Los Angeles Workers Compensation Attorney Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do I need an attorney?

An attorney will protect your rights. They will also take care of all the reporting of claims, matters with the DMV and dealing with the other party so you can be relieved of a lot of the stress involved with having an accident. You may need a lawyer because of complex legal rules involved in your claim, or because the severity of your injuries might cause your compensation to vary greatly from the norm — or simply because an insurance company refuses to settle a matter in good faith. Car accidents involve insurance as well as personal injury law, so it is very important that victims of a crash contact a lawyer immediately. An attorney will attempt to prove liability by preserving evidence and interviewing witnesses. Attorneys also ensure that you receive proper medical care, and document your injuries so that you receive full compensation.

How long will my case take?

It is hard to determine how long any case will take as each case is individual. A lawsuit must be filed before one year (in most circumstances and in some claims even sooner) after the accident and if the case is not quickly resolved litigation time can vary. A case can only begin to start the settling process once you (and your passengers) have completed treating with the doctor. We work to get your case settled as quickly and fairly as possible.

How much money will I make?

Again, this varies case to case. Your settlement is based upon your property damage amount (cost of repairing your vehicle), your medical bills, loss of earnings and other factors that are too numerous to name. How the accident happened plays a large factor in determining value.

Should I go to my own Dr.?

You may treat with any doctor you like. If you have no doctor we are happy to recommend one. Even if you do not have health insurance many doctors will see you and wait until your case settles before collecting their bill.

What if I don’t have insurance?

It is against the law to be driving in the state of California without liability insurance. If however, you did not have liability insurance, your insurance policy was not in affect at the time of the accident or you were not covered to drive that car you are in violation of Proposition 213. This means that your driving privileges may be revoked through the DMV and you are not eligible to claim moneconomic damage (the settlement received at the commencement of the case). You may still make a claim against other party for your damages (cost of repairing your car, medical bills, etc.)

What if I live out of state/country?

If the accident occurred in California you are covered under the State of California laws. You may live out of state or out of the country as long as you are able to keep in contact with your attorney practicing in California.

What if I was working when I was in the car accident?

If you were working at the time of the car accident you may be eligible to open a personal injury case and a workers’ compensation case. Although you cannot be compensated twice- this will protect you from all sides.

Can I get a rental?

What if I don’t have a credit card? What if I am under 21 years old? Yes, you can get a rental car. If you do not have rental coverage through your insurance coverage you may get a rental car and do direct debiting through the other party’s insurance (if their company offers this service) or you may have to pay out of pocket, collect your receipts and submit them to us to forward them to the other party’s insurance company for reimbursement. Most rental companies require a credit card as a deposit and renter be over 21 years of age. Check with the rental company you wish to visit.

How do I pay you? What are your fees?

We do not charge hourly or set fees per case. We do not take any money from your property damage payment. We work on a contingency fee basis. This means we take a percentage of the settlement if and when the case settles. If we decide not to represent you and ‘drop’ your case there are no attorney fees. And, if you decide that you no longer want to proceed with your case, again there will be no attorney fees.

When do I get paid?

The property damage will be taken care of immediately, if you have your own collision insurance. If not once the case has cleared liability the property damage will be paid.

Can I get a temporary loan on my case?

We do not provide advancements on cases. There are companies that you can contact that do offer advancements on your future settlement, however, we do not recommend them as the interest on the repayment is very high.

Do I have to pay my deductible?

If you have collision coverage and need to go through your own insurance company you must pay your deductible. However, we will submit this bill to the other party’s insurance for reimbursement once they accept liability.

What is the difference between liability and collision?

If you are at fault in a car accident, liability insurance pays for the damages that you cause to someone else and your legal costs to defend a lawsuit. Collision coverage will pay for the repairs to your own vehicle whether or not you are the one who is at fault in the accident. (Ideally, if the other party accepts fault in the accident, their property damage liability insurance will pay for the repairs to your car.). However, even if you are not at fault for the accident and do have collision coverage we encourage clients to use this coverage to repair their car so there are no delays, and then their insurance company will subrogate (reimburse) with the other party’s insurance company

What if the person left the scene of the accident?

If you were involved in a hit and run accident we can still assist you. We can run their licence plate number through the DMV records or can pursue your case through your Uninsured Motorist coverage, if this applies

What if the person who hit me did not give me their insurance information? What if they claimed they did not have insurance?
If the other party did not supply their insurance information or claims to have no insurance we can still run their information through the DMV to find this information or can pursue your case through your Uninsured Motorist coverage, if this applies.

Do I need to make a Police Report?

It is not necessary in the State of California, but it is a good idea to contact the police immediately after the accident so that they can make a report and collect both parties information. In many cases the police may not come to the scene if there are no severe injuries. If you do not have a police report a case can still be made.

Do I need to report it to my insurance?

It is important to report the accident to your insurance company, even if you were not at fault. This is required as you must prove that you were insured at the time of the accident. We will take care of all of this for you and believe it works best for a client

What if I was drunk?

If you were involved in an accident while under the influence you should contact a criminal attorney.

What if I was a passenger and the driver of the same car was at fault?

It is possible to pursue a case if you were a passenger in a vehicle where your driver was at fault. Contact our office to determine if your case is eligible.

How do I know what body shop to go to?

You may go to any body shop you wish to repair your car. However, some insurance companies have a 20% non-provider fee (deducted from your property damage payment) if you do not have your car repaired at a body shop that they refer

What if I had no insurance?

If you did not have insurance at the time of the accident you are in violation of Proposition 213 as it is against the law to be driving in the state of California without liability insurance. This means that your licence could be revoked or suspended by the DMV. You are allowed to pursue a case and seek medical treatment, however, you may not receive a pain and suffering settlement. We do represent clients who were injured and not at fault for the accident even if they were not insured.

What if I have a preexisting injury?

If you have a previous injury you may still seek medical treatment if this was the area that was injured in the accident. You will be asked though by the doctor and insurance company if you had a preexisting condition and should answer honestly.

Who pays the Dr.?

The doctor’s bill generally comes from your settlement money. Even if you have health insurance it is likely that they will want to be reimbursed. Contact our office for specific questions involving your case.

What if I don’t get a rental car?

If you do not chose to have a rental car while your car is being repaired we will submit a request to the other party’s insurance company for payment of loss of use of your vehicle. This means that you will be paid per day that you were without a vehicle.

What if I miss work because of the accident?

You may miss work due to the accident because of time in the hospital, time to go to the Dr, appointments with your attorney, time taken to go to take a statement with the insurance company and even court time. You should document all time you missed from work due to the accident. An example of documentation would be a letter from your employer or pay slips. We would submit this evidence to the other party’s insurance company to be reimbursed for loss of earnings. If your injury prevents you from working your Dr may place you on Disability. You should inform your attorney if this is the case.

What if I pass out and I don’t know who is at fault?

If you pass out and do not know who caused the accident you could still open a case. With such a severe accident the police would have come out to the scene and written report and we would be able to request the report and work from there to assist you.

What if I am a minor or there were minors in the car?

Minors may open and pursue a personal injury claim as long as they have their guardians consent and cooperation.

What if I had a previous attorney?

If you have an attorney that you are not satisfied with we will take over your case if it has not gone into litigation yet. We will request all the information from your prior attorney and continue to work on your case to the best of our ability so that you are fully satisfied with your legal representation.

If I was on an MTA bus that was involved in an accident, would that classify as a personal injury case?

Yes it would. If you were on a MTA bus that was involved in an accident, regardless of whether it was the other party’s or the MTA driver fault, you could still open a person injury case.

What should I do after an auto accident to protect my rights?

The most important thing you can do is to document the entire situation by taking careful notes soon after your accident. This can help make the entire claim process easier on you and increase your chances of receiving all the compensation to which you are entitled. Having notes is far easier and far more accurate than relying on your memory. Write down what you were doing and where you were going, the people you were with, the time and the weather. Include every detail of what you saw, heard and felt. Be sure to add anything you remember hearing such as what a person involved in the accident or witness say about the accident. You should also take down as much information as possible on the other party, such as: their name, address, telephone number, drivers licence number, type of car they were driving and all their insurance information.

Why should I choose the Law Office of Robin Jacobs, Inc. to represent me for my personal injury case?

We intake and resolve approximately 1,000 cases per year and have been working in personal injury for over seven years. We have a well informed, friendly staff that are available to assist your needs in English and Spanish. Personal Injury | Slip And Fall | Workers Comp

Slip and Fall

Why do I need an attorney?

An attorney will protect your rights. They will also take care of all the reporting of claims and matters with the party responsible for your injury so that you can be relieved of a lot of the stress involved with being injured. You may need a lawyer because of complex legal rules involved in your claim, or because the severity of your injuries might cause your compensation to vary greatly from the norm — or simply because an insurance company refuses to settle a matter in good faith. Slip and Fall accidents involve insurance as well as personal injury law, so it is very important that victims of a crash contact a lawyer immediately. An attorney will attempt to prove liability by preserving evidence and interviewing witnesses. Attorneys also ensure that you receive proper medical care, and document your injuries so that you receive full compensation.

What is a Slip and Fall accident?

Many people are injured each year when they slip or trip and fall on a dangerous floor, a flight of stairs or a rough patch of ground. Whether the property owner had prior knowledge of the dangerous area determines whether a case can be made

When is someone responsible for my injury?

To be legally responsible for injuries you suffered from a Slip and Fall accident on someone else’s property, the owner of the premises or the owner’s employee: -must have caused the spill, worn or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item, to that you fell from -must have been aware of the dangerous surface but did nothing about it, or -should have known of the dangerous surface because a reasonable person taking care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it

Who do I sue?

For a Slip and Fall accident we prosecute the owner of the property where the injury occurred.

What if I don’t know who is responsible?

The property owner is responsible for a slip and fall accident. Even if you don’t know who the owner is we will find this information out for you, and their insurance information

What should I do after a fall to protect my rights?

If you have a Slip and Fall accident you should immediately report it to someone like the property owner, manager of the store, etc. and make a company report. Go to the emergency room if you feel you need to and consult a doctor. Take down notes: the person’s name who helped you after the accident, the location of the accident, etc. Collect any witnesses information. Take pictures of the scene of the accident and your injuries. Keep your shoes and put them in a place that is safe.

Other type of Personal Injury accidents do you handle?

We also handle dog bite accidents, burn accidents and other types of personal injury cases. Contact our office for further information. Personal Injury | Slip And Fall | Workers Comp

Workers Compensation

Why do I need an attorney?

An attorney will protect your rights. They will deal with your employer’s insurance company so that you can be relieved of a lot of the stress involved with being injured. You may need a lawyer because of complex legal rules involved in your claim, or because the severity of your injuries might cause your compensation to vary greatly from the norm, because an insurance company refuses to settle a matter in good faith or if your claim is being denied based on a doctor’s report that claims you are not injured. An attorney will attempt to prove your injury is work based and verifiable by preserving evidence and interviewing witnesses. Attorneys also ensure that you receive proper medical care, and document your injuries so that you receive full compensation

What is Worker’s Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is the oldest social insurance program. It is a non- fault system, meaning that injured worker need not prove the injury was someone’s fault in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits for an on the job injury. If you are injured on the job or suffer a work related illness that prevents you from working you are eligible to receive benefits from your state workers’ compensation program. You are also entitled to free medical care. If your disability is classified as permanent or results in death, additional benefits are available to you and your family. The workers’ compensation system is based on a trade off between employees and employers. Injured employees receive limited statuary workers’ compensation benefits and these are the exclusive remedy for injured employees against their employer, even when the employer negligently caused the injury. This eliminates litigation over whether the employer was negligent in causing the worker’s injury. Therefore a workers’ compensation attorney is necessary to prove that the injury was sustained on the job or how much in benefits an injured worker is entitled to receive.

Are all on-the-job injuries covered by workers' compensation?

Most are. The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide benefits to injured workers no matter whether an injury is caused by the employer’s or employee’s negligence. But there are some limits. Generally, injuries caused as a result of an employee being intoxicated or using illegal drugs are not covered by workers’ compensation. Coverage may also be denied in situations involving: self-inflicted injuries (including those caused by a person who starts a fight) injuries suffered while a worker was committing a serious crime injuries suffered while an employee was not on the job, and injuries suffered when an employee’s conduct violated company policy.

How do I claim workers' compensation benefits?

First, promptly report the work-related injury or sickness to your employer. Most states require that this be done within two to 20 days following an injury. If an injury occurs over time (for example, a breathing problem or carpel tunnel syndrome), you must report your condition soon after you discover it.Next, get the medical treatment you need and follow the doctor’s instructions exactly. This may include an “off work order” or a “limited duties work order.” Finally, file a claim with your workers’ compensation carrier. Necessary forms must be provided by your employer. Ask someone in the personnel or benefits department.

Can I be treated by my own doctor and, if not, can I trust a doctor provided by my employer?

In some states, you have a right to see your own doctor if you make this request in writing before the injury occurs. More typically, however, injured workers are referred to a doctor or health plan recruited and paid for by their employer. Your doctor’s report will have a big impact upon how you are treated. Be sure to clearly identify all possible job-related medical problems and sources of pain. Do not downplay or gloss over the presence of pain. Keep in mind that a doctor paid for by your employer’s insurance company is not your friend. The desire to get future business may motivate a doctor to minimize the seriousness of your injury or to identify it as a pre-existing condition. For example, if you injure your back and the doctor asks you if you have ever had back problems before, it would be unwise to treat the doctor to a 20-year history of every time you suffered a minor pain or ache. Just say “no” unless you really have suffered a significant previous injury or chronic condition

If I am initially treated by an insurance company doctor, do I have a right to see my own doctor at some point?

You have the right to ask for another doctor at the insurance company’s expense if you don’t like the one the insurance company provides, although there is sometimes a waiting period before you can get a second doctor. Also, if your injury is serious, you usually have the right to a second opinion. And in some states, after you are treated by an insurance company’s doctor for a certain period (90 days is typical), you may have the automatic right to transfer your treatment to your own doctor or health plan with the cost being paid for by the workers’ comp insurance company.

If I receive workers' compensation, can I also sue my employer in court?

Generally, no. The workers’ compensation system was established as part of a legal trade-off. In exchange for giving up the right to sue an employer in court, you get workers’ compensation benefits no matter who was at fault. You may be able to sue in court if your injury was caused by someone other than your employer (a visitor or outside contractor, for example) or if it was caused by a defective product (such as a flaw in the construction of the equipment you were working with).

What kind of medical care am I entitled to?

Injured workers are entitled to receive all medical care reasonably required to cure or relieve the effects of the injury, with no cost to the employee. What do I do if my Dr. advises me not to work, but I can not afford to take the time off? If your Dr advises you not to work and you may qualify for temporary disability to partially replace wages. Usually benefit replace two thirds of your lost wages.

What if my employer insists I work after I got injured?

If your employer insists you complete duties that your Dr has advised you against or you feel pain completing certain tasks you should again explain to your employee that you are unable to do this tasks because of your injury. Report this incident to your attorney

Should I report the injury to my employer?

Yes, you should report an injury that occurs in the workplace to your employer as soon it has happens. They should give you a DWC1 form to fill out.

What if they ignore me? Fire me?

If your employer ignores you when you try to report an injury you should still immediately go to see a Dr. If your employer fires you see an attorney immediately. You may have a right to open a wrongful termination case for discrimination based on injuries.

Can I stay at my job if I open a claim?

Yes, you can stay at your job if you open a claim, although your duties may need to be altered to accommodate your injury.

What if my employer insists I do things my Dr. advised me not to do?

If your employer insists you complete tasks that would affect your injury, cause you further pain or were advised by your Dr to avoid you should contact your attorney immediately.

What if I worked at a job that pays me cash?

Even if you have a job that pays you cash you are still entitled to open a workers’ compensation case. You must be able to prove your employment though with pay slips, time cards or other such documents.

What if I am working illegally or are a non resident?

If you are an illegal worker (do not carry a valid Social Security number) or are a non-resident you are still entitled to open a workers’ compensation case. You must be able to prove your employment though with pay slips, time cards or other such documents.

What if I am a volunteer?

If you are a volunteer and are injured in the workplace under the laws of the State of California you are not entitled to open a workers’ compensation case.

What if I die?

If you die due to a work related injury this may be a wrongful death workers’ compensation action. still entitled to open a workers’ compensation case. The deceased’s family may open a case.

What if my employer has no insurance?

If you are sure that your employer has no insurance you may sill open a workers’ compensation case but should consult an attorney that specializes in uninsured employers’ cases. They would make a claim with UEF (Uninsured Employers’ Fund).

Is workers compensation only physical injuries?

Workers’ compensation cases can be opened for physical injuries as well as stress and psychological harm.

What if my employer did something intentionally negligent to me?

If your employer did something intentionally negligent to you, you may be entitled to pursuing a Serious and Willful Cause of Action as part of your workers’ compensation claim.

What if my employer did nothing wrong, but I was injured?

Even if your employer did nothing wrong you are still able to open a workers’ compensation case if you were injured in the workplace.

Who do I sue if I am a contractor?

If you are a contractor that was injured you would sue whoever you worked for when you were injured.

What if I was partially at fault?

Even if you were partially responsible for your injury you may still open a workers’ compensation case.

What if my attorney dies/quits/closes their firm?

If you want or need to change attorneys during your case that is no problem. Your new attorney will obtain all the documents and information collected on your case from your previous attorney.

What if I have a previous injury?

If you have a previous injury you should inform your doctor of this. You are still entitled to open a workers’ compensation claim.

What if I have a previous attorney?

If you want or need to change attorneys during your case that is no problem. Your new attorney will obtain all the documents and information collected on your case from your previous attorney.

What if I have a criminal record?

Even if you have a criminal record you may still open a workers’ compensation claim.

What are your fees?

California State law allows workers’ compensation attorneys to charge 12-15% on the total amount recovered on your case. In certain circumstances additional fees can be received by attorney. Our office does not charge any fees if there is no settlement.

Who pays workers compensation benefits?

Your employer’s insurance carrier or the State of California pays your workers’ compensation benefits.

Are all on the job injuries covered by workers’ compensation?

Yes, all job injuries are covered by workers’ compensation.

How do I claim workers compensation benefits?

To claim workers’ compensation benefits you must inform your employer, their insurance company and fill out a DWI form provided by your employer.

Can I be treated by my own Dr.? If not can I trust a Dr. provided by my employer?

Yes, you may be treated by your own Dr. if you prefer to treat with him/her rather then the Dr provided by your employer’s insurance company

If I am initially treated by an insurance company Dr. do I have a right to see my own Dr. at some point?

If you are initially treated by an insurance company Dr. you do have a right to see your own Dr. after 30 days.

If I receive workers’ compensation can I also sue my employer in civil court?

If you receive workers’ compensation benefits you can not sue your employer in civil court