Santa Clarita Workers’ Compensation Disability Lawyers
When a worker is injured on the job or develops a work-related illness in California, navigating the complexities of the workers' compensation system can be as challenging as dealing with the injury itself. Employers can also face legal issues and disputes in providing this insurance coverage for their employees.
For over 25 years, The Bridgeford Law Office, APC. has been at the forefront of representing clients in workers’ compensation claims, issues, and disputes led by two Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialists recognized by the California Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization.
We guide workers and employers alike through the California workers’ compensation system, ensuring that the rights of both are vigorously protected. Our team has built a reputation for legal proficiency and attentive service for clients in Santa Clarita, Valencia, Canyon Country, and beyond.
Need help with a disability claim or dispute? Contact us online or at (661) 387-3712 to speak with a Santa Clarita workers’ compensation disability attorney.
California Disability Compensation in Workers’ Compensation
Disability compensation in California is a component of the workers' compensation system designed to provide financial benefits to employees sustaining workplace injuries or illnesses. It aims to cover lost wages and medical expenses resulting from the disability.
Four principal categories of disability have been created under California workers’ compensation law:
- Total temporary disability (TTD): This applies when workers are healing and cannot perform their duties. TTD benefits act as a temporary substitute for lost wages.
- Permanent disability (PD): If an employee's condition leads to permanent limitations that impact their earning capacity, PD benefits help accommodate this long-term loss.
- Partial disability: This addresses situations where a worker retains some ability to work but cannot perform all of their previous duties or suffers a reduced earning capacity.
- Vocational rehabilitation: These are services provided to support an injured worker if they cannot return to their former job, including training in new skills or help with job placement.
Determining Disability in Workers’ Compensation Claims
Determining disability in a workers' compensation claim is a critical step that affects the type and amount of benefits an employee receives. This process typically involves a thorough review of medical evidence, including diagnosis, treatment records, and prognosis, provided by health care professionals.
An employee’s functional limitations and capacity for work are assessed, often considering factors such as age, occupation, and skills. In some cases, an Independent Medical Examination (IME) may be requested to objectively evaluate the injury and its impact on the worker's ability to perform job-related tasks.
Compensation for Each Disability Category
California's workers' compensation system provides distinct levels of compensation based on the category of worker disability. Each category comes with a tailored compensation plan to reflect the extent of the injury or illness a worker has sustained:
- Total temporary disability (TTD): Although the duration of these benefits can vary, California typically offers TTD payments at about two-thirds of the injured worker's average weekly wage, subject to minimum and maximum amounts. These benefits continue until the worker can return to work, the injury is deemed permanent, or until a specified number of weeks have passed within five years after injury.
- Permanent disability (PD): When an injury or illness results in permanent limitations, workers can receive permanent disability benefits. The amount is also based on the worker's pre-injury wages and the severity of the permanent impairment as determined by a disability rating.
- Partial disability: Compensation for partial disability is calculated based on how much the injury affects the worker's ability to earn a living. It covers the wage loss difference between the worker's wage before the injury and what they can earn in the modified or alternative work provided by their employer after the injury.
- Vocational rehabilitation: If workers cannot return to their previous line of work, they may receive support services, including retraining, tuition for educational programs, job-search assistance, and sometimes, maintenance allowances during the retraining period.
How We Help Employees in Disability Claims
At The Bridgeford Law Office, we extend our deep understanding of workers' compensation law to serving employees who have sustained work-related injuries or illnesses.
Should you find yourself facing the complexities of a disability claim, we can assist in the following ways:
- Claim submission guidance: We provide precise guidance to ensure that employees submit their workers' compensation claims accurately and promptly to avoid unnecessary delays or denials based on technicalities.
- Rights and benefits education: Our firm educates workers on their rights under California’s workers' compensation laws and the breadth of benefits they may be entitled to, fostering informed decision-making throughout the claims process.
- Negotiation with insurance companies: We have a wealth of experience interacting with employers' insurers to negotiate fair settlements, reflecting the full spectrum of benefits owed to the injured worker, including medical treatment and disability compensation.
- Legal representation: If disputes arise, our skilled attorneys are prepared to represent employees at hearings or talks to challenge underpayments, denied claims, or premature cut-offs of benefits.
- Maximizing compensation: Leveraging our knowledge of disability ratings and the subtleties of California compensation law, we work to ensure that employees receive the maximum compensation to which they are entitled.
- Return-to-work assistance: For those eligible for vocational rehabilitation, our team supports workers in navigating these benefits, which may include career counseling, job training, and even educational tuition assistance to facilitate a successful return to the workforce.
How We Help Employers in Disability Claims
The Bridgeford Law Office can assist employers in disability claims in the following ways:
- Interpreting medical evaluations: We can help ensure an accurate representation of the employee's medical condition and its correlation to their work responsibilities, which ultimately guides the determination of the appropriate category of disability benefits.
- Navigating legal complexities: We offer insights into the nuances of workers' compensation laws, helping employers conform to regulations while protecting their interests.
- Claims management support: Our legal team can help at every stage, from claims filing to representing the employer during hearings or appeals.
- Workplace safety programs: By helping develop and implement injury prevention and return-to-work policies, we look to current issues and proactively strategize to avoid future claims.
- Liaising with insurance: Collaborating with insurance providers is crucial to ensure claims are handled correctly, liabilities are minimized, and costs are controlled, a synergy we strive to perfect.
- Employer education: We empower employers with knowledge, providing them with resources to better understand their obligations and their employees' rights.
Providing the Legal Experience You Need in Disability Claims & Disputes
Our firm believes that well-navigated workers' compensation issues and claims lead to healthier, safer workplaces, better-prepared employees and employers, and fairness and justice within the system. Whether it’s aiding in managing claims, regulatory compliance, or offering robust defense in hearings, our firm stands ready to support workers and businesses alike with their workers’ compensation legal needs and challenges.
Reserve your consultation with a Santa Clarita disability claims lawyer by contacting us at (661) 387-3712 today.
Don't face legal challenges alone. With decades of experience, practical wisdom, and advice, we're here to assist you every step of the way. Contact us at (661) 387-3712 to discuss your case with our team
I found Bridgeford Law and instantly felt like I made the right decision. Zach was my attorney and he was fantastic through the whole experience. Even the front office staff were great through my many times talking with them.
The workers comp process in California is convoluted and the insurance companies do everything they can to stall and try to wear you down. The whole process Zach did great at keeping an open line of communication with me. He helped reassure me and I will forever appreciate that. I reached a favorable settlement and I was not disappointed with the results that Bridgeford law got me. I can honestly say I will always recommend them to my friends and family.- Nathan W.
You have lightened my stress level considerably due to your diligence as well as your legal expertise; and the fact that you genuinely care about me as a person, not just a client. I am quite certain that ALL of your clients receive the same level of quality... and for that, I am eternally in your debt. So glad everything seems to be fast tracked and as bad as things are, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel, which for the 1st time, looks like it ISN'T the headlights of an oncoming train. At least this holiday season is far better than last year at this time, and that's directly due to you and your staff's hard work on my behalf. Again, thank you.- Former Client
I was referred to Mark by a friend and after our consultation, I knew he had my best interest in mind. He fought for me and we were awarded a more than fair settlement. I would recommend Mark and his staff to anyone in need. A very good group of people.- Mason U.
The Bridgeford Law Office has gone above and beyond! Mark and his team has worked hard on getting treatment for my injury. If a procedure was denied by the insurance company, Mark and Emily are ready to work on getting medical care approved. I highly recommend this office for anyone who has a work related injury. Thank you Bridgeford Law Office for taking care of my claim.- Jose V.
At least this new year will be starting on a far better note than last year at this time. Thanks to your efforts this year at least my bills are paid, my medications are here, I'm not facing eviction and there's even plenty of food in case I get an appetite despite the pain. Thanks and have a great holiday!- Former Client
I had the good fortune to choose Mr. Bridgeford to handle my work comp case...Not only is he an EXTREMELY skilled lawyer who prevented the insurance company from doing various nasty things to me, but his caring, legal expertise & wonderful staff prevented all of it from happening and the outcome of the case was better than I ever could have hoped for...He is without a doubt the finest work comp attorney in So. CA and if you need a great one, then he's DEFINITELY the right man with the right staff for the job...Despite this being a very complex case with 4.5 years of litigation, they were always very attentive to my needs and most definitely saw that justice was done...I have heard many stories of work comp clients getting screwed over and Mark made sure that that did not happen in my case...You will not regret choosing him...I will be eternally grateful to Mark and the entire staff of Bridgeford Law.- David F.
I had a great experience with everyone at Bridgeford Law. So professional and extremely helpful! I would recommend them to anyone.- Samantha H.
Very pleased with this Law Office for Workmans Comp representation. Work hard and not a dime out of pocket. Would highly recommend.- Joel C.