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Scher, Bassett & Hames Answers Frequently Asked Questions

Occasionally, accidents and illnesses occur on the job that may make it impossible for you to continue working. If this happens, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation for your missed wages, medical bills, and more. Scher, Bassett & Hames has experienced workers’ compensation attorneys serving the San Jose and South Bay areas of California. Below, please find answers to the questions about workers’ compensation settlements we hear most often from our clients. Should you not see the answer you seek, please reach out to our law firm and schedule a consultation to learn more. We want to help you!

What Is Workers’ Compensation? How Does It Work in California?

Workers’ compensation (or workers’ comp) is a type of insurance that pays out benefits to people who have sustained work-related injuries or illnesses. Under California Labor Code Section 3700, all California employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees. The state of California offers two types of workers’ compensation benefits: temporary and permanent. Temporary disability benefits cover two-thirds of a person’s lost gross wages during their recovery period until they can go back to work. According to state law, a person must miss at least three consecutive days due to their injury or illness to qualify for a temporary disability. Permanent disability benefits are more difficult to establish, as they require a medical evaluation to determine the severity of impairment. Other factors taken into consideration when determining lost wage benefits include the person’s age and occupation. There are minimum and maximum amounts a person may receive each week for temporary and permanent disability benefits. Talk to our workers’ compensation lawyers today to learn more.

What Sort of Workers’ Compensation Cases Are Your Specialty?

At Scher, Bassett & Hames, we have worked on filing workers’ compensation claims for various injuries and illnesses, including back and spine injuries, construction accidents, repetitive motion injuries, heart disease and stroke, toxic exposure, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, mental stress, and psychiatric injuries. We also assist clients with wrongful death cases and denied workers’ compensation claims.

How Much Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Usually Charge?

At Scher, Bassett & Hames, there is no cost for our services unless we recover money for you. We’ll provide a free initial consultation to determine how we may help with your workers’ compensation claim. If we successfully see your claim through settlement, we usually ask for a 12-15% contingency fee, which is a percentage of your benefits settlement. Contingency fees are standard among Worker’s Compensation law firms.

How Long Do Workers’ Compensation Settlements Take?

Workers’ compensation cases may vary in length, depending on the specifics. The process requires negotiation between both sides’ attorneys before a qualified judge can approve the final workers’ compensation settlement amount. Sometimes, a lengthy discovery process is necessary to view medical evidence and other case records. If the parties cannot come to an agreement outside of court, the case may need to go to trial. Once your workers’ comp settlement has been approved, the insurance company usually has up to 30 days to mail you your check.

Will I Lose My Job If I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

No, your employer cannot legally retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Every company in California must carry workers’ compensation insurance with the expectation that it will be used whenever their employees get sick or hurt on the job.

Do I Have to Stay with the Provided Doctor After My Claim?

Many insurance carriers have an established Medical Provider Network (MPN), which is a group of approved healthcare providers specializing in work-related injuries and illnesses. If covered in a policy with an MPN, you must be treated by physicians within this network unless you were permitted to pre-designate your personal physician before your injury occurred. If not covered under an MPN, you may be able to choose your own physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, etc. but be sure to discuss this with your employer to ensure eligibility.

What Happens If a Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?

Workers’ compensation claims are sometimes denied due to delays in the filing process or if the injury doesn’t meet California’s strict legal criteria for such cases. No matter what led to your denied workers’ compensation claim, it doesn’t mean all is lost for your case. Don’t give up hope just yet, as you may have other options available. Legally, you have the right to appeal with the help of our seasoned workers’ compensation attorneys in the San Jose area. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!