Qualifying For Workers' Comp Benefits

Unless you were previously injured on the job and have applied for workers' compensation benefits before, you probably have a lot of questions, beginning with, "Do I qualify for workers' compensation?"

Generally speaking, any injury or illness that occurs in the course and scope of your employment is covered by workers' compensation. The workers' compensation system is designed to provide benefits regardless of fault. You qualify by showing that you are an employee of the company, that the injury you sustained is work-related, and that you cannot work or that you need medical treatment.

Seasonal agricultural workers are eligible to collect workers' comp, whether or not they are U.S. citizens. We can help determine if you qualify for workers' compensation benefits.

Were You Injured By A Third Party?

Sometimes, workplace injuries involve a third party — a negligent independent contractor, for example, or the manufacturer of defective equipment. In a third-party lawsuit, an injured worker may be entitled to recover compensation for past and future medical expenses, loss of earnings, loss of future earning capacity, property damage, and pain and suffering. These damages are not completely covered by workers' compensation claims. Our experience with both workers' compensation and personal injury cases helps us determine the best course of action for you.

Does Your Injury Fall Into A Workers' Comp Claim Category?

A California workers' comp claim falls into one of three broad categories:

A specific injury occurs at a specific moment, such as falling from a ladder.

A cumulative trauma injury is one that occurs over a period of time. Common examples include repetitive keyboarding that leads to carpal tunnel and prolonged lifting that leads to back problems. Cumulative injuries must be proven with medical evidence from a doctor.

A psychiatric, mental or emotional injury is caused by work-induced stress. Psychiatric injuries can result from a specific event, such as a physical assault on the job, or as a result of a specific injury that has resulted in serious physical disabilities. These injuries are much more difficult to prove than physical injuries.

In California, the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) monitors the administration of workers' compensation claims and provides administrative and judicial services to assist in resolving disputes that arise in connection with claims for workers' compensation benefits.

Who Is Not Eligible For Workers' Compensation?

Some categories of workers are not eligible to collect workers' compensation benefits. These include:

  • Business owners
  • Sole proprietors
  • Federal employees (they are covered under a separate system)
  • Independent contractors

Schedule An Appointment Today

The Law Office of Ronald M. Stein, Attorney at Law, protects the rights of injured workers as they navigate through a complex system that is not always structured to operate fairly.

Call 209-751-4370 or email us to schedule a free consultation. Our experienced workers' compensation lawyer will review the facts of your case, answer all of your questions and recommend the best course of action.