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If you’ve quit your job after a work-related injury, are you entitled to workers’ compensation benefits? Some employers may not believe your claim, especially if you have yet to resume employment elsewhere.
Work-related injuries need the expertise of an established law firm to help wade through the workers’ compensation laws, as the laws vary from state to state. Injuries at the workplace can cover a multitude of issues from upper and lower back pain and strain, neck pain, overexertion, repetitive motion injuries, and head trauma due to slips and falls or exposure to harmful substances, chemicals, and environments. Contact a workers compensation lawyer in Orange County today.
Workers’ compensation claims are common in many industries, because of the hazards of the job. Construction workers often find themselves with a higher incidence of job-related fatalities or injuries. The most serious are those due to electric shocks and falls from heights. Other related injuries are repetitive motion injuries, sprains, and breaks.
Industries using chemicals also have a high incidence of workers’ compensation claims. Although it’s difficult to measure the exact amount, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates there are at least 860,000 chemically related issues annually. The skin absorbs chemicals, causing burns and other significant harm. Respiratory illnesses and brain injuries from inhalation are also common. Some chemical-related industries are hospitals, manufacturing plants, cleaning industries, and offices.
The first thing you should do is get medical care as soon as you notice the injury. Your workers’ compensation benefits will pay for your medical expenses, so don’t worry about the bills – just find the help you need as soon as possible. This is the first opportunity you have to get your injury “on the record.” It will be very important to your claim.
If you have proof of your injury and/or a witness for your claim, you might have the opportunity to collect workers’ compensation. If you do not have a witness, it is imperative that you report your injury to your previous employer as soon as possible. In the state of California, an employee has 30 days to submit a claim from the time of injury. After that, you’ll need to file a workers’ compensation claim with the insurance company. If workers’ compensation denies your claim, you will need to find an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation to help you.
Exceptions exist to workers’ compensation cases that your attorney can explain to you, should the workers’ compensation board deny your claim. Your attorney will be able to tell you how the laws in your area apply to you and your case. For instance, in California according to (CJS Co. v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Board, 74 Cal.App.4th 294 Cal. Ct. App. 1999)), a claim can move forward if the resignation was voluntary, even if you didn’t file your claim within the 30-day time limit.
Other things to consider are who is liable for your injury at work, and how are you going to prove that liability? Do you have any witnesses to the injury? You will need to work with your lawyer to prove negligence on the part of your former employer. All information you can gather and give to your attorneys will help your case.
Your attorneys will assess the value of your claim and help you through the litigation process. If you cannot work, they will protect your right to any disability wages that may be due to you. Insurance companies have been known to set the compensation bar low for people who do not have legal representation, which is another reason hiring an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation is imperative.