Aggressive Legal Representation
For Your Personal Injury & Workers' Compensation Cases

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Contents
Q:

If I have to use my own auto insurance to take care of my medical and my uninsured motorist will my premiums increase?

A:

No…as long as the accident was not your fault. If your carrier were to increase your premiums get another insurance immediately.

Q:

The driver who was at fault did not have auto insurance. Now what?

A:

If you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage in your auto policy you will be covered for your medical, wage loss, and general damages up to the amount in your policy.

Q:

I was injured in an auto accident. The other driver was at fault. I am hurt and I don't have health insurance. How will I get treatment?

A:

If you don’t have your own health insurance of medical pay in your auto policy you might be able to obtain medical care on a lien basis while your claim is waiting to be resolved. An attorney can generally arrange such treatment if your circumstances warrant it.

Q:

I had a slip and fall accident. Is there anything I should do to preserve my claim?

A:

Yes. If you slipped and fell due to a substance on the floor, take your shoes or footwear and set it aside in a sealed bag or container. Do the same with your clothing. The substance you slipped on will in all probability be on your shoes or clothing. DO NOT WASH THEM.

Q:

I was just involved in an auto accident. The driver at fault has insurance. I suffered injuries. I went to the hospital. What should I do next?

A:

Do not give a statement recorded or otherwise to the insurance carrier for the other driver. The other driver's insurance is not interested in or worried about you or your condition. They are wanting to obtain information which in many cases they may use against you later on. You should provide the at-fault driver's insurance to your car insurance company if you have it. Do follow up with a doctor to take care of and document your medical condition and need for medical treatment. If you are in pain do not delay treatment in the hopes that it will go away. If for example, you have left the hospital and you don’t treat for an extended period of time the other driver's insurance will use this against you and suggest you were hurting that bad in the first place. If your injured and even if you did not go to the hospital and your injured seek medical care as soon as possible.

Q:

I have an illness and I cannot work. My doctor told me that I am sick because of toxins in my workplace. I never filed a worker’s compensation claim. Do I have a claim?

A:

Most likely yes. You should consult an attorney about filing a claim for toxic exposure. The symptoms from certain toxins such as asbestos, lead, paint thinners may not be present until years after the exposure. Your claim will not be barred due to your failure to file it during your time of employment if you had no reason to know of the exposure and/or the potential dangers.

Q:

Can I start a claim now even though I am no longer employed by the same employer?

A:

Yes, you can. As long as your doctor's treatment records or reports support your claim that you did suffer injury. Your type of injury is known as a cumulative trauma claim. A cumulative trauma injury happens when you suffer an injury over a period of time from repetitive heavy work. You can also have a cumulative trauma claim from office work such as typing. Often people develop this injury to their hands or wrists. The most common injures are carpal tunnel or cubital tunnel. You should consult an attorney to see if you have a case.

Q:

If was injured on the job thru the fault of someone other than my employer do I have two cases?

A:

Yes. One is a workers’ comp case and the other a personal injury claim. In this situation, you can have your medical treatment taken care of by the workers’ compensation coverage and proceed with the claim against insurance coverage of the person who caused the accident. When you have an injury claim like this you need an attorney who practices both personal injury and workers’ compensation law. In most cases when you recover money on the personal injury case the workers’ comp insurance carrier will be reimbursed money expended for your medical care.

Q:

Are there other benefits besides workers' compensation that I would qualify for if I am permanently disabled from working?

A:

Most likely, yes. It depends on your level of disability. You might also be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits which are Federal benefits.

Q:

Do I have to have an attorney?

A:

No, however, you should seriously consider hiring one unless you know quite a bit about the Workers’ Compensation law. I can call a person know as an information officer at your local workers' comp board and he or she will do their best to try to explain the law to you so you can attempt to be your own lawyer. Most of the time this is ill-advised. Workers' compensation is one of the most complicated areas of the law. There have been three major changes to the existing law within the last 12 years. You are best served by having an experienced attorney on your side.

Q:

My treatment is taking longer than 2 years and I am just about out of TTD but I still can’t work then what? Answer In most cases you can apply for SDI ( State Disability Benefits) if before the injury you have been paying into State Disability by having it deducted as part of your withholding from your paycheck. 7 Do I have to have an attorney?

A:

In most cases, you can apply for SDI ( State Disability Benefits) if before the injury you have been paying into State Disability by having it deducted as part of your withholding from your paycheck.

Q:

For how long can I get benefits?

A:

My treatment might take a long time. Answer Under the current law you can receive Temporary Disability Benefits ( also known as TTD) for 104 weeks. The 104 can be in broken periods as long as they are used within 5 years of the date of injury. For example, you have an injury on Jan 15th, 2015 and you're on TTD for 6 months then you go back to work for 4 months. After 4 months your doctor puts you back on TTD. You pick up where you left off in your 7th month of TTD. You could continue going on and off work with broken periods of TTD. In most cases, you must use it all before the expiration of the 5 year period after your injury.

Q:

If I can no longer do my regular job what is next? What will happen to me?

A:

In some cases, your employer may be able to provide you with a permanent modified or alternative work. Unfortunately, many small businesses are not able to provide such modified or alternative work and you will have to find another job that falls within your work limitations. If your doctor or doctors report that you have a permanent impairment, you will be entitled to permanent disability based on a rating of their reports. The rating of disability is based on the AMA Guidelines which rarely provide an adequate assessment of how disabled you are. Here is where your attorney comes in. He or she will explain how the system works and the steps that will be necessary to develop your claim for the maximum amount of permanent disability.

Q:

I can’t live without my paycheck. Where will the money come from if I am unable to do my regular job because of my injuries?

A:

If you are injured at work and unable to go back to your normal job, your treating doctor can do a report that you are temporarily disabled. In most cases, you can collect temporary disability benefits while you are trying to recover from your injuries. Temporary Disability, also known as TTD, is two thirds your average weekly gross earnings. For example, if you were injured in 2014 the maximum weekly benefit would be $1074.64 a week. TTD benefits are paid every two weeks.

Q:

Can I see my own doctor?

A:

In most cases, the answer is no. Since the changes in the law in 2004 employers have set up Medical Provider Networks also know as MPNs. If your employer has an MPN you have to see a doctor within that Network. There are exceptions to this rule. Your attorney will be able to advise if your circumstances justify going outside the MPN for treatment. If, prior to your injury, you have given written notice that you are pre-designating your personal doctor, you may at least receive your initial treatment from that physician.

Q:

If I file a workers’ compensation claim can my employer fire me?

A:

In short, by law, they can not. If they retaliate against you by terminating your employment after you file, they are subject to penalties under 132a of the Labor Code. Most employers are aware of this and will not terminate or threaten to fire you if you file a claim.

Q:

I suffered injuries at work. I can no longer work as a result of my injuries. I knew I was getting injured because the pain kept getting worse during my workday, but I did not report it to my employer because I was afraid I would lose my job. My doctor told me that my condition was the result of my work. Can I start a claim now even though I am no longer employed by the same employer?

A:

Yes, you can. As long as your doctor's treatment records or reports support your claim that you did suffer injury. Your type of injury is known as a cumulative trauma claim. A cumulative trauma injury happens when you suffer an injury over a period of time from repetitive heavy work. You can also have a cumulative trauma claim from office work such as typing. Often people develop this injury to their hands or wrists. The most common injures are carpal tunnel or cubital tunnel. You should consult an attorney to see if you have a case.