If you were injured at work, you may benefit from the help of a workers comp attorney in Sacramento or a Sacramento truck accident lawyer. The Sacramento workers compensation program will give you the support you need while you recover at home. However, workers comp laws and processes vary by state, so it can be a tricky system to maneuver without the right resources.
There are many different ways that you can get injured at work. Some of the most common include slips and falls, heavy lifting, falling objects and muscle strains. You can also get injured out on the road while you're driving for your job, which not many people think about as a workplace injury.
Accident.com is here to shed light on the situation and help you through this with a network of expert workers comp attorneys in Sacramento. They can help you navigate the claims process in California so you get the support you need and deserve.
The Basics of Workers Compensation in California
As you navigate the workers comp process, it’s important to understand how California handles the program. For starters, the state requires that any company in California with one or more employees have insurance coverage for workers comp. This protects employers from employee lawsuits over said injuries. It also gives employees a way to receive prompt medical treatment and supplemental pay.
If you work for a contractor in California, your employer still has workers comp requirements to fulfill too. They must hold a valid Certificate of Workers' Compensation Insurance or else sign an exemption that certifies they have no employees.
The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) monitors workers comp claims for the state of California. It's part of the state Department of Industrial Relations. This division aims to resolve workers comp claim disputes when necessary to reduce the impact that work injuries have on California employees.
A Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help With Workers Comp for Vehicle Accidents
Thousands of workers travel the roads in the Sacramento area in company vehicles. That includes employees who drive large trucks and delivery vehicles. Accidents can happen while delivering a product, purchasing supplies or heading out to an on-site job. All of these are common work activities. Sometimes accidents are minor, but others can be serious, leaving drivers with lasting injuries.
Every employer with employees who drive a company truck or vehicle must have workers compensation insurance in California. It covers:
- Medical bills for injuries to the driver.
- Temporary disability benefits for an employee who can't work after an accident.
- Permanent disability if the driver can't go back to work.
- Death benefits to a spouse if the driver dies as a result of a work-related truck accident.
However, there are some exceptions to what's covered. For example, activities outside your "scope of work" aren't included. In other words, that might be your commute to and from your job or a lunch break. These periods wouldn't be covered by workers comp. Instead, you may need to file a personal injury claim.
Truck drivers hired as independent contractors also aren't covered under these laws. They must provide their own workers compensation insurance.
Finally, if you were driving under the influence, recklessly or if you purposely caused an accident, it's not covered under workers comp.
A Sacramento truck accident lawyer can help you determine whether your accident is covered under California workers compensation laws. This will help you get the money and benefits you deserve.
Key California Workers Comp Statistics
In 2019, over 699,000 employees in California filed workplace injury claims, with nearly 25,000 from Sacramento County. Employees between the ages of 25 and 34 represented the largest group of claimants, with those ages 35-64 also representing a substantial portion.
Key industries in the Sacramento area include:
- Clean technology and energy.
- Life science and healthcare.
Truck accidents are also very common. The California Department of Industrial Relations reported that 25% of work-related deaths from 2013-2019 involved transportation and material moving employees. That includes truck drivers.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the US. Therefore, it's understandable that some of the most common injuries in California overlap with those that often appear from agricultural jobs nationwide.
The three most common work-related injuries in California made up over half of the first report to injuries filed in 2019:
- Strain or tear (29%). Strains account for 22% of all the injuries that agriculture workers face.
- Contusion (14%).
- Laceration (10%). Lacerations make up 13% of all the injuries that agriculture workers deal with.
Other injuries included punctures, inflammation and fractures. (Fractures make up 15% of all agricultural work injuries nationwide.)
For the most part, these injuries were caused by overexertion of some kind (like lifting or straining) or by slipping and falling.
In regards to the body parts injured, these were some of the most common:
- Lower back.
Towards the bottom of the list, other body parts injured included ankles, feet and eyes.
When people think of accidents involving a large truck, they often think about the injuries to the drivers of the other vehicle. Unfortunately truck drivers also get injured in these accidents, sometimes severely. Common injuries to drivers include:
- Broken bones.
- Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries.
- Severe back and neck injuries.
- Internal bleeding or organ damage.
- Burns or cuts.
Accidents can leave drivers temporarily or permanently unable to work. When that happens a Sacramento truck accident lawyer can help you get compensation and benefits. That includes benefits to cover medical expenses. It can also cover living expenses while you recover.
In more recent news, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill in 2020 permitting COVID-19 to be considered an occupational injury. This means an employee diagnosed with the disease can stay at home and collect workers comp benefits as they recover.
Initial Steps to Qualify for Sacramento Workers Compensation
1. If you have become ill or injured while at work, tell your supervisor as soon as possible.
In order to qualify for workers comp benefits, you need to show that the onset of injury occurred while you were at work. This is a crucial first step for your claim, so tell your supervisor promptly so they can document the incident.
Otherwise, it'll be hard for your workers comp attorney in Sacramento to prove your injury. For example, if you sprain your ankle while at work and go home without reporting the injury, you can't prove your injury occurred at work and not somewhere else.
However, it can take some time for an injury to appear, so state guidelines give you a 30-day window to report it. Be sure to act within that timeframe though, or else you may not be able to get your benefits.
In some cases, injured employees may not realize they qualify for benefits. As a result, they may not report their injuries. However, as an employee in California, you have rights. You don't have to be a legal resident, in most cases, to receive workers comp benefits. You can also qualify even if you're a temporary or part-time worker.
Other employees may not report their injury due to the fear of retaliation from their boss. Don’t let this stop you. It's illegal for an employer to harass or fire an employee for getting hurt at work. It's also illegal to retaliate against an employee for requesting workers comp.
The takeaway: If you're an employee and you get hurt, report your injury to your supervisor immediately.
2. Seek medical attention and get it on record.
Your health and wellbeing is top priority. Regardless of the severity of your injury, you should see a doctor to make sure you’re okay. Seeking medical treatment will not only help your recovery, but it'll also provide you with some important documentation that your workers comp attorney in Sacramento can use to support your case.
Through workers comp, your employer has to pay for your medical care, even if you don't miss work. So, by getting prompt medical help, you’ll have a record of the treatment you received when you consult with a workers comp attorney in Sacramento. Your medical records may help your lawyer get the benefits you deserve.
3. Take it to a workers compensation coordinator.
After reporting the injury, your supervisor will advise you on the proper steps to take. Your employer should provide you with a claim form within one day of reporting the injury. Once you have returned the completed form, your employer should submit a claim within one day as well.
At this point, a workers comp coordinator will assist you. They'll process your claim, and you should receive a response from the insurance company in writing within 14 days letting you know the status of your claim.
Why is this important? Should you hire a workers compensation attorney in Sacramento, you have a stronger case if you can prove that you followed company protocol in applying for benefits.
4. Important Things for Truck Drivers to Know
If you are involved in an accident in a company vehicle while at work, you will need to file a report immediately with your employer. As part of that process, document any injuries that you have. It’s helpful to go see a doctor right away. They can check for injuries that you might not be aware of after the accident. Common injuries that might be hard to see right after the accident include:
- Back or neck injuries.
- Internal injuries.
- Concussion or head injuries.
When you have confirmation or a suspicion of these injuries, report them right away to your employer. You will need a paper trail documenting that the injury happened because of the accident.
Who to Contact About Sacramento Workers Compensation
If you're an employee or volunteer with the City of Sacramento, you can contact their Workers Compensation unit via their website. also includes a fax number as well as a fraud line number.
If you work in Sacramento but the city doesn't employ you, you can contact the Sacramento district office by email at SAC@dir.ca.gov.
Also, a trained Accident.com workers comp attorney in Sacramento may be available to guide you through the case and offer free legal advice on your situation.
Fraud in Sacramento Workers Compensation
Despite the good intentions of this program, workers comp fraud does exist. In one notable case in Sacramento in late 2020, an employer faced three felony charges of insurance fraud. In an attempt to save on workers comp premiums, the owner of a cleaning company under-reported payroll and employment numbers. This resulted in a loss of over $687,000 to three insurance carriers. The fraud was discovered when an employee filed a workers comp claim.
As of January 2021, the case is still pending at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
Hopefully, your employer is not involved with fraud. However, incidents like these are not isolated. If for any reason you suspect fraudulent practices on the part of your employer or any party related to your case, don't hesitate to contact the Sacramento County Fraud Hotline.
You may become aware of attempted fraud only after getting hurt at work and filing for workers compensation. It's at that time you may consider taking legal action with a workers comp attorney in Sacramento.
Challenges with Workers Compensation in California
California requires employers to pay for workers comp insurance in case employees ever need the support. Injured employees, however, may face challenges getting their benefits.
In the case of the aforementioned cleaning company, the owner may choose to falsely document employment numbers in order to pay lower insurance premiums. In the event an employee is injured, fewer benefits would be available.
Other times, the workers compensation claims administrator may deny your claim, not believing that the injury qualifies for benefits.
You aren’t powerless in this situation though. You have the right to appeal the claim if this happens to you. However, appeals are time-sensitive, so take action as soon as possible. Take your appeal to the Sacramento district office of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board within 20 days of receiving the denial..
If for any reason you're facing challenges while proving your claim with the right evidence, Accident.com has a powerful guide to help. Learn about your rights as an employee here.
When You May Want a Sacramento Workers Compensation Attorney
Although you may not know whether you should seek the help of a work injury lawyer in Sacramento, if you find yourself in any of these situations, a lawyer may be able to help:
- Problems obtaining workers comp benefits after proving your claim.
- Delays even after following the workers compensation coordinator's instructions.
- Hesitancy in contacting your supervisor or the workers comp coordinator for any personal or work-related reason.
- Distrust in the ability or willingness of your employer to resolve your workers comp issue.
- Uncertainty in filing a dispute with the Sacramento district office.
- Concerns about fraudulent activity.
Whether you're facing the obstacles mentioned above or you just want help pursuing your benefits, a workers comp attorney in Sacramento can provide guidance on the best way forward.
Your work injury lawyer will be more effective if you provide as much information about your case as possible. Here is some of the information that they will need:
- Incident summary - Personal information, description of the situation, dates.
- Employer information - Names and contacts of your employer and workers comp coordinator.
- Documentation - Medical treatments, reports, correspondence with any related parties.
- Needs - Salary information, dependents, financial expectations.
Other pieces of evidence to support your case may include pay stubs, witness statements and doctor restrictions. Don’t see this as doing the work for your attorney. Look at this as helping your attorney help you.
Getting a Workers Comp Attorney in Sacramento
Visit Accident.com for helpful resources on how to navigate workers comp and start on your path to recovery. If you're interested in speaking with an attorney, just enter your information on the website. Accident.com will connect you with a Sacramento workers compensation attorney who will discuss your situation. The consultation is free and there's no obligation.
If a workers comp attorney in Sacramento takes your case and you become a client, they'll become your advocate, making necessary phone calls and acting on your behalf. This will allow you greater peace of mind so you can focus on recuperating from your injury or illness. That matters more than anything.
Many Californians praise the effectiveness of Accident.com. In fact, the site has received a 4.9 rating (out of 5) on Reviews.io. Reviewers affirm that the site is user-friendly, and they love their ability to obtain free referrals for legal counsel online.
As one client puts it, "Accident.com is the BEST. The management is great and so helpful and I am very satisfied with my experience with them! 10/10 Highly recommend!"
Sacramento Workers Compensation Can Be Easier
Workers comp benefits are designed to cushion your financial loss while you recuperate from a work-related illness or injury. While you're entitled to these benefits, sometimes it can be hard to obtain them, even if you follow proper procedures in reporting the incident.
Fortunately, you don’t need to handle the process on your own. If you work in the Sacramento area, there are workers compensation attorneys who can act on your behalf to help you get the benefits you deserve. There's no need to delay. The sooner you act, the better. Contact Accident.com today to speak with a workers comp attorney in Sacramento.