Cramer and Martinez

Free Consultation408-848-1113

7459 Monterey St., Suite A, Gilroy, CA 95020

California Workers' Compensation Law FAQs

Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions for Injured Employees in Gilroy and Santa Clara County

If you have been injured at work, you may have many questions about the workers' compensation process. Each case is different, and the best way to get personalized advice is to reach out to one of the experienced attorneys at Cramer & Martinez, LLP, but you may find these answers to common questions to be helpful as well.

Does my employer offer workers' compensation?

California law requires all employers in the state to have workers' compensation coverage, so the answer is almost always yes. As long as you are considered an employee, rather than an independent contractor, you are entitled to benefits under this coverage if you are injured because of your work.

What kinds of injuries does workers' compensation cover?

Workers' compensation covers any injuries that an employee suffers during work or develops as a result of work responsibilities. This includes injuries from single events, as well as repetitive strain injuries and occupational diseases due to long-term physical stress or exposure to environmental hazards. Work-related injuries and illnesses commonly affect the head, back, and joints, as well as the respiratory system and the senses of sight and hearing.

Can I get workers' compensation if my injury was my fault?

In general, workers' compensation applies regardless of who is at fault for your injuries, whether it is yourself, your employer, a third party, or an act of nature. However, complications may arise if the claims administrator argues that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the injury, or that you were involved in horseplay. Your attorney can help you resolve disputes such as these.

What should I do if I am injured at work?

To ensure that you have the best chance of obtaining benefits, you should notify your employer no later than 30 days after your injury and submit a claim form describing your injury as soon as possible. You should also seek the necessary medical care, especially in the case of an emergency. Your employer is required to authorize up to $10,000 of initial care while making a decision regarding your claim.

How can a workers' compensation attorney help me?

Your attorney can guide you through the filing of your claim in accordance with the required procedures and deadlines, and help you understand all of the details of the workers' compensation process. An attorney is especially helpful if your claim is denied and you need to pursue an appeal so that you have someone to represent you in hearings and settlement conferences.

How much does a workers' compensation attorney cost?

We offer a free initial consultation, and we will not charge you an upfront fee for our services. If you are awarded workers' compensation benefits, our payment will come from a portion of the benefits you receive.

What benefits are available through California workers' compensation?

Workers' compensation should cover all of your necessary medical care, in addition to a portion of your lost wages if your injuries affect your ability to return to work. Temporary disability benefits apply during your recovery, while permanent disability benefits apply if your abilities are still limited after reaching maximum improvement. Permanently disabled employees may also be eligible for a Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit for job training and education, and an employee's dependents are entitled to death benefits after a fatal work-related injury.

Who can provide medical care for my work-related injury?

You may be able to predesignate a doctor of your choice before an injury occurs, or you can choose one from your employer's medical provider network (MPN) or health care organization (HCO). If you disagree with your doctor's treatment recommendations or reports on your condition, your attorney can help you seek a change or a second opinion from a qualified medical examiner (QME).

What should I do if my workers' comp claim is denied?

You should consider hiring an attorney if you have not already, and file an Application for Adjudication of Claim with the California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. This allows you to request a hearing with a judge and present evidence in support of your claim, with the goal of reaching a fair settlement with the claims administrator or achieving a verdict in your favor.

Is COVID-19 considered a work-related illness in California?

In many cases, yes, if you can demonstrate that you contracted the disease at work. California Senate Bill 1159, passed in September 2020, also denotes specific circumstances under which COVID-19 is presumed to be work-related, including after an outbreak in the workplace and in many cases involving first responders and health care workers.

Contact a Gilroy, CA Workers' Compensation Lawyer

For qualified legal advice and answers to specific questions regarding your case, contact us today at 408-848-1113. We serve injured workers in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Hollister, Salinas, Los Banos, Watsonville, and throughout Santa Clara County, San Benito County, Monterey County, Merced County, Santa Cruz County, and surrounding areas.

Back to Top