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Experienced Attorneys Handle Workers’ Compensation Claims Throughout the Monterey Peninsula

Strong advocacy to protect your rights in Monterey, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program that protects workers who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses by providing an array of benefits, including medical care and partial wage replacement. Ideally, an injured party would submit a claim and receive appropriate benefits without any hassle. Unfortunately, insurance companies deny many legitimate claims outright and also attempt to limit the benefits workers receive from approved claims. In cases like these, you need an experienced and determined workers’ compensation attorney fighting for your benefits. At Rucka, O’Boyle, Lombardo & McKenna, we have been helping injured employees access their workers’ comp benefits for more than 35 years, and seven of our attorneys are certified specialists in Workers’ Compensation Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. We have the knowledge, skill and resolve to fight successfully for your benefits as well.

Steps to take if you are injured on the job

If you are injured in a workplace accident, the law requires your employer to provide you with workers’ compensation benefits. This includes emergency room treatment if you require it as well as treatment from a healthcare provider the employer has approved. But you have a responsibility as well: you must report your injury within 30 days or your risk losing your rights altogether. Therefore, notify your employer as soon as possible. This strengthens your claim and helps you avoid delays in receiving benefits.

Within one working day after you report your injury, your employer must give you or mail you a claim form to fill out and return. A day after you submit the claim form, your employer must furnish you with a copy of the completed form and forward it to the claims administrator.

If you become ill because of conditions at work, you should report your illness to your employer as soon as you suspect the illness is work-related.

Benefits available through California workers’ compensation

Depending on the severity of your injury, a variety of workers’ compensation benefits are available under California law. In general, the four principal benefits available include:

  • Medical treatment — You are entitled to all reasonable and necessary treatment (at your employer’s expense) until you reach a level of maximum expected improvement.
  • Temporary disability benefits — If you are unable to work, you are entitled to partial wage replacement, usually at two-thirds the rate of your average weekly earnings.
  • Permanent disability — If you lose partial or complete function of a body part, or you are unable to work, you are entitled to cash benefits.
  • Job retraining — If your injury or illness prevents you from resuming your previous position, but you are fit to work in another capacity, you are entitled to training to obtain the necessary skills.

Other benefits such as compensation for medication, rehabilitation, and mileage may also be available. Death benefits are also available to family members of a loved one who died because of a work-related injury or illness.

Other sources of recovery for injured workers in California

If your accident was caused at least in part by someone or something not covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to recover additional damages through a third-party liability personal injury or products liability claim. You might also be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits and state benefits through the Disability Insurance Program of the California Employment Development Department. Drawing on our extensive experience in handling both workers’ compensation and personal injury cases, we can identify all possible sources of recovery to help you obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Discrimination and retaliation are illegal

It is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you, punish you, or fire you because you:

  • Have a work-related injury
  • Filed a workers’ compensation claim
  • Hired a workers’ compensation attorney

If your employer is trying to intimidate you and your coworkers so you will not file workers’ comp claims now or in the future, our attorneys will fight for your rights.

Contact our experienced workers’ comp attorneys serving Salinas, Watsonville, Santa Cruz, and Monterey, CA

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or illness at work, it is important to consult with experienced attorneys who can ensure that you are complying with all of the deadlines and requirements in your case. Rucka, O’Boyle, Lombardo & McKenna has served employees throughout the Monterey Bay Region for more than 35 years, and seven of our attorneys are board-certified specialists in Workers’ Compensation Law. To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case, call us at 831-443-1051 or contact us online today. For the convenience of our clients, we offer same-day appointments and services in Spanish.