Experienced San Mateo Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you have been injured in the San Francisco Bay Area, or the greater Sacramento area, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In California, workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system, which means that employees can recover benefits regardless of whether their employers are to blame for their injuries or illnesses acquired at work. Also, even if the employee played a small role in their injury, they have the right to receive compensation under California laws.
However, recovering workers’ comp benefits is not easy, and some insurers purposely make the process harder in hopes that you will give up on pursuing your right to compensation. Furthermore, it also may not be the only option you have available. Our San Mateo workers’ compensation lawyers look for alternatives outside the usual scope of workers’ compensation benefits. This includes opportunities for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and potential claims against your employer for serious and willful misconduct or a third-party claim against a manufacturer or other negligent third-party that may be responsible, or have contributed to the accident that caused you harm.
With so many options out there, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation. Our San Mateo workers’ compensation attorneys have decades of combined experience representing injured workers in the San Francisco Bay Area and we can help you seek maximum compensation for your injury-related losses.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in San Mateo
If you are thinking about filing a workers’ comp claim, there are some important facts you need to know. For example, you only have a limited amount of time to report your injury to your employer, and if you wait too long, you could lose your right to claim benefits. You may also need to see a doctor who has been selected or approved by your employer (or its insurance company). When it comes to dealing with your employer’s insurance company, the insurance company is not required to advise you of all your rights and remedies under the law. The claims’ examiner you may speak to in regards to your claim, represents the insurance company’s interests, not yours, and may attempt to try to settle your claim for minimal (if any) compensation.
For most injured workers, the process of filing for workers’ compensation benefits is overwhelming, frustrating, and confusing. There are time constraints that pertain to your claim, its administration and adjudication, that may significantly affect your rights, and in some certain circumstances, may completely bar your claim.
Workers’ compensation laws were designed to protect you. But all too often, employees feel like the system works against them. Some walk away defeated when their claim is denied while others continue to fight, only to feel it is a losing battle. The only way to protect yourself from this situation is with an attorney that has experience handling workers’ compensation cases. The sooner you contact an experienced San Mateo workers’ comp attorney, the easier it will be – and the faster you may receive compensation.
Advocates for Injured Workers Regardless of Injury Type
A typical workday might mean multiple risks, especially if you are in industrial, chemical, or construction work. Regardless of the nature of your work, every job has the potential to cause injury or illness to its employees. You do not have to perform an inherently dangerous job to become sick or injured either. You might work at a desk, or you may operate in a laboratory where exposure to chemicals eventually led to illness.
As a San Francisco Bay Area law firm helping clients in Northern California, we have experienced work-related injury attorneys that represent clients suffering from:
- Back or Neck Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Emotional and Mental Distress
- Hand or Finger Injuries
- Permanent Disability or Temporary Disability
- Permanent Disfigurement
- Knee, Ankle, and Foot Injuries
- Cancer or Illnesses Caused by Chemical Exposure
- Internal Organ Damage
- Wrongful Death
Our San Mateo workers’ compensation attorneys can use our experience to help protect your claim for benefits. We can deal with your employer’s insurance company for you, and we can help make sure you receive appropriate medical treatment for your job-related injury. We can also explore any other sources of compensation that may be available to you. And if necessary, we can take your case to court to secure the financial resources you need for your immediate and long-term recovery.
What if I Already Applied and My Claim Was Denied?
A denial for work-related injuries and illnesses can be devastating, but you are not at the end of the rope. Just because your claim is denied does not mean it will always be denied. There are a variety of factors that play into why or why not a claim is accepted or denied. Sometimes a medical evaluation, additional information, further investigation, or a deposition can change the status of your claim. It all depends on the facts of your case.
Experienced Legal Representation for Employees with Job-Related Injuries
Our San Mateo worker’s comp attorneys represent employees in the throughout Northern California who have suffered all types of injuries and illnesses within the scope of their employment. We take a full-service approach to representing our clients, providing caring, personalized legal representation and pursuing all available sources of financial recovery. Depending upon the circumstances involved in your case, we may be able to help you recover:
- Workers’ compensation benefits
- Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act benefits
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Compensation for serious and willful misconduct (LC Section 4551)
- Compensation for unlawful discrimination under California Labor Code Section 132a
- Third party claims
FAQs: Injured Workers’ Rights in San Francisco, California
Q: Can I see my own doctor after getting injured at work?
It depends. If you predesignated your personal physician to treat any injuries or illnesses you suffered on the job, then you may be able to see your own doctor. If not, you may need to see a doctor who has been approved by your employer or who is in your employer’s medical provider network. However, there are exceptions to this general rule (for example, if your employer didn’t tell you about your right to predesignate). Moreover, if you have a claim outside of the workers’ compensation system, you may have other options. Our San Mateo workers’ comp lawyers can explain your options and help you preserve your workers’ comp eligibility.
Q: How long do I have to file for workers’ compensation benefits?
In California, the general rule is: (1) you have 30 days to report your injury or illness or employer, and (2) you have one year from the date of injury or illness to file your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, the longer you wait, the more difficult it could become to prove your claim for benefits. Your employer should provide you with a form for reporting your injury. And if you have any questions about what you need to do to protect your rights, you should speak with a work injury attorney promptly.
Q: Can I file for workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability Indemnity (SSDI) at the same time?
Potentially, yes. In fact, if you are eligible for SSDI, you may be required to file for workers’ compensation as the Social Security Administration (SSA) is entitled to offset injured workers’ wage replacement benefits against any payments they receive through the California workers’ compensation system. During your free initial consultation, we will explain everything you need to know and begin formulating a strategy for maximizing your financial recovery.
Q: Can I receive workers’ compensation and still file a lawsuit against my employer?
It depends. In most cases, the point of workers’ compensation is that you forfeit your right to bring an action for negligence on the part of your employer. However, all rules come with exceptions, and this rule is no different. Furthermore, if a third party’s negligence caused the injuries or illnesses, you may have a lawsuit against that party. In that case, you can still collect workers’ compensation and seek additional damages.
Q: What benefits would I receive if my workers’ compensation claim is approved?
Once again, it depends. The benefits of workers’ compensation in California are incredibly limited; and they depend on the circumstances of your injury, the date of your injury, whether your case was accepted and what your wage and occupation was at the time you were injured.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation at Buzzell Law Group, PC
If you live in the San Francisco Bay area or Northern California and have been injured or gotten sick at work, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. We handle all work injury cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means, in simple terms, you pay nothing unless we get you something. We will explain the terms of our representation during a free consultation.
Please note that there are deadlines in place that could be detrimental to your case. To avoid missing the required deadlines and removing your right to compensation, speak with a San Mateo workers’ compensation lawyer today and get started on your initial claim before it is too late.