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Workers’ Compensation FAQs

With Northern California offices in Salinas, Monterey Bay, Watsonville, and Santa Cruz, the law firm of Rucka, O’Boyle, Lombardo & McKenna answers commonly asked questions encountered by injured workers.  For further information or to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, contact Rucka, O’Boyle, Lombardo & McKenna.

Q: How long do I have to file my workers’ compensation claim?

A: To protect all of your available rights and benefits, it is important to inform your employer about your injury or illness as soon as it occurs, or as soon as you realize it.  If you do not do so within 30 days of your injury or illness, you risk losing your right to workers’ compensation benefits.  It is also important to obtain a claim form from your employer and fill out and return this form to your employer as soon as possible. 

Q: Do I need a lawyer?

A: While you are not required to hire a lawyer for a workers’ compensation case, we advise you to do so, particularly if you have suffered a permanent disability, have been denied medical treatment, or otherwise have had difficulties with your claim. 

Q: Can the workers’ compensation insurer deny my claim?

A: Yes, if the claims administrator believes that your injury or illness is not one covered by workers’ compensation.  However, if this occurs, you still have options.  We have extensive experience appealing claim denials to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB), which is a judicial panel of seven members appointed by the Governor.  In some cases, there may be other sources of recovery, such as a third party personal injury or products liability claim.  We will pursue all potential avenues for recovery on your behalf. 

Q: How many benefits can I get?

A: Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question.  It varies greatly depending on the facts of your case, how serious your injury or illness is, how long you are unable to work, how long your injury lasts, and whether there is any third party liability in your case.  In general, the four main types of benefits and the other ancillary benefits available will compensate you for your most of your costs, including but not limited to medical expenses, any temporary or permanent disabilities, job retraining, and mileage.  The best way to estimate your potential benefits is to schedule a free consultation with our office so that we can evaluate your case.