Workers Comp Frequently Asked Questions

For effective and efficient legal representation,

call the California Workers' Comp Lawyers if you've been injured at work.

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault injury claim that happens at work either in one moment (a specific injury) or over a period of time (a cumulative trauma)

Is workers compensation a lawsuit?

No, workers’ compensation is not a lawsuit. Workers’ compensation is a no fault injury claim made directly with the insurance company for the employer.

What’s the difference between workers’ compensation and personal injury?

Personal Injury or other types of “civil” claims are handled in the civil courthouse. Civil court has the right for a Trial by Jury. “Fault” is an issue for civil lawsuits. The rules in civil court are more formal than workers’ compensation court.

Workers’ compensation is “administrative” law. Fault is not an issue in workers’ compensation claims. There are usually no experts that testify in court and instead only the medical reports are submitted to the Judge. There is only a Judge in workers’ compensation court, and there is no right to a jury. Workers’ compensation does not provide anything for pain-and-suffering.

What do I have to prove to win my workers’ compensation case?

Workers’ Compensation requires you to prove three things:

1) Employment

2) Injury

3) Cause of Injury (1% from work)

What are the types of no-fault workers’ comp injuries?

The only two types of workers’ compensation injury are:

1) Specific Injuries

2) Cumulative Trauma Injuries (CT)

Does workers’ comp require physical injuries only? What type of injuries does workers compensation cover?

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault injury claim system. This means that any physical or mental or emotional injury is covered.

What are my rights when I get hurt at work?

You have 5 workers’ compensation rights.

1) Temporary Disability (TD), 66% while you are hurt and off work

2) Permanent Disability (PD), a certain amount of money for your level of injury based upon your medical reports

3) Medical Care for Life for the Body Parts Injured

4) Vocational Rehabilitation, a coupon for school and some money if your permanent restrictions prevent you from returning to your usual and customary occupation

5) Reimbursement for costs associated with work injuries, such as gas mileage money, private insurance co-pays, ambulance or emergency rooms bills, durable medical equipment, or any other costs incurred related to work injuries.

The doctor has me off work, but I’m not getting paid from the workers’ compensation insurance company. What do I do?

When your claim is partly or totally denied you must have filed an Application for Adjudication with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) in order to obtain a court hearing to take your dispute to the Workers’ Comp Judge. There are numerous reasons why the insurance company may not be paying your Temporary Disability (TD) benefits.

If you paid taxes during your employment history, you can apply with the State of California Economic Development Department (EDD), State Disability Insurance (SDI) in order to get benefits while you are off work.

If your benefits are being denied, or not properly paid, contact an attorney to see what your options are. All workers’ compensation law offices work on commission only and will not pay anything for the consult.

Can I get EDD (Unemployment or SDI) and Workers’ Comp Temporary Disability (TD) while I am off work?

No, you cannot double collect State Disability Benefits and Workers’ Compensation Temporary Disability.

Can I get EDD (Unemployment or SDI) and Workers’ Comp Permanent Disability (PD) while I am off work? 

Yes. TD pays 66% of your lost wages while you are temporarily disabled from work. EDD / SDI also pays you for lost wages while you are temporarily disabled from work, that is why you cannot collect TD and SDI at the same time.

However, Permanent Disability (PD) does not pay you for lost wages while you are off work, but instead pays you for your Diminished Future Earning Capacity (DFEC). You can work and collect PD at the same time. Or, you can collect EDD and PD at the same time.

My employer says i am an Independent Contractor; can I be entitled to benefits for my injury?

 Independent contractors cannot get workers’ compensation benefits, however the status of “employee” depends on a number of issues. If you believe you may have been misclassified as an independent contract you should contact an attorney. Private agreements do not matter. A workers’ compensation Judge will determine if you are an employee or independent contractor based on a number of “control” factors.

I drive for Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, Postmates, or another “gig economy” job; can I receive workers’ compensation benefits if I’m hurt while working?

Yes. However you should contact an attorney for help with these cases as these companies frequently fight these issues.

My workers’ compensation deposition is scheduled. What is going to happen there?

A deposition is a question and answer session where the attorney for the other-side gets to ask you questions. You are placed under oath by a court reporter which means that anything you say will be written down, and if you lie under oath that is perjury and you can be charged with a crime. The defense attorney represents the workers’ compensation insurance company. They take your deposition in order to ask you questions about your injury claim.

If your workers’ compensation deposition is scheduled and you have questions, feel free to contact this law office and we would be happy to help you.

I already have a workers’ compensation attorney, will it cost me extra to switch to another attorney?

No. The amounts charged by workers’ compensation attorneys in California are set by law and usually does not exceed 15%. This means it’s the lawyers that must split the 15% at the end of your case. The workers’ compensation client always takes 85% of the total settlement or Award.