Sherman Oaks Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Whether you’ve been injured by a careless coworker, a malfunctioning piece of equipment, or an unavoidable accident, you shouldn’t be left without income or medical care because of a workplace injury. Through California’s workers’ compensation system, Northridge employees can get the medical treatments they need and the wages they need to take care of their families.
However, the system doesn’t always work as intended. When employers or insurance companies try to deny workers the benefits they’re owed, we’re here to help. Pisegna & Zimmerman, LLC has over 60 years of combined legal experience and is a Virtual Ready law firm, with Zoom consultations and DocuSign paperwork signing for your convenience. Call our Sherman Oaks workers’ compensation lawyers at 818-888-8888 to schedule your consultation now.
Sources of Workplace Injuries in California
Some industries are inherently more dangerous than others, and many of the riskier industries play a big role in California’s economy. Some of the fields with the highest rates of workers’ compensation claims include construction, manufacturing, transportation, forestry, fishing, and education.
Injuries are triggered by a wide range of accidents, and the Department of Industrial Relations maintains a workers’ compensation information system to track this data. In 2020, some of the main causes of workers’ compensation claims included:
- COVID-19 pandemic
- Unsafe or improper lifting
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Lifting or handling of objects
- Cuts and scrapes
When most people think of workers’ compensation, they think of amputations, people being crushed by machinery, and other severe or catastrophic injuries. The vast majority of workers’ compensation claims, however, comes from treatable, relatively minor injuries. It’s still important to report these injuries so you can get the treatment you need to make a full recovery.
Do You Have a Valid Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In general, if an injury occurs at work, it qualifies for workers’ compensation. Some employers try to cover this up, misleading employees into thinking that they cannot get workers’ comp benefits if their own error caused an accident or if the accident wasn’t anyone’s fault. They do this to decrease the amount of workers’ compensation claims they get and lower their insurance payments. There are only a few circumstances under which workers’ compensation will not pay out benefits. They include:
- Injury caused by impairment. If you were impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, workers’ compensation insurance will likely not pay for any related injuries. This is why the majority of employers require injured employees to take a drug and alcohol screening.
- Intentional injuries. Employees that intentionally hurt themselves at work or willfully engage in reckless behavior may not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Workplace fights. Workers’ compensation insurance does not pay benefits to employees who are injured after instigating a fight. Not only does this choice bar you from receiving workers’ compensation, it will also likely leave you unemployed.
- Injury occurred outside of work at a related event. Perhaps you were injured at a work holiday party or gathering. If the event was not required, you were not paid for it, and your work had minimal role in the gathering, you probably can’t get workers’ compensation benefits. This is a bit of a gray area, though, so it is worth talking to a workers’ compensation attorney.
- Injury occurred while employee was breaking the law. If the injury occurred while the employee was committing a crime, they will not receive workers’ compensation benefits.
- Report filed too late. You must report your injury before the deadline passes so you can get the benefits you’re owed. If you wait too long, you may unintentionally waive your right to seek compensation. One scenario that sometimes comes up occurs when an employee is terminated and then files a workers’ comp claim after, alleging that they were injured before they quit. While this can happen, insurance companies are likely to see it as a money grab.
When It’s Time to Hire an Attorney
If you’re overwhelmed by the workers’ compensation process and you’re not sure what your next step is, it’s time to talk to a Sherman Oaks workers’ compensation lawyer at Pisegna & Zimmerman, LLC. If you fit into any of these scenarios or you’re otherwise out of your element with your claim, give us a call:
- Your employer or their insurance provider wants to settle.
- Your claim has been denied or you haven’t received your benefits on time.
- You’ve been the victim of retaliation because of your workers’ compensation claim.
- You have been denied the medical treatment you need because of your injury.
- Your employer wants you to settle your claim outside the workers’ compensation system.
How We Can Help
Contact a work injury attorney at Pisegna & Zimmerman, LLC NOW at 818-888-8888 to schedule your FREE consultation. If you want someone to reach out to you, just fill out the online contact form. We schedule all consultations via Zoom, but can meet with you in person if necessary. You can sign all documents via DocuSign, so you don’t have to worry about unnecessary trips to the office. We’re looking forward to talking to you.