If you were injured at work, a workers compensation attorney in Riverside, California can help. They can offer free workers' comp advice in a no-obligation consultation that can help you get the benefits you deserve.
Indeed, workers comp can be confusing, especially when you're trying to recover from your work illness or injury. You may have many questions about workers comp insurance and how it varies between states, but you aren't alone. Accident.com is here to simplify the process and help you understand how to move forward in Riverside.
Review this guide to workers' compensation in California to help you navigate the Riverside workers comp process that many others in your community have gone through.
Riverside Workers Comp Breakdown
The main industries in Riverside, California center around office jobs such as accounting, architecture, engineering, software and finance. Many of these industries don't sound dangerous, and you may wonder about filing a claim for an office injury.
However, the office is actually responsible for many of the non-fatal workers' comp injuries. For example, the professional and business services industry accounted for 35,000 non-fatal workers comp cases in California in 2019, or approximately 7.2% of all non-fatal workers comp claims that year. Similarly, employees in the banking and finance industry filed approximately 3% of the workers comp claims in California (or 17,100 claims).
In the office, while there is little risk of heavy machinery injuries or toxic substance inhalation (like there is in more hands-on industries like manufacturing), office workers still get work injuries. In 2019, the most common cause of injury was a strain by:
- Repetitive motion (carpal tunnel).
Another common claim was for slips and falls, such as in stairwells or on ice or snow. Given that office work often requires long periods of sitting and typing, these causes of injury align with the body parts that California residents often hurt the most:
- Upper extremities (hand, finger, wrist, shoulder, etc).
- Lower extremities (hip, knee, leg, ankle, etc.).
- Trunk (back, disc, internal organ, chest, etc.).
Regardless of whether you're dealing with one of these injuries or a different one, a workers compensation attorney in Riverside can help you pursue a claim to help you recover.
How to File a Workers Comp Claim in Riverside
First, get any emergency medical care you need. See a doctor as soon as you can. You want to make sure you're safe. Even if you don't think your work accident caused any major damage, a doctor can check you out to be sure.
Tell your doctor the injury was from work too. In California, doctors must file a specific form if they are the first to treat an injured employee. As soon as you're able, you need to tell your employer about your work injury too. Any company with one or more employees in California must have workers comp insurance for their employees.
Important: If your employer is supposed to have workers comp insurance but doesn’t, they're illegally uninsured. You may be able to receive benefits through the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF). This is a special government trust fund with extra processes. It helps injured Riverside residents who were supposed to have workers comp insurance, but whose employers broke the law and didn't get the insurance.
Report your injury to your HR department as soon as you can. If you don't do so within 30 days, you may lose your right to workers comp benefits. An Accident.com workers compensation attorney in Riverside can help you file an initial report and guide you through the process after this point.
Your employer must give you a specific form within one day of learning about your injury. This is the California Workers' Compensation Claim Form DWC 1. You must fill out and return this form to your employer so they can notify the workers comp insurance. You should keep a copy for your records too. If you don't receive this form, print it online or reach out to the local workers comp office.
County of Riverside Workers' Compensation Division
The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) oversees workers comp claims in the state of California, and there is a district office right in Riverside. The office has a Disability Evaluation Unit and a general Information & Assistance Unit. You or your Riverside workers comp attorney can contact them at:
3737 Main Street, Suite 300
Riverside, CA 92501-3337
If you work for the City of Riverside, you can find more information on the city’s website.
A Riverside Workers Comp Attorney Can Help With Other Benefits
There are some differences between workers comp in Riverside, California and options available in other states. Your workers compensation attorney in Riverside may be able to help you with other disability claims or funds, including:
- California State Disability Insurance (SDI).
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
- Personal injury claim against a third party.
California deducts a portion of each worker’s wages from their paychecks in order to fund the SDI program in California. If the workers comp process is delayed or they deny your claim, this program may be a good option for you to get wage replacement faster.
SDI provides short-term wage replacement. Most people cannot receive both SDI and workers comp wage replacement benefits at the same time. Depending on how much the benefits are, you may be able to receive some SDI in addition to your workers comp benefit. You may also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance through the federal government or have a personal injury claim against a third party (say a pizza delivery driver hit you while you were driving for work).
It may be difficult to know what path you should take, but you aren't alone. Workers comp attorneys in Riverside CA can help you navigate the different disability benefits and a personal injury claim.
Reporting Fraud for Workers' Compensation in California
Unfortunately, some people do try to take advantage of the workers comp system. In late 2020, the District Attorney for Riverside County filed charges for 14 individuals in a workers comp fraud scheme that cost the city $22 million.
This scheme included two individuals running for-profit vocational schools and cashing workers comp vouchers, which were intended to be used for retraining California residents who couldn't return to their prior profession due to injuries. They're accused of overbilling for items such as laptops and tools, collecting vouchers from students who rarely or never actually attended the school, paying students cash for the vouchers, and faking admission tests.
If you suspect any fraud related to your case or your employer, contact the Anti-Fraud Unit at the County of Riverside Workers' Compensation Division right away. In addition, forwarding your details to a local Riverside workers compensation lawyer may be beneficial. Even as much as a suspicion of fraud is a serious matter, so don't hesitate.
Speak With a Workers Compensation Attorney in Riverside
Accident.com can connect you with an attorney for a workers' comp lawyer free consultation in Riverside. Fill out our online form for free workers' comp advice that can help you decide how to move forward. If a workers compensation attorney in Riverside takes your case, they'll fight for your rights, working to get you the benefits you need to recover properly.
Don't delay. Remember that you have strict deadlines to meet when reporting and filing your claim.