In the state of California, employees that suffer from an injury or illness related to their job can receive financial compensation for their expenses. In fact, employers legally must carry workers’ comp insurance for their workforce.
In situations where an employer fails to provide workers’ comp coverage, the state steps in with their own funds to ensure that injured or ill workers are cared for even without the employer’s help. If you have been harmed at work and believe you are entitled to financial compensation, then you are probably wondering how much you could be paid.
Each case is different, and the settlement or payment for CA workers’ comp can vary. When you’re trying to get workers’ comp benefits in California, there are a few things you should know to help you figure out the worth of your case.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work In This State?
In California, workers’ compensation payments are the benefits paid when a person has been injured on the job. Work-related illnesses or injuries legally must be financially covered by the person’s employer, no matter what occupational industry the person works in.
Whether you suffer from a single event injury, such as a slip and fall incident or a machine amputating a limb or finger, or a repetitive stress injury like carpal tunnel syndrome, your expenses could be covered under CA workers’ comp.
What Type Of Benefits Can I Get Workers’ Comp For?
In Marin County and throughout the rest of California, employees can recover certain benefits for their work-related injuries. There are generally five types of basic benefits that are provided in workers’ comp claims:
- Temporary disability benefits
- Permanent disability benefits
- Supplemental job displacement benefits
- Medical care benefits
- Death benefits
The first mentioned, temporary disability benefits, includes payments that are made for the time you are unable to work during recovery. These benefits are intended to be short term. They cover part of the lost wages or income that you miss out on while you are in recovery.
The second is permanent disability benefits. These are payments made to workplace injury victims that never fully recover from the injury or illness. It often impacts their ability to earn a living. Permanent disability benefits can be paid even when the victim is able to return to work.
The third is supplemental job displacement benefits. These benefits are unique in that they include vouchers that help pay for skill enhancement or retraining in the event that you are unable to return to work for the same employer or you do not recover completely. The voucher is usually good for up to $6,000.
The fourth benefits type is medical care benefits. These are paid to the injured employee to assist in recovery from the injury or work-related disease or illness. Claims administrators are legally required to authorize and pay for reasonably required medical care in the event of a workplace injury. It is illegal for the medical facility or physician to bill the injured worker if they know the injury is or possibly is work-related.
The fifth and final benefits type would be death benefits. These are paid to the surviving children, spouse, or dependents of the person that passed away due to work-related injury or illness. The death benefits include reasonable burial expenses up to $10,000 in the state of California. Death benefits paid will vary by the number of dependents and other factors.
In CA, How Is Workers’ Compensation Calculated?
As you can see, there are different types of benefits that can be paid in a workers’ comp claim. Each benefit type is calculated differently. This is why it’s important to work with a legal professional that understands how state law applies to your individual case and can fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. Here are some examples of how California’s workers’ comp is calculated.
For medical care benefits, the injury victim would be entitled to the full amount of care that is reasonably required to cure or relieve the effects of the illness or injury. There should be no out-of-pocket expenses or deductibles charged to the employee.
Based on the individual medical needs, workers’ comp payments would include an amount calculated to cover medical supplies, hospital bills, doctor fees, prescriptions, medical equipment, acupuncture or chiropractic services, and more. Each treatment is individual, and workers comp should cover anything that is determined to be medically necessary.
In the time that your workers’ comp claim is being evaluated, the insurance company is legally responsible for covering up to $10,000 in medical costs. This is even if your claim ends up being denied. If the claim isn’t denied within 90 days of filing, then it is assumed by California law that you are entitled to benefits.
Temporary and permanent disability benefits are not as direct to calculate. This is because it must calculate the time off or the inability to work. Temporary benefits are intended to replace some of your missed wages or income.
These will not begin until you’ve been out of work for at least three days. The minimum and maximum temporary disability payments are determined by the state weekly wage averages. These change each year, so your temporary disability benefit payments will vary.
If you are entitled to permanent disability benefits, then you’ll be given a rating as a percentage that’s considered your disability rating. This is determined by your age, occupation, impairments, and other factors.
If you are considered to be 100% permanently disabled, then you will likely receive disability benefits at about ⅔ of your prior weekly wages. Partial disability is more difficult to calculate and depends on your disability rating among other factors.
As mentioned above, supplemental job displacement benefits provide vouchers at a maximum of $6,000. The amount awarded will depend on individual case factors. Death benefits are another type of benefit that varies widely based on the individual case. It’s best to speak with a skilled workers’ comp benefits attorney in these situations to determine what you are owed.
Contact Our San Rafael Law Office To Learn More
If you’ve suffered a work injury in the Bay Area and want to know what your workers’ compensation case is worth, then you should speak with the attorneys at Wyman & Hegwer as soon as possible.
Call today at (415) 448-5107 to schedule a free consultation.