Being in the workers compensation industry and working at california law associates for almost a decade i get a lot of questions from potential clients. The most common one is:
If i file a claim, will my employer fire me?
The simple answer, maybe.
In California, it is against the law for your employer to fire you just because you filed a claim. If you believe this happened to you, you can file a wrongful termination claim in addition to your workers compensation injury claim for punitive damages against your employer. Punitive damages are reimbursable to the claimant. Simply put, your employer should not fire you for your work injury and its against the law to do so. The courts don't like it when their citizens get hurt on the job and then punished for it so they punish the employer for these types of actions.
The second most common question i get is, Do i have to stop working?
and simply put, no you do not. You can get medical treatment and continue with Modified work duties so that you dont continue to injure yourself. There are several options when it comes to doing what is best for your health and safety and by no means is the legal system designed to keep you off work unless you have suffered a severe disability or work restriction. Again, this question is often asked and is SO particular to each individual that an answer cant be found online, you really have to talk to an experienced professional to determine your best course of action and what to do to ensure your legal rights and benefits.
If any of these questions apply to you, you may want to consider hiring an attorney for your workers compensation claim. Workers compensation attorneys work on contingency so you do not pay any legal fees upfront to get your case started.
Andria Holt is a J.D. graduate of Pacific Coast University School of Law who has been employed in the California Workers' Compensation Field since 2008.
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