Work-related Injuries in Bakersfield

Bakersfield follows California workers compensation laws, which state that all companies in california must have workers compensation insurance. 

What is workers’ compensation insurance?

Workers’ compensation insurance is insurance purchased by a business for their employees that ensures their employees in the event that employees are injured while on the job. Workers’ compensation insurance covers employees who have been injured on the job, or who have suffered illnesses caused by their job duties. Workers’ compensation makes the process easier for both employers and employees. Employees have somewhere to turn to for compensation, and employers are protected from any lawsuits by having such insurance.

Workers’ compensation insurance offers compensation for:

  • Medical expenses: Common injuries at work include back injuries, spinal cord injuries, hand injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. The severity of the injuries usually depends on the workplace environment. For example, agricultural farms and construction sites could lead to severe injuries since employees have heavy machinery to deal with and work with on a daily basis. Medical expenses could cover any treatments, surgeries, hospital stays, emergency room care, medical equipment, imaging, physical therapy, and prescription medication.
  • Wages: The wages that the employee missed out on while taking time off work to recover from their injuries is something that is recoverable under workers’ compensation pay. The employee could receive a portion of their wages, or could also receive future wages if the injuries were severe and the employee is considered temporarily disabled.
  • Disability benefits: An employee can recover disability benefits, such as temporary disability benefits or permanent disability benefits depending on what the injury has been ruled.
  • Death benefits: In some cases, death may result from severe injuries. In that case, the employee’s family members could recover death benefits.

What do I need to prove in a work-related injury claim?

Usually, when filing a California workers’ compensation claim, Bakersfield employees do not necessarily need to prove that their employer was at fault and caused the injury. All the employee needs to show is that they were injured while on the job. This is considered a no-fault system.

Can I file a lawsuit after receiving workers’ compensation benefits?

In some cases, you may not be able to file a lawsuit against your employer if you have already received workers’ compensation benefits. Sometimes, workers’ compensation claims require the applicant to waive the rights to file a lawsuit and instead will have to agree upon receiving workers’ compensation. 

Workers’ compensation insurance companies

Your employer’s workers compensation insurance may be any of the below:

  • State Fund Workers’ Compensation
  • Travelers Insurance
  • Liberty Mutual
  • The Hartford
  • Amtrust Financial
  • CNA Financial
  • Chubb
  • Berkshire Hathaway Guard Insurance
  • Builders Mutual

Each employer has a specific workers’ compensation insurance company. This insurance company is carefully selected based on the employer’s interests and line of work. 

How is workers’ compensation calculated in California?

There are specific formulas used to calculate workers’ compensation benefits. Usually, workers’ compensation benefits account for 2/3 of the compensation that the employee was receiving at the time of work. You could receive 2/3 whether you are an hourly employee or a salary employee. If you are an hourly employee, the workers’ compensation board considers the number of hours worked.

How long does a workers compensation claim take? 

When you file a workers’ compensation claim, the board will investigate the circumstances of the incident. They will look into the incident, along with the severity of the injury and whether the employee can return back to work. This may take some time, especially because the board will have to gather records.

Usually, workers’ compensation claims take around 30 days.  However, it could take longer if the incident was more complex. 

What is the average workers’ compensation settlement in california?

Workers compensation settlements could vary, with the average being about $10,000. However, the benefits and compensation depend on the severity of the injuries, whether the employee is able to return back to work, and the medical expenses associated with the injuries. 

Do I have to pay taxes on workers compensation benefits in California?

You do not have to pay taxes on workers’ compensation benefits. It is considered a public welfare benefit. 

How long can I receive workers compensation benefits in california?

In California, workers’ compensation benefits could be received for up to 104 weeks. This is 2 years from the date that the employee was injured. But, this could vary depending on the injuries. For example, there are some injuries that allow the employee to collect workers’ compensation benefits for 240 weeks. 

What is the workers’ compensation form?

In California, the workers’ compensation form is referred to as DWC 1. The  DWC 1 form must be filled out accurately. That is why we recommend that you consult with a highly rated Bakersfield employment attorney for more information to properly fill out the form and make sure that you have provided all the necessary information. Sometimes, if the information is not complete, or does not explain the incident properly, it could get denied, or it could take longer. 

Workers’ Compensation Retaliation

Unfortunately, some employees are afraid of coming forward and reporting the injury because of fear of retaliation by the employer. Your employer cannot retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, if your employer does retaliate against you, you then have the right to file a claim for workplace retaliation. Examples of retaliation include isolating the employee, firing the employee, demoting the employee, lessening the employee’s hours, or denying the employee meal breaks. 

Can I still file a workers’ compensation claim if my injuries are minor?

Sometimes, many people think that their injuries are minor, and that they won’t be able to collect workers compensation. But, sometimes, the most minor injuries cause future discomfort. For example, back injuries may require future physical therapy. You should be evaluated by a medical professional even if you believe you have not suffered any severe injuries. 

Call our office today to schedule a case consultation. Our Heidari law attorneys are attorneys that you can trust throughout the process. We know that it is a very stressful and traumatizing experience for an employee, especially if they have injuries to deal with. Our lawyers make sure that our clients are constantly made aware of all updates on their cases to make sure that they get the compensation they deserve. We will always be there throughout every stage of the lawsuit process. You are not alone. Will let us take care of the legal process for you.

The best thing you could do for yourself if you have suffered an injury at work is to contact our highly-experienced Bakersfield personal injury attorneys. Our top-rated attorneys allow our clients to get the justice they deserve, and to recover the compensation they deserve. Give us a call today. Our lawyers will help you understand your rights, and the compensation that you should be afforded.