Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Any person who sustains an injury on the job in LA should be able to recover compensation for their losses. This includes coverage of all medical expenses related to the on-the-job injury as well as lost
wages. At ABDI & Associates, we are here to help when you need a Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney by your side. We have extensive experience handling complex work injury cases in Los Angeles County and throughout California, and we have
no problem standing up to the insurance carrier or your employer to ensure that you are properly cared for.
Why Turn to Abdi & Associates for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?
After sustaining a workplace injury, you need compensation to ensure that you do not fall into financial hard times. At ABDI & Associates, we are ready to help: · Our team
has intimate knowledge of personal injury and workplace injury law in California. · We practice a client-focused approach, which means that we take the time to listen to your story and craft a path forward that suits your needs. · We have successfully
recovered significant insurance settlements for those who sustained workplace injuries in Los Angeles and throughout California.
How an Attorney Will Help Your Los Angeles Work Injury Claim
Workplace injury claims should be straightforward, but that is not always the case. Even though most individuals are supposed to receive workers’ compensation insurance after an on-the-job
injury, it is not uncommon for insurance carriers or employers to delay or deny a claim unnecessarily. A work injury lawyer in Los Angeles will: · Fully investigate the injury incident and gather the evidence needed to prove what happened. · Ensure that
you are evaluated by trusted medical professionals not associated with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. · Handle all communication with the insurance carrier on your behalf. · Explore the possibility of a third-party personal injury lawsuit
depending on the circumstances of the injury.
Who Gets Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Los Angeles
In the state of California, nearly every employed person is eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Under state law, any employer who has at least one or more employees is required to purchase
workers’ compensation insurance for those employees. It does not matter whether the workers are full-time or part-time; they are eligible for benefits if they get hurt at work. Additionally, a person’s immigration status has no bearing on whether or not
they should receive workers’ compensation. This includes those green card holders and those without proper documentation, though there are some restrictions on benefits available to undocumented immigrants.
Who is Exempt From Los Angeles Workers’ Comp?
Even though California has some of the most comprehensive workers’ compensation laws in the country, there are still some people who are not covered. This includes: · Business owners or sole proprietors
(this does not include roofers) · Independent contractors and freelancers · Domestic workers related to the employer · Those who work for aid instead of wages (housing, food, etc.) · Some volunteers, including those for non-profit organizations · Students
participating in amateur sporting events · Amateur sports officials You can view the full list of those exempt from workers’ compensation benefits by going to California Labor Code, Division 4, Part 1, Chapter 2, Section 3352.
Independent Contractors and Workers’ Compensation in Los Angeles
One of the most contentious issues with employee benefits over the last few years revolves around the status of independent contractors and freelancers in California. In many cases,
employers purposely misclassify workers as independent contractors instead of employees to avoid paying them certain benefits, including workers’ compensation. This is not only wrong – it’s illegal. Under a new law in California, Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), a person can only be classified as an independent contractor if all of the following conditions are met: · The hiring entity does not have direction or control over the individual in
the performance of their work, both concerning the contract or the duties. · The work performed by the contractor is outside of the normal scope of the type of work typically carried out by the employer. · The contractor is “customarily engaged” in the
type of work that is the same or similar to the work they are performing for the hiring entity.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Los Angeles
There are various types of benefits that workplace injury victims are entitled to in California. This includes the following:
Medical and Hospital Benefits
When a person sustains a workplace injury, and if they are covered under workers’ compensation, they will likely be able to receive coverage of all of their medical bills related to the incident. This includes, but is
not limited to, the following: · Emergency medical expenses · Any follow up hospital or doctor visits · Physical therapy or rehabilitation · Medical devices · Prescription medications · Surgical procedures · Chiropractic care · Prosthetic devices There
is generally no limit on how much compensation a person can receive for medical benefits so long as the treating physician deems the care necessary for recovery.
Temporary Disability Benefits and Lost Wages
If a work injury only results in a temporary disability, the law in California will provide for one of two types of benefits: 1.
Temporary total disability (TTD)
. These are disability payments for wages that a person cannot earn during the period of disability. TTD payments generally equal two-thirds of a person’s average weekly wage at the time the injury occurs. 2.
Temporary partial disability (TPD)
. These benefits are also designed to cover lost wages, but they are specifically for those who are able to work in a job that pays less during their period of disability. TPD payments are equal to two-thirds of
the difference between the wage a person was earning before their injury and the wage they earn after their injury in their temporary job.
If a person sustains a permanent disability as a result of a workplace injury, one that affects their physical or mental faculties, then they may be eligible for permanent disability benefits in California. The total amount of
permanent disability will depend on a number of factors, including: · The circumstances and nature of the injury or illness · The type of medical condition or level of disability · The overall extent of the impairment · The person’s occupation, wages,
and age prior to the injury
Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits
If an injured worker is forced to seek a different type of employment due to a disability caused by the injury, then they may be able to receive additional types of benefits that can help them retrain for a
new job or enhance their current skills. Supplemental job displacement benefits may be available if the worker qualifies for a permanent disability, the employer does not let the worker return to their job or an alternate position, or if the worker does
not otherwise return to their previous job. Supplemental job displacement benefits come in vouchers that can be used to pay for education or training at accredited schools or state-approved facilities. These vouchers can be used for tuition, enrollment
fees, books, supplies, as well as professional licensing fees, exam fees, or preparation courses.
Most Common Work Injuries We Help Clients With
Work injuries are not uncommon. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS), there
were around 2.7 million non-fatal work injuries or illnesses reported during the latest year across the US. Work injuries can occur in a variety of ways, and most are relatively minor. However, some injuries require longer recovery times. There are also
many injuries that result in permanent disabilities or even death. Some of the most common work injuries we help clients with include the following: · Broken or fractured bones · Dislocated bones · Significant strains or sprains · Lacerations or puncture
wounds · Crush injuries · Amputations · Internal organ damage and internal bleeding · Traumatic brain injuries · Concussions · Spinal cord injuries In addition to visible traumatic injuries, workers can also sustain injuries that take longer to appear.
This includes a range of repetitive stress injuries (cumulative trauma) that can include injuries caused by repetitive motion, such as lifting, typing, pushing, and pulling. These types of injuries regularly affect the hands, wrists, joints, back, shoulders,
knees, and more. The signs and symptoms of these injuries may not appear for months or even years after a person has been on the job. Workers’ compensation in Los Angeles can also cover various types of occupational illnesses caused by exposure in the
workplace. There are a wide variety of occupational diseases that can affect employees, including: · Hearing and vision loss caused by exposure to loud sounds or other hazards in the workplace · Occupational cancers caused by exposure to harmful particulates,
chemicals, and the elements · Respiratory diseases caused by exposure to toxins or particulates · Hepatitis, HIV, COVID-19, and other diseases where healthcare workers are more exposed · Cardiovascular diseases caused by extreme workplace stress
Why Would a Workers’ Compensation Claim be Denied?
There are various reasons why a workers’ compensation claim may be denied in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Some insurance carriers regularly deny workers’ comp claims, making a bet that
the injured worker will let the matter go and choose not to pursue the claim. However, there are times when insurance carriers have valid reasons for denying a claim, some of which can include the following: · The injury is not work-related (which means
the injury was not caused by and on the job activity or it did not happen during work-related duties) · The injury happened at a different job · The injury victim failed to seek medical care for their injury or did not need medical treatment at all ·
The injury victim needed no time away from work · The injury occurred while the worker was impaired by alcohol or drugs · The injury happened while the worker was horse playing or fighting · The injury occurred during the work commute (so long as there
were no work activities taking place during the commute) This is just a list of some of the reasons why a workers’ comp claim may be legitimately denied by the employer or the insurance carrier. If you have any specific questions about why your claim
may have been denied, you need to reach out to a workers’ compensation attorney at ABDI & Associates as soon as possible.
What if Your Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied in Los Angeles, there are various steps that you can take to help fight the denial. You will have to request a hearing before the Workers’ Comp
Appeals Board (WCAB). This will be a trial on preliminary issues since the dispute with the insurance carrier revolves around whether your claim is “compensable.” In order to request a hearing in front of a WCAB judge, you or your attorney need to file
a form called the Declaration of Readiness to Proceed (DOR). However, before you file this form, you need to have already filed
an Application for Adjudication of Claim, which is part of the official claims process where you receive a workers’ compensation case number.
Is a Priority Conference Necessary?
If the insurance company denied your claim because they do not believe the injury arose out of employment (AOE, which means that they do not think it happened due to a work-related activity) or during the course
of your employment (COE, which means the activity that caused the injury was not related to your work), then the WCAB judge will allow an expedited conference so that the issue can be resolved as soon as possible and your claim can either be accepted
A Pre-Trial Conference
After you submit the DOR form, a pre-trial conference may be scheduled (that is, if the issue was not based on the AOE or COE issues listed above). You will receive a notice of hearing that will let you know the time, date,
and location of the conference. At these conferences, the workers’ compensation judge will attempt to resolve the issue over whether or not the claim should be accepted or denied. If the dispute cannot be settled at the pre-trial conference, the judge
will set a date for trial. If the judge thinks that more information is needed before going to trial, they will set up a discovery plan where both sides will come up with evidence to determine the issues in the case. Many workers’ compensation disputes
in Los Angeles are accepted or denied during the pre-trial conference. We need to stress the importance of working with an attorney if your Los Angeles workers’ compensation claim is denied. A lawyer can help you through this entire denial and appeals
Work Injury Reporting Deadline in California
If you have sustained a workplace injury in Los Angeles, then there are various deadlines that you need to be aware of that could play a role in whether or not you receive workers’ compensation benefits
period first and foremost, it is crucial to know that you have 30 days from the date an injury occurs to report the injury to your employer. However, we do want to point out the importance of letting your employer know about the injury or workplace illness
as soon as possible after it occurs, and it is best to do this on the same day that you know you have been harmed. After reporting the workplace injury or illness, this does not necessarily mean that you have to file a workers’ compensation claim right
away. The overall workers’ compensation statute of limitations in California is one year from the date an injury occurs. As soon as a work-related injury happens, the clock starts ticking. If you fail to file the claim within this one-year timeframe,
this likely means that you will not be able to receive any workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are various exceptions to this, particularly related to the types of injuries or illnesses that occur. When a specific injury happens, such as an
obvious trauma, then it is fairly clear when the one-year time frame starts ticking. But what about cumulative trauma injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or occupational illnesses like respiratory diseases caused by workplace exposure? In these cases,
the one-year statute of limitations will not start ticking until do you receive an official diagnosis related to the injury or illness. For example, even though many individuals are exposed to harmful toxins or substances, they may not know that they
are ill until months or years after the initial exposure.
Steps to Take After a Work Injury Occurs in Los Angeles
If you have sustained a workplace injury or illness, there are various steps that we recommend you take to help ensure that you recover maximum compensation and that your claim is accepted by
the insurance carrier. 1.
Report the injury immediately
. As we mentioned above, reporting deadlines are important. Specifically, you need to make sure your employer knows about the injury as soon as possible. If your medical condition is an emergency, you can report the incident
to your employer after you receive medical care. 2.
Seek medical treatment
. You must seek medical treatment if you have sustained an on-the-job injury in Los Angeles. This is not negotiable if you want to receive compensation for your medical bills and any lost wages if you are unable to work. If
you fail to seek medical treatment soon after an injury occurs or right after you realize that you may have a cumulative trauma or occupational illness caused by the workplace, it is very likely that your claim will be delayed or denied. 3.
Follow up with your employer
. We encourage you to follow up with your employer and make sure that they are aware have your injury and have filed the proper paperwork with the insurance carrier. 4.
Keep documentation of all bills and lost wages
. You need to keep thorough documentation throughout this process. This includes keeping track of all medical records for your injuries or illness, keeping any medical bills that come in, and keeping
track of your lost wages if you are unable to work while recovering. If you are able to work but are on limited duty or earning less money, you need to keep track of the differences between the wages you are earning and the wages you are earning now.
Continue all medical treatment
. You should continue all medical treatment until after your doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). This does not necessarily mean you have fully recovered, but it is the point where a doctor
thinks that any further medical treatment is unlikely to improve your condition. If you discontinue care before reaching MMI, this gives the insurance carrier a reason to deny your claim or all for less money than your claim is really worth. 6.
Reach out to a skilled attorney
. Even though this is the last point here, it really can go anywhere on the list, even right after reporting the injury and seeking medical care. If you realize that your employer or the insurance carrier is going to
give you a hard time when it comes to accepting the claim, your first call should be to an attorney. A lawyer can step in and handle all communication on your behalf and work to investigate every aspect of the claim.
Contact a Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you or somebody you care about has sustained an on-the-job injury but are struggling to recover compensation for your losses, reach out to the team at ABDI & Associates as soon as
possible. We know what it takes to help workplace injury victims recover compensation for their medical bills and lost wages. We also have no problem taking on third parties in court if necessary to ensure that you recover full compensation for your medical
bills and lost wages. When you need a Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by filling out the contact form on
this page, or you can call us at (888) 772-2529.