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Why Do You Need A Visalia Workers' Compensation Attorney?

Have you been injured in an accident at work, or have you sustained any type of work-related injury? A Visalia workers' compensation attorney at our law offices may be able to assist you. We represent injured workers throughout Visalia and the surrounding areas in the San Joaquin Valley and can offer you the legal guidance that you need to properly file your workers' comp claim and seek the benefits you need.

In California, all employers with one or more employees are required to provide workers' compensation coverage for their employees, with rare exceptions. This is most often provided by a workers' compensation insurance company, although in some cases an employer may be secure enough to self-insure. When any employee is injured in the course of his or her employment, that employee will be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits for his or her injury. These benefits will be paid by the insurance company and will typically cover medical care and a percentage of the worker's earnings while he or she is unable to return to work.

About Visalia Work Accidents & Workers' Compensation

A work accident may include any mishap or mistake that occurs at the workplace. The different types and causes of work accidents in Visalia are virtually countless. A slip and fall accident in an office hallway, an auto accident related to the worker's job, an industrial accident, a chemical spill, or an accident involving machinery or other equipment may all qualify an employee to receive workers' compensation.

When a worker is exposed to a toxin, a hazardous substance, or any dangerous situation at work and injury results, he or she may file a workers' compensation claim to seek benefits. Workplace exposure is a serious situation that may cause a variety of injuries and illnesses. For example, continued exposure to loud noises at an industrial plant may lead to hearing loss. Exposure to a naturally occurring toxin, chemical, radiation, or light may lead to serious medical conditions such as cancer or a loss of eyesight. In these situations, the injured worker may be able to seek financial assistance by filing for workers' compensation.

The particular circumstances of a work-related accident are often relatively unimportant for a Visalia workers' compensation claim, as the primary concern will be whether the accident occurred at work or was related to the duties of the injured worker's job. In some cases, the cause of a work accident may be relevant if a third party was to blame, in which case the injured worker may be able to seek workers' compensation benefits as well as financial compensation from the party responsible for the accident. A good example of this situation may be a case where a defective product causes a work accident, as the manufacturer may be held responsible.

By investigating the particular circumstances of your work accident and the injuries you sustained, we can work to recover the full workers' compensation benefits and financial compensation you may be entitled to.

Know The Rights of Injured Workers

When a worker in Visalia is injured, he or she will have particular rights. The protection of these rights is of the utmost importance if the worker is to have the opportunity to recover full benefits under workers' compensation law. At Pacific Attorney Group, we are committed to protecting our client’s rights in regard to their workers' compensation claims. We represent injured workers throughout Visalia and the surrounding areas in the San Joaquin Valley, handling any type of work accident, exposure, or injury claim for our clients in order to seek the best possible outcomes.

What rights does an injured worker have? By law, an employee who has sustained some form of injury or illness caused by or in the course of his or her employment has the following rights:

  • The right to workers' compensation benefits for any work-related injury, regardless of who was at fault for causing the accident or injury
  • The right to file for workers' compensation without fear of termination, demotion, or any form of employer retaliation.
  • The right to up to $10,000 in medical care after a workers' compensation claim is filed, while still pending approval.
  • The right to prompt, effective medical treatment after reporting a work injury to his or her employer.

Let’s Talk About Workers' Compensation Benefits Available to Employees in Visalia

Visalia employees may be entitled to workers' comp benefits in various situations. As long as an injury is work-related, the employee doesn’t need to prove that someone else caused the injury to seek benefits. Any accident that occurs at the workplace or that occurs in the course of the worker's employment may qualify, as well as any injury or illness caused by exposure to a hazardous condition or other situation at work. For example, an employee in a manufacturing facility may be exposed to a toxin that causes injury. A worker in an industrial plant may be exposed to constant loud noise, leading to hearing loss. In either of these and any related situation, the injured worker may be able to seek workers' compensation benefits.

Types of Benefits Available

There are several main types of benefits that a worker injured in a Visalia work accident may be entitled to receive:

  • Medical care - including current and future medical expenses related to his or her work injury like money for any medical treatment, hospitalization, doctor appointments, medication, medical supplies, and even mileage to and from medical appointments.
  • Disability benefits - benefits for a temporary or permanent disability that was caused by the work injury, typically a percentage of the worker's pay
  • Job displacement benefits - vouchers that are good for retraining or skill enhancement if an injured worker is unable to return to his or her previous job or the same line of work
  • Death benefits - money for funeral costs and lost wages paid to the family of a worker who lost his or her life to a work-related injury
  • Additional benefits may be available for psychological injuries or for physical injuries that were caused by the worker's previous work-related injury

Without workers' compensation benefits, a worker would be left dealing with the physical trauma of an injury as well as the financial difficulties and emotional trauma that often result. Make sure you have the representation you need to recover full workers' comp benefits for your claim.

If you would like to ensure your claim is properly filed and your rights are represented after a work accident or injury in Visalia, do not wait to consult a lawyer.

The Advantages of Workers' Compensation For Injured Workers

When a person is injured at work, taking advantage of the benefits available to him or her under workers' compensation law is important. This is an important role that your attorney will provide in handling your claim - protecting your rights and helping you take advantage of everything that workers' compensation has to offer you and your family.

With the workers' compensation system in place in Visalia, an injured worker has the right to swift and effective medical treatment after sustaining a work injury. He or she also has the right to file for workers' compensation without worrying about getting fired or demoted for filing a claim. If the employee has any questions or concerns, the Division of Workers' Compensation offers help through the Information and Assistance Unit. If the claims administrator denies the worker's claim, he or she can file an appeal with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. Additionally, while a claim is pending, an injured worker is entitled to up to $10,000 in medical treatment covered by the workers' compensation insurance company.

Workers' Comp Laws Affect Employers & Employees in Visalia

Workers' compensation laws apply to both employers and employees regarding work-related injuries. For example, an employer is required to provide workers' compensation coverage for employees, and employees are required to report work-related injuries in a timely fashion. If an employee does not report an injury within 30 days, and this limits the employer's ability to properly investigate the claim, this may mean that the employee will lose the right to seek benefits. An employee is also required to be honest when seeking workers' compensation benefits. Fraud or misrepresentation when filing for workers' compensation in Visalia may mean that the worker will face criminal charges as well as be held ineligible to receive the benefits he or she may have been entitled to.

An employer is required to be fair in dealing with an injured employee and cannot take any form of retaliatory action because an employee is injured, falls ill, or files a workers' compensation claim. Employer retaliation is illegal and an employee affected by this may be able to take legal action against the employer by suing for damages.

About Employer Retaliation and Workers' Compensation

Employer retaliation is defined as any action your employer takes to penalize you for being injured at work or for filing for workers' compensation. This may include anything from demotion or interfering with the workers' compensation process to firing you.

An employee who is treated unfairly because he or she was injured at work may have the right to sue the employer for retaliation. In addition to recovering the workers' compensation benefits he or she should have been entitled to, the worker may also be able to recover damages for money lost or injury suffered from employer retaliation. By law, an injured employee has the right to file for workers' compensation, and any interference with this process or any action taken by an employer to punish an employee for exercising this right is illegal.

The following are the main types of employer retaliation in relation to workers' compensation:

  • Wrongful termination
  • Demotion
  • Unfair performance review
  • Interfering with the workers' compensation process
  • Threatening punishment if the worker files for workers' comp
  • Refusal to rehire
  • Failure to promote

Fraud & Workers' Compensation

When fraud is committed about a workers' compensation claim, the person accused of committing fraud may face imprisonment and other serious penalties. Different parties may be held accountable for workers' compensation fraud, including an employee, employer, workers' compensation insurance company, claims administrator, or health care provider. If you as an employee are accused and convicted of workers' comp fraud, you may face criminal penalties and also lose your right to recover benefits for your work injuries.

When you consider the harsh repercussions of workers' compensation fraud allegations, it is important that you do what you can to avoid any type of fraud or misrepresentation regarding your Visalia workers' compensation claim. An attorney can help with this.

By involving a Visalia workers' compensation attorney as early in the process as possible, you can make sure that your claim and all necessary paperwork are filed properly. You can also ensure that your rights are protected and you are therefore guarded against becoming the victim of workers' comp fraud, such as when an employer or insurance company attempts to fraudulently deny a claim.

Workers' Compensation Settlements

Most workers' compensation claims in Visalia are generally resolved with a settlement. There are two types of settlements in these cases: Compromise and Release, and Stipulated Finding and Award. The first, a Compromise and Release, most often applies in cases where the employee is no longer working for the company where the injury occurred. A lump sum settlement is paid to the injured worker, releasing his or her right to future benefits. A Stipulated Finding and Award may apply in a case where the worker is still employed with the company where the injury occurred and may involve continued payments to the worker, based upon an agreement reached by the parties involved.

Reaching a Settlement for a Visalia Workers' Comp Claim

There are two parties involved in any Visalia workers' compensation case. The injured worker is one of these, and the workers' compensation insurance company or the employer is the other. Both parties must come to an agreement outside of the courtroom in order to reach a workers' compensation settlement. In some ways, a settlement is more advantageous than a verdict reached in a hearing or trial, but this will vary depending on the particular case. For example, a settlement may result in the payment of benefits earlier than a drawn-out court case. In some cases, however, the parties involved will not be able to reach an agreement and the only option to seek a fair resolution will be to seek a trial.

About Denied Workers' Compensation Claims

Was your Visalia workers' compensation claim denied? This does not necessarily mean that this is the end of the road regarding your right to seek workers' compensation benefits. If the claims administrator denied your claim or if your case was taken to a hearing with an administrative law judge at the Division of Workers' Compensation, an attorney at our law firm can help. We help injured workers with denied workers' compensation claims by seeking hearings or appeals on their behalf, depending on the particular case and what is needed. We understand how important a positive outcome to your claim is for you and your family. That is why your Visalia workers' comp lawyer will work tirelessly to help you avoid a denial in the first place.

Why a Workers' Comp Denial?

A workers' compensation claim will be reviewed and investigated by a claims administrator to determine its validity. The claims administrator who handles a Visalia workers' compensation claim will most often be an employee of the workers' compensation insurance company. In some cases, a third-party administrator may handle a claim for an employer, or a large employer may have its own claims administrators to handle their claims.

Different situations may result in a workers' compensation denial by a claims administrator. These may include:

  • Improperly filed workers' compensation claim.
  • Fraud or misrepresentation committed by an employee about workers' compensation.
  • Insufficient evidence that an injury occurred at work or is related to the employee's job.

When to File a Visalia Workers' Compensation Appeal

A claims administrator, most often an employee of the workers' compensation insurance company handling your claim, may deny your workers' compensation claim. In this situation, you can seek a hearing with an administrative law judge that works for the California Division of Workers' Compensation to review this denied claim. This may also apply to any dispute that arises regarding the number of benefits a worker is entitled to receive. In filing an appeal, it will be important that all evidence and paperwork is properly collected and presented. As such, your attorney should have the resources and experience to effectively handle your case.

Points To be Noted When Filing Workers’ Compensation Claim in Visalia

Getting hurt at work is a difficult situation to be in. Applying for workers' compensation benefits may be difficult as well, and it is the difficulties associated with these matters that make working with an experienced Visalia workers' compensation attorney all the more important. Filing for workers' compensation means that you should have all the necessary paperwork and information together, or your claim may be denied.

When filing for workers' compensation in Visalia, there are important points that you should know so you can approach this situation properly.

  • First, be sure to tell your employer about what happened as soon as possible. You will need to tell your manager or supervisor that you were injured so they can provide you with a workers' compensation claim form to fill out.
  • Once you receive this form, fill it out and return it to your employer immediately. After you file your claim, your employer will typically have up to 90 days to investigate and approve your claim. While your claim is pending, however, you will be entitled to up to $10,000 in medical care.
  • Filing your workers' compensation claim is crucial if you are to recover the benefits you need for medical expenses and the other damages that your work injury has caused. Doing this as early as possible and with the help of a lawyer is advised, as this will ensure that you do not lose your right to benefits because your claim is filed too late or improperly. A lawyer can also help you if anything comes up, such as a question about the value of your claim or whether your injury is work-related.

A Visalia Workers' Compensation Attorney Can Offer the Support You Need

Our law firm offers several different services to our clients. We understand that being injured at work can cause more than just physical problems - it can lead to financial difficulties and emotional stress as well. Our goal in providing attorney services for Visalia workers' compensation claims is to offer our clients the support they need to bring them peace of mind while we seek the highest possible benefits on their behalf. We offer our legal services for workers' compensation claims at no out-of-pocket expense to our clients and will be happy to discuss your options during your free consultation.

Following are some of the services that your workers' compensation lawyer at Pacific Attorney Group can provide, with the backing of our dedicated team:

  • Offering you information and guidance during a free initial consultation, where we will discuss the circumstances of your work accident or injury.
  • Helping you properly file your workers' compensation claim with your employer.
  • Making sure all necessary paperwork is in order for your claim.
  • Establishing evidence that an injury is related to work.
  • Working with medical professionals as necessary and applying knowledge of workers' compensation law and benefits to establish the value of your claim.
  • Handling any questions that the claims administrator may have regarding whether your injury is actually work-related.
  • Representing your interests in any hearing with the Division of Workers' Compensation to seek a positive outcome to a dispute that may arise.
  • Filing an appeal with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board to review a decision made by an administrative law judge regarding your case.

There are countless situations where a work injury may occur that involves a government employee. For example, an office worker may slip and fall in the parking lot. An employee may be injured in a work-related auto accident or may be assaulted while on the job. In any of these cases, the injured worker may file for workers' compensation benefits.

Although the claims process is similar for city and state employees, there may be some situations that will require professional attention. For example, a question may come up regarding the validity of a claim based on whether your injuries were sustained in the course of your employment. You may need to prove this or may need to work to prove the value of your claim. Worse yet, your claim may be denied, and you will need to file an appeal to seek a reversal of this decision.

In all, our firm can offer you the support you need to assist you in making the right decisions about your case and also to help you seek the best possible result for your claim. To find out more about what Pacific Attorney Group can do to help you, contact a Visalia workers' compensation lawyer at our law offices at 800-670-8142. We offer a free case evaluation to help you get started. We accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will take the time to talk to you about your concerns, your needs, and how we can help you.

Visalia Workers' Compensation Information

If you're interested in getting more information about workers' compensation claims in Visalia, an attorney at our offices can answer your questions during a free initial consultation. This is strictly confidential and will be an opportunity for you to get information about your particular case and how filing for workers' compensation benefits can help you rebuild your life after a serious work accident, work injury, or illness caused by workplace exposure.

We have gathered and included numerous links to different resources on the internet that offer helpful information regarding workers' compensation in Visalia, California. Feel free to review these at your convenience.

California Division of Workers' Compensation

Information for Injured Workers

Workers' Compensation Appeals

DWC Claim Form 1

How to File a Workers' Comp Claim Form

What is Workers' Compensation?

Overview of Workers' Compensation

U.S. Dept of Labor: Workplace Injury Statistics

Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention

City of Visalia

Map of Visalia, CA

Community Profile of Visalia

Hospitals in Visalia