Collecting Workers’ Compensation Benefits in California

Fair compensation for your Central Valley workplace injury

Broadly speaking, workers’ compensation benefits cover lost wages and medical bills. California has very specific rules regarding the workers’ compensation benefits you may receive. An experienced attorney at Perez, Williams, Medina & Rodriguez, LLP works hard to recover the maximum amount of benefits possible, so you and your family can feel more secure.

Am I eligible for workers’ compensation benefits?

Workers compensation’ is not unlike Social Security or private health insurance. California law establishes set criteria for workers to be eligible to receive compensation benefits:

  • You must be an employee. Independent contractors, such as computer consultants and freelance writers, are not employees. If your boss has direct control over what you do, you are probably an employee as opposed to an independent contractor. California expressly categorizes undocumented workers as employees for workers’ compensation purposes.
  • The employer must subscribe to workers’ compensation. Federal employees are covered by federal workers’ compensation insurance. California law requires all businesses, regardless of size, to carry workers’ compensation coverage.
  • The illness or injury must be work-related. While you may claim that your injury was related to your job, your employer may claim that the injury happened elsewhere or that you merely aggravated a preexisting injury.
  • Special rules. Special rules may apply for domestic workers, agricultural workers and seasonal workers.

What benefits can I receive?

Workers’ compensation benefits may be paid in a lump sum, but they are more often paid out weekly for a predetermined period of time. Cash and noncash benefits are available to injured workers in California:

  • Death benefits. When a workplace fatality occurs, death benefits are payable to the spouse, children or other surviving family members. Death benefits include burial expenses and disability payments.
  • Mileage reimbursement. You may be compensated for the cost of trips to and from the doctor.
  • Disability payments. Disability payments include modification to whole person impairment, temporary and permanent disability payments, and supplemental job displacement benefits.
  • Lost wages. Recovering for lost wages can include both past and future earnings. Future earnings are calculated according to the statewide average weekly wage.
  • Return to work fund. The return to work fund was established by Senate Bill 863. It makes payments available to injured workers whose permanent disability ratings are disproportionately low in comparison to their wage loss.

Seek help from aggressive workers’ compensation attorneys fighting for you

At Perez, Williams, Medina & Rodriguez, LLP, our experienced attorneys know how to fight for our clients’ rights. Contact our Fresno personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm at 559-445-0123 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Se habla español.

NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.