Sacramento Workers’ Compensation lawyers helping those that have been seriously injured at work.
Mehlhop & Vogt has been exclusively devoted to workers’ compensation in the Sacramento area since 1987. The Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California has granted Mr. Mehlhop certified specialist status in this area of the law.
Before workers’ compensation, injured workers had to sue their employers to recover medical costs and lost wages. Lawsuits took months and sometimes years. Juries and judges had to decide who was at fault and how much, if anything, would be paid. Too often, the injured worker got nothing. It was costly, time consuming and unfair. Today, workers’ compensation is faster and fairer.
If you cannot work because of a job injury, workers’ compensation pays your medical bills and provides money to help replace your lost income until you can return to work. Contact our Sacramento workers comp attorney for consultation today.
Our office serves people in Sacramento, West Sacramento, Stockton, Davis, Vacaville, Fairfield, Lincoln, Modesto, Elk Grove, Colfax, Auburn, Wilton, Jackson, Lodi and surrounding Northern California areas. If you were injured at work and you need the assistance of a Sacramento work injury attorney, call Bart L. Mehlhop at (916) 930-9675 for a free workers’ compensation case evaluation.
Workers Compensation Attorneys Are On Your Side
Have you suffered a serious work injury? Contact our attorneys for FREE consultation about your California workers’ compensation claim benefits. We’ve been helping injured workers since 1987 and are certified by the State Bar of California.
WORKERS COMP CASE
There was excellent communication. If I didn’t understand something, Adam explained it. I was informed of what to be expected as the case was moving along. Very satisfied with the service.
WORKERS COMP CASE
I am very pleased with the services provided by Mehlhop & Vogt. The firm knows what they are doing and gets stuff done! I always felt respected and cared for. Adam always answered my questions right away and with great detail.
WORKERS COMP CASE
I liked the way Mr. Mehlhop handled my case, he was very professional at all times. I feel like he did the best he could considering my wages.
WORKERS COMP CASE
Thank you so much for all your continuous advice and legal expertise as I started and finally completed by workers comp case and follow-ups for disability through SCIF & SDI. I surely do appreciate all that you have done for me these past three years. I spoke for quite some time with [another specialist in Social security] (as you recommended) and she was very candid and helpful for me. I have chosen not to reapply/appeal Social Security Disability and am now purging and all my files to the trash. New year – different beginnings. You helped me through the most difficult time in my life and I cannot thank you enough. Should I ever be of help to you in any way do not hesitate to call.
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Work Injury LawyerOverview of Workers’ Compensation
California workers’ compensation law, passed by the state Legislature more than 100 years ago, guarantees prompt, automatic benefits to workers injured on the job. Before workers’ compensation, injured workers had to sue their employers to recover medical costs and lost wages. Lawsuits took months and sometimes years. Juries and judges had to decide who was at fault and how much, if anything, would be paid. Too often, the injured worker got nothing. It was costly, time consuming and unfair.
Today, workers’ compensation is faster and fairer. If you cannot work because of a job injury, workers’ compensation pays your medical bills and provides money to help replace your lost income until you can return to work. Learn more about California Workers' Compensation.
Work Injury AttorneyWork Comp Benefits
One misconception is that you are going to get benefits similar to those you would get in a personal injury lawsuit, such as missed wages, loss of earning capacity, and compensation for pain and suffering. You do not receive these benefits in workers’ compensation claims. Remember, the purpose of Workers’ Compensation is not to “take care of you” for the rest of your life, but rather to get you “patched up” and back into the work force as soon as is safe to do so. The benefits you do receive are immediate medical treatment paid for by the insurance carrier (not immediately paid in personal injury), immediate payment to you for your time off work (not immediately paid in personal injury), and retraining into another line of work if necessary (not provided at all in personal injury.) Learn more about California Work Comp benefits.
Work Comp LawyersTemporary Disability
If you are unable to work due to your industrial injury and your claim has been accepted, the insurance carrier will pay you temporary disability benefits while you are unable to work. These benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage at the time of your injury. For example, if your average weekly earnings are $300 per week, you will receive benefit payment at $200 per week. It generally takes approximately 2 weeks from the time your claim is accepted for the carrier to begin paying these benefits. Learn more about California Temporary Disability.
Work Comp AttorneysMedical Treatment
The insurance company has control of your medical treatment for the first 30 days following an industrial injury. This means that you are required to go to the doctor they select. However, after the 30 days has expired you can designate one primary treating physician of your own choosing to continue your medical care. This primary treating physician may refer you to other specialists for treatment, but all work status, etc. will be controlled by the primary doctor. This means that you cannot go to other doctors for treatment without specific referral from your primary doctor. Learn more about California Medical Treatment.
Workers’ Compensation LawyerVocational Rehabilitation
Vocational rehabilitation is a benefit that helps injured workers return to work. You qualify for this benefit if you can no longer do your old job and your employer does not offer you another.
If you qualify, a plan to return you to the work force in new type of job more consistent with your physical limitation. You will usually be assisted in this process by a vocational rehabilitation counselor (QRR) and your attorney, if you are represented. You are limited to a maximum of $16,000 for all retraining costs, including tuition, books, living expenses (at a maximum of $246 per week for up to 52 weeks), counselor fees, etc. and you must complete your plan within 18 months from the time it starts. Learn more about California Vocational Rehabilitation.
Workplace Injury AttorneyPermanent Disability
Once you have been found permanent and stationary either by your treating physician or any evaluating physician, your bi-weekly payments change to permanent disability advances. Permanent Disability does not necessarily mean that you have recovered from your injuries only that you have reached a level in your condition that is not expected to greatly improve or decline. Learn more about California Permanent Disability.
Workplace Injury LawyerMedical/Legal Evaluations
Either you or the insurance carrier can dispute the opinions of the treating physician, including the opinions on permanent disability, temporary disability, medical treatment, etc. If this occurs, either party can request a Medical/Legal evaluation by a Qualified Medical Examiner. A QME is a physician who has completed state requirements to obtain such a license. If you are not represented by an attorney, this QME is identified as a “Panel QME.” If you do not disagree with your doctor’s opinions, you should not select a Panel QME. However, the insurance carrier may still request that you go to a doctor they select for this evaluation that you must attend. The opinions of this doctor may or may not be considered for settlement of your case.Learn more about California Work Injury Medical/Legal Evaluations
Workers’ Compensation LawyersSettlement
Once the final reports needed to settle your claim are received, your case is ready for settlement. There are generally two ways to settle a claim.
1) Stipulations is an agreement on the amount of permanent disability. This method provides for permanent disability to be paid out biweekly at a rate determined by the amount of disability you have and your wages at the time of the injury. Payments continue until the full amount, less attorneys’ fees and less prior permanent disability advances, have been paid. You retain the right to future medical treatment for the body parts injured for the remainder of your life. Also, if your condition worsens, we may be able to reopen your claim for new and further disability.
2) Compromise and Release (C&R) is a settlement for a lump sum. All your permanent disability is paid at one time and is higher than the amount you would receive in a Stipulation as the defendants pay additional money to buy out your right to future medical care and your right to reopen your case. Learn more about California Work Comp Settlement
Work Comp AttorneyHearing, Conferences and Trial
The first or preliminary hearing before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board is called Mandatory Settlement Conferences or Pre-Trial Conferences. This is a means to bring all the parties together in a “ formal/ informal” attempt to settle the case short of trial. The parties will attempt to resolve/narrow the issues and discuss settlement. You do not give testimony at this hearing. Learn more about California Workers Comp Hearing, Conferences and Trial
Workers’ Compensation AttorneysAfter Work Injury Settlement
If you settled your claim by Stipulations and your injury gets worse, you have the right to reopen the claim for new and further disability for 5 years from the date of your injury. If you settled your claim by Compromise and Release, there must be a new injury whether specific or by cumulative trauma (injury that occurs over time) that causes the worsening of your condition. In such cases a new claim for injury should be filed. Learn more about After Work Injury Case Settlement