man carrying gray pipe

California Workers’ Comp Lawyer

Read­ing Time: 11 min­utes

Last Updat­ed on August 30, 2023 

Cal­i­for­nia Work­ers’ Comp Lawyer. Free con­sult for your injury ben­e­fits and pro­tect­ing your rights. Call Now: 833–851-3753

California Workers’ Comp Lawyer: Fighting For Your Rights

Table of Contents

  1. Receive Per­son­al Atten­tion on Your Work­ers’ Comp Case
  2. You Pay Us Noth­ing Unless We’re Suc­cess­ful For You
  3. FREE No Oblig­a­tion Case Evaluation
  4. All Con­sul­ta­tions Are Confidential


Why Abdi and Associates? 

California Workers' Comp Lawyer

We spe­cial­ize in bring­ing the Cal­i­for­nia to your cor­ner. We are ded­i­cat­ed to under­stand­ing what results you want and to help­ing you under­stand what actions we can take on your behalf. We will work with you every step of the way to make sure that you under­stand the choic­es you are mak­ing and feel empow­ered to make them.

California Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Who is eligible to receive Workers’ Comp Benefits in California? 

California Workers' Comp Lawyer

Any per­son who sus­tains an injury on the job in Cal­i­for­nia should be able to recov­er com­pen­sa­tion for their loss­es. This includes cov­er­age of all med­ical expens­es relat­ed to the on-the-job injury as well as lost wages.

At ABDI & Asso­ciates, we are here to help when you need a Cal­i­for­nia work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion attor­ney by your side. We have exten­sive expe­ri­ence han­dling com­plex work injury cas­es in Cal­i­for­nia and we have no prob­lem stand­ing up to the insur­ance car­ri­er or your employ­er to ensure that you are prop­er­ly cared for.

Why Turn To Abdi & Associates For Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?

After sus­tain­ing a work­place injury, you need com­pen­sa­tion to ensure that you do not fall into finan­cial hard times. At ABDI & Asso­ciates, we are ready to help:

  • Our team has inti­mate knowl­edge of per­son­al injury and work­place injury law in California.
  • We prac­tice a client-focused approach, which means that we take the time to lis­ten to your sto­ry and craft a path for­ward that suits your needs.
  • We have suc­cess­ful­ly recov­ered sig­nif­i­cant insur­ance set­tle­ments for those who sus­tained work­place injuries through­out California.

How An Attorney Will Help Your California Work Injury Claim?

California Workers' Comp Lawyer

Work­place injury claims should be straight­for­ward, but that is not always the case. Even though most indi­vid­u­als are sup­posed to receive work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion insur­ance after an on-the-job injury, it is not uncom­mon for insur­ance car­ri­ers or employ­ers to delay or deny a claim unnecessarily. 

A work injury lawyer in Cal­i­for­nia will:

  1. Ful­ly inves­ti­gate the injury inci­dent and gath­er the evi­dence need­ed to prove what happened.
  2. Ensure that you are eval­u­at­ed by trust­ed med­ical pro­fes­sion­als not asso­ci­at­ed with the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion insur­ance carrier.
  3. Han­dle all com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the insur­ance car­ri­er on your behalf.
  4. Explore the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a third-par­ty per­son­al injury law­suit depend­ing on the cir­cum­stances of the injury.

Who Gets Workers’ Compensation Benefits In California?

In the state of Cal­i­for­nia, near­ly every employed per­son is eli­gi­ble for Work­ers’ Com­pen­sa­tion ben­e­fits. Under state law, any employ­er who has at least one or more employ­ees is required to pur­chase work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion insur­ance for those employees.

It does not mat­ter whether the work­ers are full-time or part-time; they are eli­gi­ble for ben­e­fits if they get hurt at work. Addi­tion­al­ly, a person’s immi­gra­tion sta­tus has no bear­ing on whether or not they should receive work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion. This includes those green card hold­ers and those with­out prop­er doc­u­men­ta­tion, though there are some restric­tions on ben­e­fits avail­able to undoc­u­ment­ed immigrants.

Who Is Exempt From California Workers’ Comp?

Even though Cal­i­for­nia has some of the most com­pre­hen­sive work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion laws in the coun­try, there are still some peo­ple who are not cov­ered. This include:

  • Busi­ness own­ers or sole pro­pri­etors (this does not include roofers)
  • Inde­pen­dent con­trac­tors and freelancers
  • Domes­tic work­ers relat­ed to the employer
  • Those who work for aid instead of wages (hous­ing, food, etc.)
  • Some vol­un­teers, includ­ing those for non-prof­it organizations
  • Stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing in ama­teur sport­ing events
  • Ama­teur sports officials 

You can view the full list of those exempt from work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion ben­e­fits by going to Cal­i­for­nia Labor Code, Divi­sion 4, Part 1, Chap­ter 2, Sec­tion 3352.

Independent Contractors And Workers’ Compensation In California 

One of the most con­tentious issues with employ­ee ben­e­fits over the last few years revolves around the sta­tus of inde­pen­dent con­trac­tors and free­lancers in Cal­i­for­nia. In many cas­es, employ­ers pur­pose­ly mis­clas­si­fy work­ers as inde­pen­dent con­trac­tors instead of employ­ees to avoid pay­ing them cer­tain ben­e­fits, includ­ing work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion. This is not only wrong – it’s illegal. 

Under a new law in Cal­i­for­nia, Assem­bly Bill 5 (AB 5), a per­son can only be clas­si­fied as an inde­pen­dent con­trac­tor if all of the fol­low­ing con­di­tions are met:

  • The hir­ing enti­ty does not have direc­tion or con­trol over the indi­vid­ual in the per­for­mance of their work, both con­cern­ing the con­tract or the duties.
  • The work per­formed by the con­trac­tor is out­side of the nor­mal scope of the type of work typ­i­cal­ly car­ried out by the employer.
  • The con­trac­tor is “cus­tom­ar­i­ly engaged” in the type of work that is the same or sim­i­lar to the work they are per­form­ing for the hir­ing entity.

Types Of Workers’ Compensation Benefits In California 

There are var­i­ous types of ben­e­fits that work­place injury vic­tims are enti­tled to in Cal­i­for­nia. This includes the following:

Medical And Hospital Benefits

When a per­son sus­tains a work­place injury, and if they are cov­ered under work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion, they will like­ly be able to receive cov­er­age of all of their med­ical bills relat­ed to the inci­dent. This includes, but is not lim­it­ed to, the following:

  • Emer­gency med­ical expenses
  • Any fol­low up hos­pi­tal or doc­tor visits
  • Phys­i­cal ther­a­py or rehabilitation
  • Med­ical devices
  • Pre­scrip­tion medications
  • Sur­gi­cal procedures
  • Chi­ro­prac­tic care
  • Pros­thet­ic devices

Is there a limit on Workers’ Comp Benefits?

California Workers' Comp Lawyer

There is gen­er­al­ly no lim­it on how much com­pen­sa­tion a per­son can receive for med­ical ben­e­fits so long as the treat­ing physi­cian deems the care nec­es­sary for recovery.

Temporary Disability Benefits And Lost Wages

If a work injury only results in a tem­po­rary dis­abil­i­ty, the law in Cal­i­for­nia will pro­vide for one of two types of benefits: 

Temporary Total Disability (TTD)

These are dis­abil­i­ty pay­ments for wages that a per­son can­not earn dur­ing the peri­od of dis­abil­i­ty. TTD pay­ments gen­er­al­ly equal two-thirds of a person’s aver­age week­ly wage at the time the injury occurs.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)

These ben­e­fits are also designed to cov­er lost wages, but they are specif­i­cal­ly for those who are able to work in a job that pays less dur­ing their peri­od of dis­abil­i­ty. TPD pay­ments are equal to two-thirds of the dif­fer­ence between the wage a per­son was earn­ing before their injury and the wage they earn after their injury in their tem­po­rary job.

Permanent Disability

If a per­son sus­tains a per­ma­nent dis­abil­i­ty as a result of a work­place injury, one that affects their phys­i­cal or men­tal fac­ul­ties, then they may be eli­gi­ble for per­ma­nent dis­abil­i­ty ben­e­fits in Cal­i­for­nia. The total amount of
per­ma­nent dis­abil­i­ty will depend on a num­ber of fac­tors, including:

  • The cir­cum­stances and nature of the injury or illness
  • The type of med­ical con­di­tion or lev­el of disability
  • The over­all extent of the impairment
  • The person’s occu­pa­tion, wages, and age pri­or to the injury

Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits

If an injured work­er is forced to seek a dif­fer­ent type of employ­ment due to a dis­abil­i­ty caused by the injury, then they may be able to receive addi­tion­al types of ben­e­fits that can help them retrain for a new job or enhance their cur­rent skills. Sup­ple­men­tal job dis­place­ment ben­e­fits may be avail­able if the work­er qual­i­fies for a per­ma­nent dis­abil­i­ty, the employ­er does not let the work­er return to their job or an alter­nate posi­tion, or if the work­er does not oth­er­wise return to their pre­vi­ous job. 

Sup­ple­men­tal job dis­place­ment ben­e­fits come in vouch­ers that can be used to pay for edu­ca­tion or train­ing at accred­it­ed schools or state-approved facil­i­ties. These vouch­ers can be used for tuition, enroll­ment fees, books, sup­plies, as well as pro­fes­sion­al licens­ing fees, exam fees, or prepa­ra­tion courses.

Most Common Work Injuries We Help Clients With

Work injuries are not uncom­mon. Accord­ing to data from the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics(BLS), there were around 2.7 mil­lion non-fatal work injuries or ill­ness­es report­ed dur­ing the lat­est year across the US. 

Work injuries can occur in a vari­ety of ways, and most are rel­a­tive­ly minor. How­ev­er, some injuries require longer recov­ery times. There are also many injuries that result in per­ma­nent dis­abil­i­ties or even death. Some of the most com­mon work injuries we help clients with include the following:

  • Bro­ken or frac­tured bones
  • Dis­lo­cat­ed bones
  • Sig­nif­i­cant strains or sprains
  • Lac­er­a­tions or punc­ture wounds
  • Crush injuries
  • Ampu­ta­tions
  • Inter­nal organ dam­age and inter­nal bleeding
  • Trau­mat­ic brain injuries
  • Con­cus­sions
  • Spinal cord injuries

In addi­tion to vis­i­ble trau­mat­ic injuries, work­ers can also sus­tain injuries that take longer to appear.

This includes a range of repet­i­tive stress injuries (cumu­la­tive trau­ma) that can include injuries caused by repet­i­tive motion, such as lift­ing, typ­ing, push­ing, and pulling. These types of injuries reg­u­lar­ly affect the hands, wrists, joints, back, shoul­ders, knees, and more. The signs and symp­toms of these injuries may not appear for months or even years after a per­son has been on the job. Work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion in Cal­i­for­nia can also cov­er var­i­ous types of occu­pa­tion­al ill­ness­es caused by expo­sure in the workplace. 

There are a wide vari­ety of occu­pa­tion­al dis­eases that can affect employ­ees, including:

  • Hear­ing and vision loss caused by expo­sure to loud sounds or oth­er haz­ards in the workplace
  • Occu­pa­tion­al can­cers caused by expo­sure to harm­ful par­tic­u­lates, chem­i­cals, and the elements
  • Res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­eases caused by expo­sure to tox­ins or particulates
  • Hepati­tis, HIV, COVID-19, and oth­er dis­eases where health­care work­ers are more exposed
  • Car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases caused by extreme work­place stress

Why Would A Workers’ Compensation Claim Be Denied?

Why a workers’ compensation claim may be denied in California?

California Workers' Comp Lawyer

There are var­i­ous rea­sons why a work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claim may be denied in Cal­i­for­nia and the sur­round­ing areas. Some insur­ance car­ri­ers reg­u­lar­ly deny work­ers’ comp claims, mak­ing a bet that the injured work­er will let the mat­ter go and choose not to pur­sue the claim. 

How­ev­er, there are times when insur­ance car­ri­ers have valid rea­sons for deny­ing a claim, some of which can include the following:

  • The injury is not work-relat­ed (which means the injury was not caused by and on the job activ­i­ty or it did not hap­pen dur­ing work-relat­ed duties)
  • The injury hap­pened at a dif­fer­ent job
  • The injury vic­tim failed to seek med­ical care for their injury or did not need med­ical treat­ment at all
  • The injury vic­tim need­ed no time away from work
  • The injury occurred while the work­er was impaired by alco­hol or drugs
  • The injury hap­pened while the work­er was horse play­ing or fighting
  • The injury occurred dur­ing the work com­mute (so long as there were no work activ­i­ties tak­ing place dur­ing the commute) 

This is just a list of some of the rea­sons why a work­ers’ comp claim may be legit­i­mate­ly denied by the employ­er or the insur­ance car­ri­er. If you have any spe­cif­ic ques­tions about why your claim may have been denied, you need to reach out to a work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion attor­ney at ABDI & Asso­ciates as soon as possible.

What If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?

If your work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claim has been denied in Cal­i­for­nia , there are var­i­ous steps that you can take to help fight the denial. You will have to request a hear­ing before the Work­ers’ Comp Appeals Board (WCAB). This will be a tri­al on pre­lim­i­nary issues since the dis­pute with the insur­ance car­ri­er revolves around whether your claim is “com­pens­able.” In order to request a hear­ing in front of a WCAB judge, you or your attor­ney need to file a form called the Dec­la­ra­tion of Readi­ness to Pro­ceed (DOR). How­ev­er, before you file this form, you need to have already filed an Appli­ca­tion for Adju­di­ca­tion of Claim, which is part of the offi­cial claims process where you receive a work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion case number.

Is A Priority Conference Necessary?

If the insur­ance com­pa­ny denied your claim because they do not believe the injury arose out of employ­ment (AOE, which means that they do not think it hap­pened due to a work-relat­ed activ­i­ty) or dur­ing the course of your employ­ment (COE, which means the activ­i­ty that caused the injury was not relat­ed to your work), then the WCAB judge will allow an expe­dit­ed con­fer­ence so that the issue can be resolved as soon as pos­si­ble and your claim can either be accept­ed or denied.

What is A Pre-Trial Conference?

After you sub­mit the DOR form, a pre-tri­al con­fer­ence may be sched­uled (that is, if the issue was not based on the AOE or COE issues list­ed above). You will receive a notice of hear­ing that will let you know the time, date, and loca­tion of the conference. 

At these con­fer­ences, the work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion judge will attempt to resolve the issue over whether or not the claim should be accept­ed or denied. If the dis­pute can­not be set­tled at the pre-tri­al con­fer­ence, the judge will set a date for tri­al. If the judge thinks that more infor­ma­tion is need­ed before going to tri­al, they will set up a dis­cov­ery plan where both sides will come up with evi­dence to deter­mine the issues in the case. 

Many work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion dis­putes in Cal­i­for­nia are accept­ed or denied dur­ing the pre-tri­al con­fer­ence. We need to stress the impor­tance of work­ing with an attor­ney if your Cal­i­for­nia work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claim is denied. A lawyer can help you through this entire denial and appeals process.

Work Injury Reporting Deadline In California

Is there a deadline to report workplace injuries in California?

If you have sus­tained a work­place injury in Cal­i­for­nia , then there are var­i­ous dead­lines that you need to be aware of that could play a role in whether or not you receive work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion ben­e­fits period. 

First and fore­most, it is cru­cial to know that you have 30 days from the date an injury occurs to report the injury to your employ­er. How­ev­er, we do want to point out the impor­tance of let­ting your employ­er know about the injury or work­place ill­ness as soon as pos­si­ble after it occurs, and it is best to do this on the same day that you know you have been harmed. 

After report­ing the work­place injury or ill­ness, this does not nec­es­sar­i­ly mean that you have to file a work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion claim right away. The over­all work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion statute of lim­i­ta­tions in Cal­i­for­nia is one year from the date an injury occurs. 

As soon as a work-relat­ed injury hap­pens, the clock starts tick­ing. If you fail to file the claim with­in this one-year time frame, this like­ly means that you will not be able to receive any work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion ben­e­fits.

How­ev­er, there are var­i­ous excep­tions to this, par­tic­u­lar­ly relat­ed to the types of injuries or ill­ness­es that occur. When a spe­cif­ic injury hap­pens, such as an
obvi­ous trau­ma, then it is fair­ly clear when the one-year time frame starts ticking.

But what about cumu­la­tive trau­ma injuries such as carpal tun­nel syn­drome or occu­pa­tion­al ill­ness­es like res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­eases caused by work­place expo­sure? In these cas­es, the one-year statute of lim­i­ta­tions will not start tick­ing until do you receive an offi­cial diag­no­sis relat­ed to the injury or ill­ness. For exam­ple, even though many indi­vid­u­als are exposed to harm­ful tox­ins or sub­stances, they may not know that they are ill until months or years after the ini­tial exposure.

Steps To Take After A Work Injury Occurs In California 

If you have sus­tained a work­place injury or ill­ness, there are var­i­ous steps that we rec­om­mend you take to help ensure that you recov­er max­i­mum com­pen­sa­tion and that your claim is accept­ed by the insur­ance carrier.

1. Report The Injury Immediately

As we men­tioned above, report­ing dead­lines are impor­tant. Specif­i­cal­ly, you need to make sure your employ­er knows about the injury as soon as pos­si­ble. If your med­ical con­di­tion is an emer­gency, you can report the inci­dent to your employ­er after you receive med­ical care.

2. Seek Medical Treatment

You must seek med­ical treat­ment if you have sus­tained an on-the-job injury in Cal­i­for­nia. This is not nego­tiable if you want to receive com­pen­sa­tion for your med­ical bills and any lost wages if you are unable to work. If you fail to seek med­ical treat­ment soon after an injury occurs or right after you real­ize that you may have a cumu­la­tive trau­ma or occu­pa­tion­al ill­ness caused by the work­place, it is very like­ly that your claim will be delayed or denied.

3. Follow Up With Your Employer

We encour­age you to fol­low up with your employ­er and make sure that they are aware have your injury and have filed the prop­er paper­work with the insur­ance carrier.

4. Keep Documentation Of All Bills And Lost Wages

You need to keep thor­ough doc­u­men­ta­tion through­out this process. This includes keep­ing track of all med­ical records for your injuries or ill­ness, keep­ing any med­ical bills that come in, and keep­ing track of your lost wages if you are unable to work while recov­er­ing. If you are able to work but are on lim­it­ed duty or earn­ing less mon­ey, you need to keep track of the dif­fer­ences between the wages you are earn­ing and the wages you are earn­ing now.

5. Continue All Medical Treatment

You should con­tin­ue all med­ical treat­ment until after your doc­tor says you have reached max­i­mum med­ical improve­ment (MMI). This does not nec­es­sar­i­ly mean you have ful­ly recov­ered, but it is the point where a doc­tor thinks that any fur­ther med­ical treat­ment is unlike­ly to improve your con­di­tion. If you dis­con­tin­ue care before reach­ing MMI, this gives the insur­ance car­ri­er a rea­son to deny your claim or all for less mon­ey than your claim is real­ly worth.

6. Reach Out To A Skilled Attorney

Even though this is the last point here, it real­ly can go any­where on the list, even right after report­ing the injury and seek­ing med­ical care. If you real­ize that your employ­er or the insur­ance car­ri­er is going to
give you a hard time when it comes to accept­ing the claim, your first call should be to an attor­ney. A lawyer can step in and han­dle all com­mu­ni­ca­tion on your behalf and work to inves­ti­gate every aspect of the claim.

7. Contact A California Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

If you or some­body you care about has sus­tained an on-the-job injury but are strug­gling to recov­er com­pen­sa­tion for your loss­es, reach out to the team at ABDI & Asso­ciates as soon as possible. 

What about third party claims in Workers’ Comp ?

California Workers' Comp Lawyer

We know what it takes to help work­place injury vic­tims recov­er com­pen­sa­tion for their med­ical bills and lost wages. We also have no prob­lem tak­ing on third par­ties in court if nec­es­sary to ensure that you recov­er full com­pen­sa­tion for your med­ical bills and lost wages. 

When you need a California Workers’ Compensation Attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by calling us at 833–851-3753.

California Workers’ Comp Lawyer