How do I know if I am entitled to workers’ compensation?
What workers’ compensation benefits are available?
What if my employer was the one who was negligent and caused my injury?
What if someone else’s negligence caused my injury?
Do I need an attorney to handle my workers’ compensation claim?
At the San Mateo, California law firm DuRard, McKenna & Borg, we are dedicated to helping injured workers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area navigate the confusing workers’ compensation process. Below, please find answers to some of the questions we most commonly receive. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss your case with an experienced attorney, contact us for a free initial consultation.
Q: How do I know if I am entitled to workers’ compensation?
A: In California, any employee who is injured on the job or becomes ill because of their employment is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This includes injuries happening because of a single occurrence and cumulative injuries or illnesses that appear over time and finally result in you being unable to work. If you are not sure whether your injury or illness was caused at work, contact us for a free initial consultation. We will review your medical records and discuss what happened to determine your potential eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
Q: What workers’ compensation benefits are available?
A: Depending on the nature and severity of your injury, a variety of benefits might be available to you. These include medical expenses, temporary disability, permanent disability, and supplemental job displacement. You may also be eligible for certain other ancillary benefits, such as state or federal disability benefits.
Q: What if my employer was the one who was negligent and caused my injury?
A: The nature of workers’ compensation is that it is a “no-fault system” designed to help you obtain timely medical and disability benefits without having to prove fault. In exchange for the promise of timely benefits without lengthy litigation, you lose the right to sue your employer even if your injuries were caused by its negligence.
Q: What if someone else’s negligence caused my injury?
A: There are no barriers to lawsuits against any third parties responsible for your injuries. If you believe your injury was caused by the negligence of someone other than your employer, you should contact an attorney who is experienced in handling third party cases. At DuRard, McKenna & Borg, we understand how to coordinate the complicated interaction between the workers’ compensation system and the additional money you might be entitled to if you were awarded damages in a third party action. If you think a third party might be responsible for your injury, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible, as you must comply with strict deadlines. For more information on these situations, please see our third party liability page.
Q: Do I need an attorney to handle my workers’ compensation claim?
A: While the law does not require you to have an attorney, it is strongly advised. Workers’ compensation has become an extremely complex area of the law. Many variations in benefits can occur, and you must meet strict deadlines along the way. We can lead you through the process, explain everything to you, and make sure that you are always aware of your rights and responsibilities. Initial consultations with our office are free, and because we take cases on a contingency fee basis, you pay no legal fees unless we successfully recover on your behalf.