Skip to Content
Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

Frequently Asked Questions About Workers' Compensation


Workers' compensation can be a complicated topic, and understanding it can sometimes feel like a daunting task. Many people have questions about the different aspects of workers' compensation, and it’s important to understand your rights as an injured worker so that you can get the support and protection you need.

Invest some time in reviewing some frequently asked questions below and contact our experienced legal team when you need additional legal assistance.

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover All Types of Injuries?

Generally speaking, yes. Workers' compensation covers any type of physical or mental injury that is caused by the work you do. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and more.

However, it does not cover self-inflicted injuries or intentional acts of misconduct on your part. Additionally, it may not cover some pre-existing conditions or diseases. It’s important to speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney if you have any questions about your specific situation.

How Do I File a Workers’ Comp Claim?

The process of filing a claim can be complex and overwhelming, so it's best to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible following the injury or illness.

Generally speaking, though, the first step is to report the injury to your employer in writing and then fill out and submit a complete application form and all necessary documentation to the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). From there, your employer will review the paperwork and take appropriate action within a certain period of time.

How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim?

You must report an injury or illness within 30 days, and you have up to one year from the date of the incident to file a claim with the DIR. There are some exceptions that can extend this timeline, so be sure to speak with an attorney about your specific situation. Additionally, delays can cause problems with any potential benefits so it's best to act as soon as possible.

What Kind of Benefits Can I Receive Through Workers’ Comp?

Depending on the circumstances, injured employees may be eligible for various types of benefits including medical expenses, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation services, and more. Again, it's best to speak with an experienced attorney to determine what type of benefits you may be entitled to receive.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Workers' Compensation Claim?

A: Not necessarily. You have the right to represent yourself throughout the entire process. However, there are many complex regulations and procedures that must be adhered to in order for your claim to be successful, so it is highly recommended that you speak with an attorney who’s experienced in workers' compensation law. They can help ensure that all paperwork is filed correctly and on time and advise you of any potential issues or other factors that may affect your claim.

How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Claim?

It depends on the complexity of the case and how quickly you are able to obtain all necessary documentation. Generally speaking, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months or more. An experienced attorney can help expedite the process by ensuring that everything is filed correctly and on time as well as providing legal advice throughout the entire process.

Can I Appeal an Adverse Decision on My Claim?

Yes. If you feel that your claim was not handled fairly or if you receive an unfavorable outcome from any part of the process, you have the right to file an appeal. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can advise you on the best course of action in such a situation and provide legal assistance with filing an appeal.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Workers' Compensation?

Yes: Remember that the laws and regulations surrounding workers' compensation can be complex and ever-changing, so it's good to speak with an experienced attorney if you need help navigating through the process. Additionally, keep in mind that time limits apply to many aspects of the process, so it's important to act as soon as possible following an injury or illness in order to ensure that your rights are protected, and all paperwork is submitted correctly and on time.

Should you require legal representation during this time, you can always request a free consultation with Smolich and Smolich to learn more about our legal services.