California Workers’ Compensation FAQs

Our Pasadena Workers’ Compensation Attorney Answers Your Questions

Workers’ compensation is beneficial to workers who suffered injuries on the job. Without workers’ compensation benefits, it would then be more difficult to cover medical expenses and lost income after an injury. Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation process is not always clear and, thus, you could receive a denial for benefits.

We created this page to answer some of the most common questions people have about filing for and recovering workers’ compensation in California. Below, our Pasadena workers’ compensation attorney answers the most common questions.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation insurance is available to workers who suffer injuries on the job. California employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Because workers’ comp benefits are available to workers, it is much more difficult to file a personal injury lawsuit against an employer. Workers’ compensation helps cover expenses that may occur after a workplace accident.

Is Workers’ Compensation Taxable?

In many cases, workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable. This is true at the state and federal level. However, there is a notable exception to the rule. If you also receive SSI or SSDI, then the Social Security Administration may reduce benefits so the combined amount remains below a specific threshold.

What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?

There are a number of benefits that may be available under workers’ compensation. Examples of workers’ comp benefits include:

  • Medical treatment benefits. This may cover health-related expenses, such as doctor’s appointments and medications.
  • Temporary disability. If you are unable to return to work within three days of a work-related injury or illness, you may be able to recover temporary disability benefits.
  • Permanent disability. You may also be eligible to receive permanent disability benefits if you suffered an injury or illness that results in permanent impairment. How much you can receive depends heavily on the injury and circumstances.
  • Job displacement benefits. If you cannot return to your former occupation with accommodations, then you may be able to recover benefits for supplemental job training .
  • Death benefits. If you lost a loved one during a work accident, then you and other surviving family members may qualify for death benefits.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?

The workers’ compensation process kicks in after a workplace injury or upon the discovery of a workplace illness. After an accident, there are mandatory filing and paperwork requirements that you and your employer must meet. Never wait to report an injury, as procrastination could jeopardize your claim. The same is also true for job-related illnesses.

The insurance carrier will investigate the claim and make a decision within a few weeks. What happens next depends on the circumstances. The carrier could deny your claim, which might necessitate an appeal. Be sure to read our page on appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim.

Who Pays for Workers’ Compensation?

State law requires California employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. California employers have a few options for ensuring they meet the state’s workers’ compensation insurance requirements. They can purchase workers’ compensation insurance through a licensed insurance company or state fund. Additionally, some may opt to self-insure. In either case, the bottom line is that California employers must offer workers’ compensation.

How is Workers’ Compensation Calculated?

Workers’ compensation can cover lost wages while you recover, or indefinitely if you suffered permanent impairment. You would then receive payments through workers’ compensation insurance.

How much you can recover for an injury or illness depends on the circumstances and type of benefit involved. You may recover two-thirds of your pre-tax gross wages. However, there are limits to workers’ compensation benefits in California.

Can I Sue My Employer?

In most cases, you cannot sue an employer because workers’ compensation is available. There are few exceptions to the rule. For example, an exception occurs if your employer physically assaulted you or concealed a workplace hazard. Additionally, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer if it does not carry workers’ compensation insurance.

It may also be possible to file a “third party claim” against a person or entity that is not your employer. For example, if another business’s negligence causes you to suffer an injury at work, then you may have a valid claim for damages against that business.

Our Pasadena workers’ compensation attorney can help you determine whether it would be possible to pursue a third party claim.

Contact Our Pasadena Workers’ Compensation Attorney for More Information

Questions about filing for workers’ compensation in California? We are here to help. To schedule a free initial consultation with our Pasadena workers’ compensation lawyer, dial (626) 345-7210 or use the contact form on our site.