Workers’ Compensation FAQ

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a system wherein employers are required to cover, or provide insurance that covers, medical expenses and lost earnings for employees’ work-related injuries and illnesses.
Do I need to prove that someone else caused my injuries?
One of the main advantages of workers’ compensation is that the injured worker does not need to prove that someone else was at fault for his or her injuries. The only requirement is that the injury is related to the worker’s job duties or occurred at work.

What is an occupational disease? How do I know if my disease is covered?

An occupational disease is a medical condition caused by the victim’s place of employment or job duties. Some examples may include mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure at manufacturing facilities, black lung in coal miners and lead poisoning affecting workers that deal with lead or lead compounds.

What are some common types of workplace accidents?

Slip and Falls are one of the most common types of workplace accidents. Other common incidents include auto accidents, injuries from falling objects and accidents caused by heavy machinery, tools or equipment, repetitive work duties which may lead to injuries to the body.

Will my injury be covered even if I was responsible?

Your on-the-job injury should be covered by workers’ compensation even if you were responsible, as long as you did not act intentionally to cause harm or were not under the influence of a controlled substance.

Am I entitled to workers’ comp benefits if I lost a loved one in an on-the-job accident?

Families of workers who have lost their lives in work-related accidents or from occupational diseases may be entitled to benefits for funeral costs and lost earnings. This compensation can make a significant difference in a family’s ability to face a more stable financial future.

What should I do if I was injured at work?

If you have been injured at work, make sure you inform your manager or supervisor right away. Seek medical treatment (except in emergency situations, you must obtain treatment from a medical provider authorized by the insurance carrier for your employer. You must also inform your employer, in writing, of what occurred. If you wait too long to tell your employer, you may lose the right to workers’ comp benefits. You will need to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, which you can do on your own or with the help of an attorney. You may find it helpful to involve an attorney early in the process, as filing a claim and seeking benefits can be complex.

Personal Injury FAQ

What is a personal injury?

A personal injury is defined as a physical or psychological injury that is caused by another. A personal injury can happen at work, in a traffic accident, because of a faulty product or a faulty repair, because of a mistake during medical treatment, or because you slipped and fell on a wet floor or pavement. The personal injury can be physical or psychological but, to be considered actionable, it must occur due to the negligence or unreasonably unsafe actions of your employer, a manufacturer, your doctor, your landlord, or some other person or organization who owes you a duty of ordinary care. Examples of personal injury law causes of action include automobile accidents, slip and falls, and wrongful death. If you think you may have a case for a personal injury settlement, please contact us today.

What is negligence?

General negligence may be described as any failure to act with proper caution or care, when this causes harm to another. A good way to determine whether a person was negligent is to ask oneself: “Would a reasonably prudent person have acted in the same manner if put in the same or similar circumstances?” If the answer is no, the person may have been negligent.

What is liability? How do I know who should be held liable for my injuries?

According to West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, liability is defined as: “A comprehensive legal term that describes the condition of being actually or potentially subject to a legal obligation.”That is, if someone else caused your injuries, intentionally or unintentionally, they may be held liable. This means they may be responsible to pay for your medical care, lost earnings and other damages associated with your injuries.

What is financial compensation?

Financial compensation is a term used to describe money paid by an at-fault party (the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit) to the injured party or representative of the injured party (the plaintiff). This money is meant to compensate the plaintiff for the losses and/or injuries that the defendant caused.

What is the difference between compensatory damages and punitive damages?

Compensatory damages are paid to a plaintiff in a personal injury suit in order to help the plaintiff rebuild to the same or similar situation as before the injury occurred. Compensatory damages may include money for medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering and future medical expenses. Punitive damages are meant to penalize the defendant. Whether a plaintiff may receive punitive damages will vary depending on state law and the particular case at hand.

I slipped and fell on someone else’s property. How can I know whether it is their fault or mine?

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident on another’s property, they may be held responsible for your injuries if their negligence caused your accident to occur. For example, the property owner may have known of a missing stair but failed to post a warning sign or get it repaired in a timely manner. If you fell while walking down that staircase, it is possible that the property owner would be held accountable. Because every case is different, it is important to have your lawyer thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your accident to determine who is to blame.

What are some of the factors that will influence what my personal injury case is worth?

The primary factor that will influence the value of a personal injury case is the extent of physical injury that you have experienced. More serious injuries result in higher medical bills, more time away from work and long-lasting consequences such as a permanent disability or an inability to return to work at all. The value of a personal injury claim may be determined based on medical bills, lost earnings, future medical care, future loss of earnings and the extent of emotional trauma you have experienced.

If I lost a loved one, can I move forward with a lawsuit against the at-fault party?

If you lost a loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or company that caused your loss. For example, a drunk driver may have claimed the life of your spouse or another loved one. In this situation, the drunk driver may be held accountable for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral costs and lost earnings as well as your pain and suffering, loss of companionship and other losses.

The Law Office of Diana B. Berlin can assist you immediately and we offer a free consultation. Call us today (818) 757-7292 or contact us online.