The workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys at Chudacoff, Friedman, Simon, Graff & Cherin help people in Los Angeles, Bakersfield and throughout Southern California who have been injured on the job and need help obtaining compensation for their injuries.
What Workers’ Compensation Does (and what it doesn’t)
The workers’ compensation system exists to provide assurance to workers that if they are injured on the job, they will receive compensation, without having to go to court and prove fault on the part of the employer. In exchange for this system, which in theory guarantees prompt and reasonable payment for workplace injuries, the worker is prohibited from suing the employer in civil court, even if the employer was negligent or otherwise caused the accident (unless the employer caused the injury through a willful or intentional act).
Workers’ compensation can pay for your medical care, including vocational rehabilitation, and also pay benefits based on temporary disability or permanent disability. Death benefits may be provided to the family of a worker who dies in a workplace accident. Benefits are determined according to workers’ compensation guidelines, and in general are less than you would receive in a civil lawsuit, but you do not run the risk of not recovering as you do in a lawsuit, and you do not have to worry about issues of negligence and fault.
Even though workers’ compensation promises a relatively quick and guaranteed recovery, the reality is that it is not always so quick and easy to obtain a workers’ compensation award. You must notify your employer and apply for benefits within a short time frame, and you must be able to document the injury, including satisfying an independent medical examination, and prove that the accident causing the injury was work-related. If your claim is denied, you may need to appear before a workers’ compensation judge, or appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board for reconsideration or review.
At Chudacoff, Friedman, Simon, Graff & Cherin, we help with the entire process, from submitting your initial application to appearing before any judge, panel or board that may be required to obtain your benefits. As attorneys who know the system, we can help you to get your benefits approved quickly, so that you start receiving your compensation sooner.
Third Party Liability
Even though an injury occurs at work, workers’ compensation is not always the only source of compensation available. Sometimes a third party is liable for causing the accident or injury. In this situation, you may be able to pursue a civil action against the third party in addition to pursuing your workers’ compensation claim.
Common examples of third party liability situations include:
- Construction site accidents – the property owner may be liable for dangerous conditions existing on the property; you may be struck by a vehicle driving onto the site to deliver supplies
- Auto accident in the course of business – you could be struck by a vehicle while working outdoors, or involved in an accident while on the road making sales calls or deliveries
- Products liability – you may be injured by a defective tool or equipment which was improperly designed or made by the manufacturer, who is liable for injuries caused by product defects
Personal Service from Dedicated Attorneys
You may be entitled to both workers’ compensation benefits and a recovery from a third party. Under California law, filing a claim in one area does not affect your ability to file a claim in the other as well. As experienced personal injury and workers compensation attorneys, we can handle both aspects of your case and help you get the maximum recovery available in the shortest time.
Don’t get lost in the system. Get your claim approved the first time, and start receiving benefits sooner rather than later. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job in Southern California, contact the dedicated attorneys at Chudacoff, Friedman, Simon, Graff & Cherin for a free consultation regarding all the applicable claims in your personal injury.
“Making a false or fraudulent Workers’ Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000, or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.” (California Labor Code Section 5432)