Workers’ Compensation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When you are injured on the job, you may not know how to secure benefits. Many workers just ignore their injuries or get lost in the workers' compensation process, sometimes getting denied benefits due to their own mistakes.

At the Law Offices of L. Ciro Sapetto, we work closely with injured workers throughout the process of securing workers' compensation benefits. While you may have many questions, these are some answers to some of the ones we hear most often:

  • Why do I need a workers' compensation lawyer? You can't fully trust employers or their insurance companies to put your health and your best interests first. You may feel pressured to return to work early, or be coerced into acting against your own interests. You may also feel lost and overwhelmed going through the process alone. A workers' compensation lawyer makes it easier to secure the full amount of benefits you need to recover.
  • What benefits am I entitled to receive? You are entitled to receive the necessary medical treatment for your injury (including any hospital visits, doctor visits, medicine, medical equipment, testing, surgery, therapy and more), temporary disability while you recover (two-thirds of your usual income for up to 104 weeks), permanent disability compensation if you do not fully recover, future medical care for your injuries and payment for retraining if you are unable to return to your former position, or death benefits for dependents if a family member dies from a work-related injury.
  • The doctor says I have to return to work. What if I don't think I'm ready? You must follow the workers' compensation system, there is very little wiggle room. Once the doctor determines you are well enough to return to work, you need to make the effort to return to work. If the doctor places limitations on your job duties and the employer is unable to accommodate these, then you are eligible to return to temporary disability benefits. If you attempt to return to work but are physically unable to do so, request that your employer send you back to the doctor. You must make the effort- otherwise, you could lose your benefits or lose your job.
  • I was hurt last month and never told my supervisor. Can I still get benefits? Unless your employer has knowledge of the injury, you have 30 days from the time of your accident, or the moment you notice your injury, to report it to your employer. This needs to happen in order for them to begin their side of the workers' compensation process. If you have waited too long, you could forfeit your benefits. You then have one year from the date of injury, last payment of disability or last furnishing of medical treatment to file your claim.
  • Is it important that I give notice of an injury to my employer right away? YES! The Labor Code provides employers with a defense to defeat your claim in cases where the claim is filed after notice of termination or layoff and the injury occurred prior to the notice of termination or layoff. This means that if your employer terminates you or lays you off and there is no notice of your injury given before that, you will have an uphill battle on your hands. For that reason, it is very important that you give notice right away in the event of any injury suffered at work.
  • I'm an undocumented worker, can I still get benefits? Yes, the workers' compensation system is in place to protect all workers regardless of immigration status. To understand the full scope of your rights, contact us right away. Our attorneys speak fluent Spanish — hablamos español!

Have more questions about the workers' compensation process or about your specific work accident? We offer free consultations for you to get started with our attorneys. Call either our Indio or El Monte office to schedule your appointment, or send us an email for more information.