Every institution, individual or company in California that employs workers must have workers’ compensation insurance or be self insured. It is for the protection of the employer and employee in the case an employee is injured in the line of duty. If you are injured at work and make a workers compensation claim, it is the responsibility of your employer to pay your workers compensation benefits. Read more below if you want to learn exactly how all of this works and how this effects you and your employer.
What is Workers Compensation?
Workers compensation refers to a government-mandated system that ensures workers get paid in case they are injured, disabled, or get sick while working. It includes medical care benefits, permanent disability benefits, and temporary disability benefits paid to injured workers. All companies must either have workers’ compensation insurance or be self-insured.
In California, if you are injured and are unable to work you are entitled to temporary disability benefits which equal two-thirds of your gross wage before tax if injured. The state sets the maximum allowable compensation amount annually as well as the minimum amount workers can get. It is essential to have this information to ensure that you get what you deserve when you are injured in your workplace. Some companies offer paid leave which ensures that you get your entire salary if there is a workplace accident. That is because these companies will pay you about a third of your salary when you are on leave.
Payment of Workers Compensation
In the state of California, it is your employer that pays worker compensation benefits. Benefits can be paid by an employer by purchasing workers compensation insurance, or directly by self-insuring the company. It is up to the employer to choose which method they would like to pay workers compensation benefits.
Companies can buy workers compensation insurance from private insurance companies. A large number of insurance companies in California offer worker compensation insurance such as Liberty Mutual, The Hartford, and Berkshire Hathaway. Employers must pay for this insurance and cannot take it out of their employees’ salaries. In case an employee is injured, they will use this insurance to pay workers compensation benefits.
If a worker becomes injured in the workplace, they should report it to their employer immediately. Your employer is required to provide medical treatment for your injury. That said, if it is an emergency, and that is not possible, and you should go to the hospital immediately. After getting treatment, workers should make sure that they fill a claim form and send it to their employer.
The employer will give it to the insurer, who will process the benefits claim. The workers compensation insurance company will pay for the medical treatment and issue temporary disability payments. It is always a good idea to hire a lawyer when filing compensation claims when there are complications. For example, workers who have preexisting conditions may have a hard time with their claims, and an expert will help them get paid.
Smaller companies and companies that have a difficult time obtaining insurance can purchase insurance from the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF). SCIF is the largest workers compensation Insurance provider in California. SCIF pays workers compensation benefits just like a private insurance company would.
In cases where a company in California doesn’t have worker compensation insurance, injured workers can file a claim with the Uninsured Employment Benefit Trust Fund (UEBTF). It is advisable to talk to a lawyer when filing for compensation through UEBTF. Also if your employer does not have workers compensation insurance you can sue them in state court. Remember that it is illegal for a company to be uninsured, and you have a right to compensation in the event of a workplace injury, whether it is insured or not.
If you are a federal employee, benefits are paid by the federal government. Federal worker compensation is administered and guided by the Federal Employees Compensation Act. If you get injured, you can file your claim with the federal government, and they will process it and pay your benefits.
A company can choose to self insure if it is large enough to cover worker compensation claims in-house. To qualify for self-insurance, a company must provide audited financial records, acceptable credit ratings for the past three years, among other requirements. The company will also need to hire a third party to administer compensation insurance.
In the event that the employee of a self insured employer should get injured at work, the employer will send their claims to the third-party administrator such a Sedgwick. The third-party administrator will process the claim and issue payment for benefits. Self-insured companies are more likely to fight compensation claims because they pose a financial risk to the company.
If you work for such a company, make sure you hire a lawyer to file your claim. Lawyers know how much money you are supposed to receive as medical, temporary, or permanent disability benefits. If your claim should be denied, having a lawyer will ensure that you can take the most aggressive course of action.
Common Work-related Injuries
Common work-related injuries include accidents while lifting or moving heavy objects in the workplace or repetitive work place injuries. All injuries that arise during the course and scope of your employment from should be compensated. Even if you are working from home you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits.
In case you fall sick due to the work environment, you are also entitled to compensation. Bear in mind that injuries can be a one-time incident or the result of repetitive movements such as lifting. You deserve workers’ compensation in both situations. Workers’ compensation also covers mental or psychiatric conditions if you prove that they are work-related.
Benefits Of Hiring A Compensation Claim Lawyer
A workers compensation lawyer has been working in the field for a very long time and knows the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies and can insure you get the monetary and medical benefits you disserve.
California workers compensation law is complicated and experienced lawyer can help you navigate the many complicated rules and regulations that govern workers compensation claims.
- Improve Negotiations
It is essential to hire a lawyer because they can negotiate better with your employer and the insurance company since the lawyer always has the threat of taking the case to trial if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement.
All employers in the state of California must provide workers compensation benefits to injured workers.