Common Questions

Do I need an attorney?

If you have a minor injury and you’ve recovered completely from the injury, you may not want to pursue a claim or be represented by an attorney. However, if you have suffered an injury that has resulted in extended time off from work or permanent physical limitations, you can quickly find yourself at a distinct disadvantage without an attorney. Insurance companies are routinely advised by attorneys in cases where injured workers do not have an attorney, and having a qualified attorney of your own will put you on equal footing with the insurance company and help you navigate the complicated laws that control your claim. Contacting a qualified attorney may be the most important step in assuring that you recover fair and complete compensation for your injury. The passage of time may bar you from pursuing a claim, and it is better to speak with an attorney about your claim sooner than later.

What will representation cost me?

A consultation with us to discuss your case comes at no cost to you. We accept cases on a contingency fee basis. If we do not obtain a recovery on your behalf, we do not receive a fee.

What happens in the workers’ compensation litigation process?

Upon our receipt of a new client’s case, we will file an application with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board and undertake discovery which will usually include narrative reporting by your treating doctor and a panel qualified medical evaluator. If you are unhappy with your current treating physician, we can make arrangements to transfer your treatment to another doctor near your home.

If the insurance company has not provided certain benefits or treatment during the course of your claim, we can request a formal proceeding before a judge and secure the provision of those benefits for you. Usually, such disputes are worked out through a phone call or email message from our office.

The insurance company may choose to take your deposition. Note that depositions are routinely taken so that the insurance company may collect your employment and medical histories. We will carefully prepare you for your deposition so that the process is as stress-free as possible.

When discovery is completed, we will review and analyze the medical reports and records in your case and make an attempt at an informal resolution. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we will move your case toward a trial.

If your work injury was caused by the negligence of a third party, we can refer you to a respected personal injury attorney who will coordinate with our office to maximize your global recovery.

What is my case worth?

It is not possible to calculate the potential value of any case without a thorough review and appraisal of the documents and medical records connected to your claim. Call us at (925) 587-5273 for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case.

Can my Facebook page hurt my case?

If you have an ongoing workers’ compensation claim, you should be careful about what you post on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Meetup, Flickr, Classmates, and even Yelp.  You should also be careful about what information you post on Craigslist, eBay, dating sites, and your personal websites or blogs.

Insurance company investigators routinely scan social media and e-commerce accounts to collect information about injured workers’ leisure activities and employment.  Photos that you post on social media websites may be used to confirm your identity prior to video surveillance.  Photos you post on social media sites may include metadata that can provide details about your location when the photo was taken.  Details posted online about your activities (e.g., vacations) can suggest that you are more able-bodied than the medical professionals in your case have suggested.  Posts by friends and family concerning your activities may also harm your case, and those same people may be called as witnesses to testify against you.  Negative posts about your employer or co-workers can suggest that you have an ulterior motive for pursuing your claim.

Information from your social media accounts can also lead to criminal prosecution for workers’ compensation fraud.  (For an example of how social media was used in a fraud prosecution, do an internet search for “beauty pageant workers’ compensation fraud”.)  Workers’ compensation fraud is taken seriously in California, and hundreds of injured workers are prosecuted, with or without reason, every year.

Though we all enjoy sharing life’s joys with friends and family, photos and posts that you think are innocuous can be twisted by an insurance company to paint a dark picture of you and cast doubts on the legitimacy of your claim.  How do you avoid all of this?  Be smart.  Take a break from social media, or be careful about the things you and your friends and family share online.

Workers’ Comp Resource Links

The following information is provided to the public on the State of California Department of Industrial Relations’ website: