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Los Angeles Workers Compensation Attorney

Missing work and dealing with a physical injury can present a number of challenges. If you have been hurt while on the job, you may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim and an employer might be required to give you time off to heal from the work-related injury.  However, sometimes employers retaliate against employees who file workers‘ compensation claims.  In many cases, this retaliation comes in the form of termination of employment.  In California, you have legal rights and protections afforded to you when you file a valid workers’ compensation claim.

How can Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Help

The Law Office of Omid Nosrati in Los Angeles will represent your interests in your wrongful termination claim. We help victims of illegal behavior and workplace practices to achieve favorable results on their behalf. We are located in Los Angeles and handle cases throughout Southern California.

Attorney Omid Nosrati is an experienced advocate with a lengthy track record. He cares about the outcome of his clients’ cases and is committed to providing personalized legal representation throughout the process.

If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated due to filing a workers’ compensation case, it is recommended that you speak with one of our attorneys as soon as possible. Omid Nosrati and his team have significant experience in this area of law and can help you choose the legal remedy that is right for your situation.  The initial consultation is free and we offer flexible appointments by request.  You’ll meet directly with our lead Los Angeles Employment lawyer Omid Nosrati and you’ll always get our full attention and commitment, regardless of the situation.

Workers’ Compensation Lawsuits: Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

  • Are all workers covered?

    • Not all workers have workers’ compensation coverage under California law. State law requires that all employers purchase a workers’ compensation insurance policy from a licensed provider or become self-insured. However, independent contractors do not enjoy protection under workers’ compensation law. Similarly, self-employed workers cannot collect workers’ compensation benefits unless they purchase coverage.
  • Who is responsible for providing workers’ compensation benefits?

    • Your employer is responsible for providing coverage under workers’ compensation law. The state of California does not furnish coverage or benefits; your employer must purchase coverage from an approved provider or self-insure. Your employer also has a legal responsibility to:
      • Provide new employees with a workers’ compensation pamphlet explaining your rights and responsibilities under California law.
      • Post a workers’ compensation poster where all employees can view it.
  • What if someone else Is at fault for my injury?

    • California’s workers’ compensation system is “no fault.” This means that you will not have to prove that your employer was negligent in order to collect benefits under the system. On the other hand, collecting workers’ compensation benefits limits your ability to sue your employer. If, for example, a co-workers’ negligence led to your injuries at work, you will still file a no-fault claim against your employer to pay for your medical care and compensate for your lost wages. In some cases, you may be able to step outside of the no-fault system and file a claim for damages. This may apply when a third party, such as the manufacturer of a defective product, shares responsibility for your on-the-job injury.
  • Who is eligible to collect benefits under the workers’ compensation system?

    • Any person classified as an employee can collect workers’ compensation benefits under California law. If you sustained an injury during the course of your work duties and you are an employee in the state of California, you may be able to collect benefits.
  • What if I sustained an injury on my lunch break?

    • The answer to this question depends on the circumstances. In order to collect workers’ compensation benefits in California, the following must apply:
      • The injury occurred throughout the course of employment
      • It arose out of employment
      • Rest periods like lunch breaks are a part of employment under California law. In some cases, the courts see that an injury during a lunch break does arise from employment (such as eating at work). However, a lunch break at a restaurant may not qualify.
  • What benefits am I entitled to?

    • Workers’ compensation in California provides five basic benefits:
      • Medical care, provided by your employer to recover from an injury or illness
      • Temporary disability, which includes payments if you have to miss work to recover from an injury
      • Permanent disability, which includes payments if you cannot recover completely from an injury
      • Death benefits, which are payments to your spouse or dependents if you lose your life on the job
      • Supplemental job displacement benefits, which help pay for vocational training or skill enhancement in the event you cannot return to your previous line of work.
  • How long do I have to file?

    • You should inform your employer about a job-related claim as soon as possible. However, California law stipulates that you give your employer written notice of an injury within 30 days of the accident. You also need to file an official claim form within this time period. There are certain exceptions that may apply to when the clock begins to run on an injury, such as those injuries caused by repetitive stress. It’s in your best interest, however, to report an injury to your supervisor as soon as it occurs, and then to contact a California workers’ compensation attorney.

Can I Collect Workers’ Comp If I Work from Home?

Workers’ compensation laws carefully define who may receive workers’ compensation benefits and the conditions under which they may receive those benefits and for how long. Every state has unique workers’ compensation laws, so it’s vital to understand your rights and protections as an employee in your state. One common gray area for the modern workforce is the eligibility of employees who work from home to receive workers’ compensation benefits for injuries sustained in the home.

Many modern professionals telecommute for work or travel for work and only rarely set foot in an office. Depending on the type of employment arrangement an injured employee has, he or she may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits for an injury suffered in the home.

Independent Contractors

Generally, independent contractors are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but it’s crucial for an injured employee to know whether he or she qualifies as an independent contractor. Unfortunately, some employers list employees as independent contractors to avoid paying workers’ compensation or other benefits required for employees. A few indications that an individual is an employee rather than an independent contractor include:

  • Employer deductions from paychecks for taxes, Social Security, etc.
  • Required hours. Most independent contractors work on a project basis and do not have to keep specific hours. Most employees work based on a schedule.
  • Pay structure. Employees generally receive hourly wages or salaries, while independent contractors usually receive a fee per project.
  • If an employee receives other benefits from employment such as health insurance coverage or a 401k, he or she is likely an employee rather than an independent contractor.

If you are unsure whether you qualify as an employee or independent contractor, look over the initial employee agreement you signed when you started working for your employer. You may also wish to have an experienced employment lawyer review your employment agreement to determine your actual employment status. It’s possible that an employer wrongly categorized you to avoid paying required benefits such as workers’ compensation.

When Does an Injury at Home Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?

An employee who works from home can still receive workers’ compensation benefits for an injury sustained at home, if the injury took place during the employee’s work-related duties. For example, Jen is a columnist for an online magazine and spends most of her working time at home. She has a weekly meeting to which she commutes, and one day while heading to her meeting she suffers injuries due to a negligent driver. In this situation, Jen would qualify for workers’ compensation since she sustained injuries while on her way to a work-related meeting. She may also secure additional compensation by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

In another example, Jen decides to go for a jog before starting her day and suffers a broken ankle from stepping into a pothole while running. In this situation, the injury occurred outside of the scope of Jen performing job-related duties, and she would not qualify for workers’ compensation. The workers’ compensation system will review every claim for benefits, and only injured employees with qualifying work arrangements and eligible injuries will receive workers’ compensation benefits. It’s up to the injured employee to provide sufficient evidence to prove the validity of his or her claim.

Fighting Pushback for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

If an insurance provider or employer impedes an injured employee’s workers’ compensation claim, the injured employee should seek legal representation. Employers may not interfere with an employee’s ability to file a legitimate claim, and insurance companies must process claims in good faith, even if that loses money for the company. Proving that an injury sustained at home is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits may be difficult to prove, but an attorney from the Law Offices of Omid Nosrati can make a tremendous impact in an injured employee’s claim experience.

Can I Be Fired for Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim in California?

It is against the law in California to fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim.  Under California law, discrimination against workers who are injured in the course and scope of their employment is unlawful.  This broad policy has been interpreted by the courts to protect injured employees from adverse employment action for filing a claim. However, most employers will not officially fire an employee for that reason.  If you were terminated after filing a claim, you may be entitled to damages for wrongful termination or employment retaliation. To do so, you generally must be able to prove the following four elements:

  • That you were an employee entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
  • That you engaged in a protected activity, in this case filing a claim or simply suffering an injury that would be eligible for a claim.
  • That you suffered an adverse action, such as being fired by your employer, having your pay lowered or being demoted.
  • That the employer took the adverse action because of your participation in the protected activity.

Proving all of these elements is crucial, but may be difficult to do without the help of an experienced attorney.  Specifically, the most difficult and heavily contested element is proving causation, that your employer’s actions were based on filing a workers’ compensation case. In addition, these claims must be filed very soon after the adverse action takes place.