required to have workers’ compensation insurance per California law. Full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees are covered by workers’ compensation. If you are an independent contractor, you most likely do not qualify for reimbursement through workers’ compensation.

Circumstances of the Injury

Another factor that determines whether you get compensation through workers’ comp is the circumstances of the injury. Normally, fault does not influence an employee’s eligibility for workers’ compensation. If your own mistake caused the accident or injury, you are most likely still covered. However, the injury must have taken place while you were performing work duties.

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