Who Is Eligible For Workers’ Compensation in California?

Submitted by pec on

Have you been injured in a work-related accident in California? Or, have you developed an injury or illness due to work duties or conditions in your workplace?

If so, you may be in need of costly medical treatment. Your condition might also prevent you from working and earning wages until you recover.

In California, you can seek financial assistance in these circumstances through the California workers’ compensation system. This overview will explain:

  • What California workers’ compensation is
  • Who is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in California
  • How to file a workers’ compensation claim in California
  • How a workers’ compensation lawyer can assist you with your claim

What is Workers’ Compensation and Who Is Eligible For It In California?

In California, workers’ compensation provides benefits to workers who sustain injuries or develop illnesses as a result of work-related accidents, workplace conditions, work duties, etc. Workers’ comp benefits offer compensation for certain economic losses, such as medical bills. They don’t cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Per California Labor Code Section 3700, all employers in the state with one or more employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. Thus, if you work in California and are injured at work or develop an illness resulting from your work, you are almost certainly eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim In California?

After you’ve been involved in an accident at work (or when you suspect you’ve developed a work-related illness), take these steps:

  • Report the accident or your illness to your employer
  • If you were involved in an accident, try to take pictures of the conditions at the scene of the accident and get the names and contact information of any witnesses
  • See a doctor right away regardless of whether you think your injuries/illness are serious

Within one day of learning of your injury or illness, your employer should provide you with a form. Fill out the “Employee” section of the form carefully, sign and date it, make a copy for your records, and return it to your employer. If you mail it to your employer, the State of California Department of Industrial Relations recommends using certified mail and requesting a return receipt.

Your employer should now complete the “Employer” section of the form. Once they do, they should forward the completed form to their workers’ compensation insurance provider. They should also provide you with a copy of the completed form.

Next, speak with a California workers’ compensation lawyer. They may help you gather evidence to show that your injuries or illness are work-related. They could also assist you if the insurance company unfairly denies your claim.

Get in Touch With a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Collecting the benefits you deserve if you’ve been injured or developed an illness due to your work isn’t always as simple as filing a claim in California. For example, you may need to represent yourself at hearings, correspond with insurers/doctors, etc.

Because the process can be complex, California’s own guidelines advise workers’ compensation benefits applicants to strongly consider meeting with attorneys. A lawyer who handles California workers’ compensation cases may improve your chances of securing the benefits you deserve while also giving you more time and energy to devote to your recovery. To get started, complete the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website and takes cases in California.