Are You Eligible For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Eligible For Workers’ Compensation Benefits | Pistolas

If you were injured at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. Regardless of who caused your injury, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under California’s labor laws. In exchange for this type of protection, employees forfeit their right to file a lawsuit for damages, in the majority of cases against their employers.

When Can You File For Workers’ Compensation?

To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, the following requirements must be met:

  1. You must be an employee of the company
    Not all workers are considered “employees” for purposes of eligibility for workers’ compensation. In today’s “gig economy,” it is essential to remember that independent contractors, freelancers, and consultants typically do not qualify for workers’ compensation. Employers may misclassify their employees as “contract workers” in order to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits.

    Even if you have signed a 1099 tax form as an independent contractor, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In such cases, the court will typically consider how much control you had over your work, schedule, and other factors. Volunteers are typically not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but certain states, including California, require certain volunteers, such as volunteer firefighters, to be covered by workers’ compensation.
  1. The employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance
    Under California law, all employers, even those with a single employee, are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Even if it is not a legal requirement, the majority of employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Employers typically purchase workers’ compensation insurance on the private market or through a state fund.

    Even if the business’s headquarters are located in another state, California law requires business owners to carry workers’ compensation insurance for California-based employees. Additionally, California law presumes that anyone working for an employer is an employee. If an injury claim is filed, it is the employer’s responsibility to prove that the worker is an independent contractor and not an employee.
  1. The injury must be work-related
    If you were injured in the course and scope of your employment, it is considered to be work-related. For instance, injuries sustained in a car accident while running errands for your employer or traveling to a work-related meeting or appointment are considered work-related.

    In cases where your employer disputes that the injury is work-related, you may require the assistance of an experienced work injury attorney to protect your legal rights and obtain the compensation you are entitled to.
  1. You must meet reporting and filing deadlines
    Even if you meet all other requirements, you may lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits if you miss the deadline for notifying your employer of the injury and filing a claim. Within 30 days of the incident, you should provide written notice of the injury to your employer.

    Additionally, you must file an official workers’ compensation claim by completing the employee portion of the claim form, which can be obtained from your employer. Then, you should return it to the employer. In addition, a worker has up to five years from the date of injury to file a claim if the initial injury resulted in additional or subsequent injuries.

Our work injury attorneys at Pistiolas Law will assist you in filing all paperwork correctly and on time, compiling the necessary evidence to prove your case, and providing you with a clear valuation of your case. Our attorneys also accept contingent fees. This means that you will not be required to pay any fees or costs until we win you compensation. Contact us at (844) 414-1768 for a free, in-depth, and confidential consultation.

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