Most California employees, regardless of the industry they work in, are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits when they suffer a job-related injury or illness. They will report their condition to their employer, fill out a claim form and most likely make a statement to a representative from the insurance company. In the meantime, they would continue to receive medical care until they are cleared to return to work.
Often after giving their recorded statement, victims may become eligible for partial wage replacement. Those who suffer a permanent disability, whether partial or total, may be covered for future medical expenses. However, there are cases when some injured workers are denied benefits altogether.
For example, victims may not have notified their employer within the required time limit. Or, they missed the deadline for filing the claim: the statute of limitations, which is one year in this state. Another possibility is that the injury or illness is not work-related.
Some employees have benefits denied because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the same of their accident. Any injuries incurred after employees had been fired or laid off will not count, nor will injuries that are too minor or temporary.
Victims should be aware, too, that the burden is on them to prove that any mental health issues like PTSD are linked to their injury. If they file a workers’ compensation claim and face opposition from the employer, then this may also prompt the insurance company to reject the claim. These are just a few reasons why victims could do well to have the assistance of a lawyer throughout the process.