workers compensation questions and answersIf you have been injured at work and you have a workers compensation claim, you might have questions about what that means for you and what benefits you may be entitled to as a result.  If you have questions about your California workers’ compensation claim, speak with an attorney right away.  The attorneys at Kneisler & Schondel are experienced in workers’ compensation matters and have successfully handled many cases.  Call the law office of Kneisler & Schondel today to get started with your workers’ compensation case.

How Do I Know If My Injury Qualifies for Workers Compensation?

In California, the workers compensation system is a no-fault system, which means that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits without the need to demonstrate who was at fault in causing your injury.  Injuries that fall under the California Workers’ Compensation Act include traumatic injuries that occur in the course of and scope of your employment.  Additionally, if you have suffered an injury due to repetitive use of a body part or developed an injury as a result of repeated exposure to something harmful at work, these injuries also fall under the California Workers’ Compensation Act.

What is the Difference Between a Traumatic Work Injury and a Repetitive-Use or Repeated Exposure Work Injury?

An example of a traumatic work-related injury is if you injury your back while lifting something heavy at work.  Another type of work-injury is repetitive-use injuries or an injuries caused by repeated exposure to something harmful at work.  A common repetitive-use work injury is carpal tunnel syndrome.  Carpal tunnel syndrome can develop after performing the same activity over and over for a significant period of time, such as data entry.  An example of a repeated exposure injury is hearing loss that develops over time as a result of continuous exposure to loud noises at work.

Regardless of the type of work injury you have, it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible after you become aware of the work injury.  For traumatic injuries, it is important to get medical attention right away and to report the injury to your supervisor or management as soon as you are able to.  For repetitive-use injuries and repeated exposure injuries, it is important to seek medical care as needed and report the injury once you have a reasonable belief it is work-related.

Who Pays for My Medical Care for My Workers Compensation Case?

If your claim is accepted, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will pay for the medical treatment related to the injury.  If your claim is being investigated rather than accepted right away, the insurance company is still required to pay the medical bills during this period of time, up to a maximum limit of $10,000.  If your claim is ultimately accepted, then this limit will no longer apply.  The insurance company will then pay all medical bills that are deemed reasonable and necessary.

What Type of Benefits Am I Entitled to If I Cannot Work Because of My Injury?

If your doctor has recommended that you take time off work as part of your recovery, or if you have to work at lighter or limited duty, the insurance company may be required to compensate you for this lost time off work or reduced wages.  If eligible, you will receive “temporary total disability” (TTD) payments for the time you are off work because of your injury.  These payments will amount to two-thirds of your average weekly wages.  If you are working, but not making your normal wages due to fewer hours or because you are working a light-duty position that pays less than your normal rate, you will be paid two-thirds of the difference of what you are currently earning and what you would have been making had it not been for the injury.

My Injury is Permanent – Am I Entitled to Any Additional Compensation for My Injury?

When an injury results in some degree of permanent disability, injured workers are entitled to receive permanent disability benefits.  The amount of compensation for the permanent disability depends on the facts of the case, the type of injury, and the average weekly wages prior to the injury.  It will also be subject to minimums and maximum amounts as determined by state law.

If you have any further questions regarding a claim for workers compensation in California, give the workers’ compensation attorneys at Kneisler & Schondel a call today at (707) 542-5132 or fill out our online contact form.