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A COVID-19 Update From Bill

San Francisco Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Protecting Your Rights & Fighting For Compensation

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. Backed by more than three decades of in-depth legal experience, we are committed to providing compassionate, experienced, and personalized representation to help you get through this difficult time in your life.

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’ comp 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

Frequently Asked Questions: Workers' Compensation

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 commonly asked:

What types of injuries are covered under workers' compensation?

Workers' compensation benefits are available to employees who suffer a wide range of work-related injuries or illnesses. The main criteria for workers' comp coverage is that the injury or illness in question must be caused by the employee's occupational duties.

Some of the many covered injuries include:

  • Repetitive motion and overuse injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis
  • Occupational illnesses caused by exposure to harmful substances
  • Hearing loss from working in noisy environments
  • Car accident injuries sustained while driving a work vehicle
  • Workplace slip and fall accidents
  • Certain psychiatric conditions like PTSD caused by high-stress occupations, such as police officers
  • Pre-existing conditions that are worsened by work-related activities

What is not covered under workers' compensation?

Workers' compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that workers may still receive benefits even if they are partially responsible for their own injuries. With that being said, workers may not collect workers' compensation benefits if their injuries were the result of horseplay, drug or alcohol intoxication, the commission of a crime, or a violation of company policy. Likewise, injuries that are suffered off duty and off of company premises may not be eligible for coverage. For example, injuries suffered in a car accident while commuting to or from work are typically excluded from workers' compensation.

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.

Verdicts & Settlements
We've Recovered Millions for Our Clients

  • $10,000,000 Bad Faith Insurance Claim
    Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith Bad Faith – Pollution Coverage Prior to forming his own firm, Mr. Green worked at one of the largest and most prestigious firms in the U.S. He was the primary attorney on an environmental insurance case that went to trial in San Francisco. After a several week trial, Mr. Green came away with a trial verdict against the insurers with a value of over $10,000,000 in available insurance coverage.
  • $2,400,000 Disability Claim
    Disability – Neurological Issues Our client became disabled from neurological issues. Our attorneys were able to work with the client and his physicians to quickly assemble all of the documentation necessary to support out client’s claim of total disability. The insurer agreed that our client was totally disabled and paid his claim.
  • $2,000,000 Traumatic Brain Injury
    Traumatic Brain Injury to Child A three year old child was being carried across the street when she was struck by an oncoming car. The child suffered a serious traumatic brain injury when she hit the ground. Her injuries were so serious she had to be hospitalized for several months. Our firm negotiated a settlement of $2,000,000 by forcing the payment of all of the available insurance from the driver’s automobile insurer ($1,250,000), the entire amount of the homeowners insurance limits available ($500,000), and all of the amounts that the person carrying the little girl was able to recover from the negligent driver ($250,000). We then arranged for another firm to prepare and fund a large Special Needs Trust for the health and welfare of the injured child.
  • $1,800,000 Heart Condition Disability
    Our client became disabled by a heart attack. The insurer refused to pay, claiming that our client was still able to perform his occupation. We met with all of our client’s doctors, obtained reports confirming the client’s inability to perform his prior occupation, and ultimately convinced the insurance company to pay the claim in full.
  • $1,700,000 Builder’s Risk/Collapse

    A contractor suffered a severe collapse at one of his sites. The claim was submitted to the insurer and denied. Mr. Green reviewed all of the facts, researched the law, and brought together the necessary experts to prove that the Contractor’s Builders Risk insurer was responsible for a substantial portion of the loss. He also proved that a subcontractor was negligent and the subcontractor’s insurer also paid a substantial settlement. In total, Mr. Green was able to obtain more than $1,700,000 in compensation for his client.

  • $1,000,000 Heart Condition Disability
    Our client had worked for the government for many years when she began suffering from a serious heart condition. All of her doctors told her that she could no longer work and if she continued to do so, she would be risking further injury to her heart or even death. Based on thi
  • $1,000,000 Traumatic Brain Injury

    Our client suffered a mild Traumatic Brain Injury when heavy object struck her in the head. The responsible party denied all fault and insisted until the very end that our client had not suffered a brain injury and offered nothing to settle the case. Our firm assembled a team of world renowned expert‘s to demonstrate that our client had suffered a mild Traumatic brain injury. The case settled shortly before trial.

  • $985,000 Traumatic Hand Injury

    Our client was working at a manufacturing plant. While operating a piece of machinery, his glove became caught in the machinery and part of his hand was severely injured. Ordinarily, this type of injury would be restricted to remedies available through Worker’s Compensation. However, through the knowledge, ingenuity, and creativity of our team of attorneys, we were also able to obtain a very substantial civil settlement for our client in addition to the workers comp settlement of his case.

  • $975,000 Aviation Death Settlement
    A husband and father of two small children was killed in an aviation accident involving a small aircraft. Our firm represented the widow and two children against the pilot of the aircraft. By hiring experts in aviation (to prove negligence) and economists (to prove damages), and utilizing William Green’s expertise as an instrument-rated pilot, we were able to make a very powerful case and obtain a very favorable settlement that allowed the family to survive financially.
  • $700,000 Forklift Accident
    A construction supervisor went to pick up some materials for a construction job. A worker at the yard neglected to set the parking brake on a piece of heavy equipment a few yards away. While the construction supervisor had his back turned, the machine rolled into him, pinning him against the side of his pick-up truck. He suffered several broken ribs, but that was the least of his injuries. Within several weeks of the accident, he had partially lost his sight. By working with medical experts, our firm was able to directly connect the sight loss to the injuries caused by the machine that rolled into our client. The case settled at Mediation without any need for a trial.

Words of Praise from Our Clients

  • “Bill Green taking my case was life changing, I truly do not know what I would have done had I not retained his services.”

    Staci G.

  • “I felt they were a strong advocate and were attentive and concerned with protecting my best interests.”

    Kenneth F.

  • “Bill Green is exceptional in the courtroom.”

    Terry L.

  • “The attorneys here are simultaneously the most competent and the most willing to go above and beyond for their clients in the areas of law they practice.”

    Daniel C.

  • “Bill has the right attitude and level headed legal knowledge to assert whats wrong and bring justice where it is needed.”

    Amy W.