California Workers’ Compensation Benefits


Work Comp Attorney In Sacramento

California Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation is financial compensation for an injury an employee gets during work. Getting injured on the job can be a tricky legal process in getting the proper compensation you deserve and requires the expertise of a Sacramento workers compensation attorney.

Work-related injuries vary, such as:

  • Falling off a step-ladder and breaking your arm
  • Getting a chemical burn due to your work environment
  • Dislocating a shoulder during a car accident while driving for your company, such as to pick up materials or to make a delivery
  • Repeated exposure to physically stressful events – This can be hearing loss due to loud noise or a wrist injury due to repetitive motions required by your work.

Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that a company pays for to protect their workers. Unlike other insurance, there is no amount of money deducted in paychecks for workers’ compensation – the employer is obligated to pay for it as a part of doing business. In the state of California, this insurance has five basic benefits:

  • Medical care – After an injury at work, the employer pays for the relevant medical care
  • Temporary disability benefits – This includes lost wages due to an injury or disability that prevents the injured party from working
  • Permanent disability benefits – If the injured employee does not recover completely, these benefits cover lost wages
  • Supplemental job displacement benefits – Displacement benefits consist of vouchers that help the injured party pay for retraining or acquiring new skills in the case the employee can not return to his or her original job
  • Death benefits – In the unfortunate case of the death of an employee, these benefits go to the spouse, children, or other dependents of the deceased

Unfortunately, under California law it is not required for independent contractors to be covered under the workers’ compensation of the company for which they work. As there is no exact definition of “independent contractor,” it can be difficult to determine if someone is an actual employee or an independent contractor.

When the person paying the worker behaves in the following ways, the court is likely to consider an employer/employee relationship:

  • Controlling the details and manner of work
  • Having the right to terminate the worker
  • Paying the worker an hourly or salary wage
  • Making unemployment and social security deductions
  • Supplying materials or tools
  • Requiring the worker to work specific days or times

If you’ve been injured on the job as an independent contractor, it’s important to seek legal advice from a Sacramento workers compensation lawyer who understands the complicated legal process.

Employer Responsibilities to Injured Workers

Employers have certain responsibilities to their employers regarding worker’s compensation. This includes:

  • Getting workers’ compensation insurance – The employer may qualify to be self-insured
  • Provide information regarding employees rights and responsibilities around workers’ compensation to all new employees
  • Have a workers’ compensation poster visible to all employees

After an injury has occurred, employers are obligated to do the following:

  • Provide the injured party with a workers’ compensation claim form within one working day of the report of the injury
  • Return a copy of the claim form within one working day of receipt from the injured party
  • Forward the claim form and the injured party’s report to the claims administrator within one working day of receipt of the completed form
  • Authorize up to $10,000 in appropriate medical treatment within one day of receiving the claim approval
  • Provide transitional or light work whenever possible
  • If the employee was a victim of a crime, the employer is required to provide information about workers’ compensation eligibility within one working day of the crime

Medical Care After a Work Injury

Doctors in the workers’ compensation system are required to provide medical treatment that has been proven to be effective in treating whatever specific injury or illness the individual is suffering from. There are specific guidelines that specify the exact treatments are effective for particular injuries and illness. These guidelines also go over how often these treatment should be given, how long treatment should last, and the extent or intensity of the treatment, as well as other aspects of treatment. This means there are limits to certain treatments, such as chiropractic therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.

Because there are so many details and various circumstances in which an employee can get injured on the job, it’s best to seek legal advice from a Sacramento workers compensation lawyer at our office to ensure you’re getting the compensation you truly deserve.

Temporary Disability Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation

Temporary disability is when a person’s illness or injury temporarily makes them unable to do their usual job. Benefits are paid to this individual through workers’ compensation, depending on whether the individual can work part or none of their usual hours. Temporary disability payments are typically about 67% of the pre-tax wages, tips, food, lodging, overtime, bonuses, etc. that the employee usually enjoys. There is a maximum amount set annually for what one person may receive each week.

Temporary disability payments begin when your doctor determines you cannot return to work as usual for three or more days or if you are hospitalized overnight. The payments are given out every two weeks and typically stop when you return to work or when you are released back to work by your doctor. After 2004, temporary disability payments were limited to 104 weeks.

Permanent Disability Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation

Permanent disability is when a worker has any lasting disability which decreases his or her earning capacity after medical treatment has completed. Individuals whose illness or injury resulted in permanent disability are entitled to benefits, even if they return to work. These benefits may not cover all lost income.

Your physician will be able to determine if a loss in the ability to work is due to an injury or illness and whether any more recovery is likely. When the maximal medical improvement is reached, or the illness or injury is permanent and stationary, you are considered to have permanent disability. A report will be sent from the doctor to the claims administrator, describing the loss of earning capacity and whether any other factors contributed to your permanent disability status.

Permanent disability benefits are determined by considering the following:

  • The disability rating
  • The date of the injury/illness
  • The wages before injury/illness

Contact Sacramento Workers Compensation Attorney for Help

Workers Compensation Lawyer in Sacramento CAHave you suffered a serious work injury? Contact our Sacramento workers compensation attorney at Mehlhop & Vogt Law Offices 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.

Give us a call at (916) 930-9675 to speak with a Sacramento workers compensation attorney .



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      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.

    • J.R.

      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.

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      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.