Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Santa Barbara Fight for Employee Benefits
Experienced legal assistance for appeals and other issues
Santa Barbara, known as the American Riviera for its picturesque coastline and pleasant climate, is as close to a perfect locale as you’re likely to find. Nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the city is a highly desirable place to live and work — unless you’ve been laid up with a work-related injury or illness. And if your employer has denied you the workers’ compensation benefits you need, it’s important to seek sound counsel from skilled attorneys. Fortunately, the attorneys at Crane Flores, LLP are ready to help. With more than 40 years of combined experience assisting injured workers in the Santa Barbara area, we are prepared to move your appeal forward to a successful conclusion so you can receive the benefits you deserve.
Types of workers’ comp benefits in Santa Barbara
There are five basic categories of benefits injured workers can claim depending on the nature of their injury or illness:
- Medical care — Your employer must pay 100 percent of the expense for reasonable and necessary medical treatment.
- Temporary disability benefits — If you lose wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job, you are eligible for payments, usually two-thirds of your lost income, while you recover.
- Permanent disability benefits — If you don’t recover completely, you are entitled to payments based on the degree of your disability.
- Supplemental job displacement benefits — You might also receive vouchers to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you can’t return to your old job because of your injury.
- Death benefits — When a worker dies due to a job-related injury or illness, workers’ comp makes payments to the surviving spouse, children or other dependents.
Crane Flores helps injured workers in Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas whenever conflicts with an employer or insurance company arise related to any of these benefits.
Eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits in Santa Barbara
In a city of 91,000 permanent residents, workplace injuries are bound to happen. But your employer or its insurance company may not be eager to pay your benefits. Here are a few quick facts about eligibility and how an insurer may justify a denial of your claim:
- You are covered from your first day on the job — As long as you have an employer-employee relationship with a company, you are covered as soon as you start working. However, some employers may try to avoid paying benefits by claiming you are an independent contractor and not an employee. Many workers are wrongly denied benefits because of blatant misclassification.
- You are covered even if your own negligence caused the injury — Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. However, employers may claim you are not covered because you hurt yourself deliberately or were behaving recklessly against company policy.
- You are covered as long as your injury or illness is work related — You are eligible if your injury occurs during the course of employment and arises out of employment. Your company might claim you were acting for your own benefit on your own time when you were hurt. Courts generally look to see if you were doing something that conferred a benefit on your employer and if your injury was due to specific risks you would not have been exposed to except for your job.
Our attorneys closely examine the facts of your injury or illness to establish your eligibility for benefits.
Types of injuries covered by workers’ compensation in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara is not known for heavy industry; its top employers — UCSB, the city and county governments, Cottage Health system, and Raytheon Electronics — rely predominantly on white collar professionals, academics, and office workers. However, workers here as elsewhere run the risk of common on-the-job injuries and illnesses caused by:
- Repetitive motion
- Slips and falls
- Being struck by an object
- Motor vehicle or machine accidents
It is illegal for your employer to punish you or fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. But to get your benefits, you must file promptly. If you fail to notify your employer within 30 days and the delay prevents your employer from fully investigating your injury, you could lose your right to benefits.
Speak to a workers’ compensation attorney in Santa Barbara today
If you’ve been injured on the job in the Santa Barbara area, Crane Flores, LLP can help you recover the benefits you deserve. Call today at 805.568.5927 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Our downtown office is on West Carrillo Street, a short walk from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.