Sustaining an injury while you are on the job is an overwhelmingly difficult experience for both you and your loved ones. You may be worrying about when you can get back to work, how you will pay your bills, and maybe even if you will be able to return to work at all. You don’t have to worry any longer. At Delfino Green & Green, our workers’ compensation attorneys in San Francisco work hard around the clock to help our clients get the compensation they need and deserve. In addition, we seek to hold the responsible party accountable for your injuries legally as well as financially. We are committed to providing compassionate, experienced, and personalized representation to help you get through this difficult time in your life.
At Delfino Green & Green, our lawyers have over three decades of in-depth legal experience. We want to help you get the financial resources you and your family need to live happy and healthy lives, once again.
Contact us online or feel free to call us today at (415) 466-8544 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys in San Francisco.
Why Choose Delfino Green & Green?
In addition to our significant legal experience both in and out of the courtroom, our lawyers have a proven record of success. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients over the years in the form of verdicts and settlements. Our skilled attorneys are widely regarded to be persuasive negotiators and aggressive litigators. Regardless of if you want to settle your case out of court or take it all the way to a judgment, we will fully support you and be with you every step of the way throughout the legal process. We can help you with all your workers’ compensation needs today.
Our San Francisco workers’ compensation attorneys have helped clients who suffered from:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Hand, wrist, and arm injuries
Workplace injuries in California are processed through an increasingly complex benefit delivery system. On top of your health and workplace concerns, you will likely have questions about your rights and obligations regarding your injury claim. Here are a few questions our San Francisco workers’ compensation lawyers are routinely asked:
How long does my employer have to accept or deny my claim?
In the overwhelming majority of cases, the employer has 90 days from knowledge of the claim to investigate and deny the claim. If more than 90 days pass, then the claim is presumed compensable. The presumption can only be rebutted by evidence showing that the employer (or insurance carrier acting on its behalf) discovered information that could not have been discovered in the initial 90 days of the claim.
Can my employer discriminate against me for filing a claim?
An employer is in violation of LC Section 132a for terminating or discriminating against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. While these claims are typically more difficult to prevail on, if you were improperly fired and do win, it could result in reinstatement of your position along with back pay.
Do I have to be currently working to file a claim?
While most claims are filed while the employee is still employed, it is not a strict requirement. It depends on several factors, such as whether you voluntarily quit, whether you suffered a specific injury or a cumulative trauma injury, and whether you obtained medical treatment for the illness or injury prior to leaving the employment.
What is the difference between a specific and cumulative trauma injury?
A specific injury is typically a workplace accident where a sudden event occurs. It could be a slip-and-fall, a car accident, or simply bumping into something. Most of the time it is an obvious event, but it could be more subtle, such as a single exposure to toxic or radioactive materials. In other words, except for that single event, you would not have been injured.
A cumulative trauma injury occurs when a series of workplace activities cause damage over time to a particular body part or process. The injury is often gradual but the onset of symptoms can be sudden. A stroke, a heart attack, or a ruptured disk back injury could all be examples of a sudden onset of symptoms. An apt metaphor often used to describe this scenario is, “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
When the symptoms are gradual but slowly increasing, many workers mistake the injury for something else unrelated to their workplace activities. For example, if a data entry office worker sits at a work station that is ill-designed, the worker may begin to feel gradually worsening symptoms in his or her neck and upper extremities. The worker may, at first, attribute these symptoms to the aches and pains of normal aging and discount the effect the work duties are having. Eventually, though, if the work station and duties remain unchanged, the symptoms will worsen to the point where medical treatment is required. At that point, a proficient medical professional will find the connection between the injury and the work duties.
Many injured workers, and employers for that matter, are under the mistaken impression that cumulative trauma injury is somehow a less valid workplace injury than a specific injury. This is because a specific injury indicates a single, often significant, event; whereas the cumulative injury appears out of uneventful work duties. It is difficult for some employers to understand how an injury can be caused by cumulative trauma.
What can I do if all or part of my claim is denied?
This is not uncommon and simply means that you will need to litigate the claim. You will need to obtain medical and factual support for the claim and, if the employer still will not accept the claim, file for a hearing at the WCAB. Each situation is different, so it is a good idea to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney in San Francisco or an Information and Assistance Officer at your nearby district office of the WCAB.
Who decides which doctor(s) I will see?
For the first 30 days after the claim is filed, the employer can direct the medical treatment with a few exceptions. After that, the injured worker can choose his or her treating physician although in most cases, the injured worker must choose from an established network of facilities and health care providers.
What is the difference between temporary and permanent disability?
The key definitional difference is that temporary disability is a replacement for lost income because you cannot work while you are rehabilitating from your injury. Permanent disability is monetary compensation for residual disability after a medical determination has been made that you are finished recovering. There are many other differences in the way these benefits are calculated and applied.
If my spouse has died from a workplace injury, can I file a claim?
Yes, as long as the claim is made in a timely manner, any dependent may seek death benefits. Certain members of an employee’s family such as the spouse or minor children are presumed to be dependent and have the right to file a claim.
If my work injury is the fault of someone other than my employer, do I have to choose between filing a workers’ compensation claim with my employer and suing the person responsible?
In some cases, third-party liability may be an option if the accident was caused by an individual other than your employer, or as the result of a defective product. In these cases, you can file a workers’ comp claim in addition to seeking compensation from the negligent third party.