Visitor Question

Terminated and workers comp claim denied after injury?

Submitted By: Anonymous (San Diego, California)

I was injured at work performing my regular job duties. Later the same day I reported my injuries to my supervisor. The next morning I awoke to terrible pain in my left hand and lower back. I called my supervisor and explained how I was feeling. He told me to take the day off and rest. He did not tell me to seek medical care.

Because of the pain I remained home for several days. I wanted authorization from my employer to seek medical care, so I called my supervisor several times. When he didn’t return my calls I called the company office. Unfortunately, I was unable to find anyone there who could authorize medical care or who could assist me with filing a workers compensation claim.

When the pain continued to worsen I asked my wife to drive me to the local hospital’s emergency room. X-rays were taken, and I underwent an MRI. The test results showed I sustained a fracture to the first metacarpal bone in my left hand and a ruptured disk at the L5 level in my back.

When I contacted my employer about the test results, I was told my employment was terminated. Worse, my workers compensation claim was denied. What can I do now?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to provide you with the medical, dental, chiropractic, and therapeutic treatment you may need to recover from your work-related injury or illness. Benefits also include partial replacement of your lost wages while you are unable to perform your normal and customary work duties. Workers comp does not include compensation for your pain and suffering, nor do benefits include punitive damages.

Your claim was very likely denied because a workers compensation “claims administrator” decided your injuries were not covered. If you received a letter denying your claim you have a right to challenge the decision.

If you need assistance with challenging the denial of your claim, you can contact the State of California Department of Industrial Relations Information and Assistance Unit. You may also call them at 1-800-736-7401.

You may represent yourself or hire an attorney. If you challenge the denial of your claim, your claim will be heard by a workers’ compensation administrative law judge at one of California’s 23 Workers Compensation local offices and satellite offices.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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