Almost all employees in Los Angeles are protected by workers’ compensation benefits. Employers in California must carry workers’ compensation insurance to provide permanently disabled workers with essential benefits to help them in their time of need. Whether the disability occurred through a one-time industrial accident or through a repetitive stress injury, if the injury occurred on the job employers may be liable to pay benefits.
Employers and insurance companies may try to deny these benefits, claiming the disabling injury did not occur at work or the ailment otherwise developed outside work. In these situations, Los Angeles workers who developed disabilities on the job may need to seek legal representation to ensure they get the compensation they deserve.
Who decides if my injury is a permanent disability?
Injured workers are required to immediately inform their employer about a workplace injury or repetitive stress condition developed once they have become aware of the injury. Employers will then provide employees with the necessary paperwork to document their injury and begin medical treatment.
The treating physician’s opinion plays a large part in whether an injured worker’s condition is serious enough to warrant disability status. Once the victim reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), their condition is deemed to be stable and a P&S (permanent and stationary) report will be created by the treating physician, documenting whether the worker will be able to return to work.
Total or partial disability
P&S reports detail what kind of medical care victims may need to treat disabilities and in what capacity victims may be able to return to work. Disabilities are rated on a scale of 0 percent to 100 percent. A 100 percent rating means the worker is totally disabled. A rating of 99 percent or below means the worker suffers from a permanent partial disability.
Disability ratings take into account the worker’s health, age, how the injury affects the victim’s ability to work, and then adjusted for variables like occupation and job code. When offering permanent disability benefits to injured workers, insurance claims adjuster will take into account the treating physician’s P&S reports, when the injury occurred, the employee’s earning capacity before the injury, and if the employer extended the victim an offer to return to work.
Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorneys
Injured workers are often sent to treating physicians chosen by the employer who have a close relationship with workers’ compensation insurance companies. In some cases, this may create a conflict of interest and injured employees may feel their injury was not properly rated and were offered insufficient compensation.
Other times, injuries do not appear to be serious but turn into permanent disabilities leaving workers in a precarious situation. Injured workers should strongly consider hiring an experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney from the beginning of their claim to make sure they are treated by their own physician and have their claim taken seriously. Make sure you get the necessary medical treatment and financial benefits you and your family need to maintain your quality of life and talk to an attorney about your claim.