1. How much is my case worth?
This of course depends on the individual as well as the nature and extent of the injuries. There are a number of variables associated with the valuation of a workers compensation case included the type of work performed, the age of the worker, the worker’s earnings, as well as the extent of any disability as determined by a doctor.
2. How long does it take for my case to resolve?
This can depend on several factors such as the nature and extent of injuries including treatment duration. Cases typically can take anywhere from several months to over a year to resolve. The resolution of a case can be delayed by the need of an insurance company to complete its investigation.
3. How is my case going to be resolved?
There are two primary ways a case is resolved. The most common resolution is by way of settlement. This usually involves a lump sum payment by an insurance company. It can also be resolved through trial if the parties are unable to agree on a settlement. In certain situations an insurance company may wish to not offer any settlement at all and take the matter to trial.
4. Who pays for the doctors?
When you are sent to a doctor either by your employer, the insurance company, or your attorney the employer or insurance company is responsible for those costs. An employer may not seek to have an injured worker pay for their own work injury costs.
5. How much do I have to pay my attorney?
Your attorney is typically compensated at 15% of your settlement or award. You pay no out of pocket fees. We only get paid if you get paid. We are paid directly from the insurance company. Additionally your payments come directly from the insurance company.
6. Can I file a Workers Compensation Claim even if I am not in the United States legally?
Yes. California law provides that even a worker not legally in the United States may obtain Workers Compensation Benefits. When bringing a Workers Compensation Claim it is important that your true name is used. Problems can arise if a worker is “sharing” a name and/or social security number with other people.
7. How do I get paid if my case settles?
You will be sent a check directly to you from the insurance company.
8. What if my employer does not have Workers Compensation Insurance?
In this event a worker may choose to sue an employer directly in civil court. This presents a problem in that it can be extremely difficult to obtain payment. Frequently such employers “disappear” or are insolvent. Additionally it may be possible to obtain benefits from the Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust Fund. This is a long process. Additionally injured workers not authorized to work in the United States may be denied these benefits.
9. Can I continue to work while my case is pending?
Many people are faced with the economic reality of not having any income after filing their claim, either because they were terminated or they have been denied state disability insurance benefits. Nothing prevents an injured worker from seeking other employment. You should however check with your doctor. If you start working for another employer while your claim is pending it can impact your claim. An insurance company can conclude that since you are well enough to work that your case may have no merit.
10. How will an employer or insurance company know if I am working someplace else?
Insurance companies frequently make use of private investigators to follow workers who bring injury claims. An investigator will follow a workers compensation claimant throughout the day to learn more about their daily activities and to see if they are “faking” their injuries.