San Jose SIBTF Claim Lawyer

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San Jose SIBTF Claim Lawyer

Workers’ compensation may provide a safety net of financial benefits to those who experience an accident at a workplace. For employees and employers alike, these benefits may offer protection from the civil court system by safeguarding liability. If you are an injured worker, it is important that you speak with a San Jose SIBTF claim attorney regarding your case to understand what you can do to be properly compensated.

For those who experience a qualifying workplace injury in combination with a pre-existing medical condition or disability, the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund can serve as an additional source of benefits aimed at providing compensation for the pre-existing disability.

CA SIBTF Lawyer in San Jose

The attorney team at Wiesner English, P.C., has been working with injured workers for nearly two decades combined, representing workers in San Jose and the surrounding areas. We fight diligently to ensure that every worker is treated fairly to the fullest extent of the law, working on behalf of each of them to attempt to maximize the legally allowed compensation in each unique case.

While workers’ compensation and other related laws are in place to protect employee’s rights to fair coverage, we understand the myriad ways in which those protections can be obstructed or made overly complicated. By working with a member of our team, you can be provided with comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in CA?

The workers’ compensation system in California presents a legal remedy path for employees who have suffered an injury, illness, or other loss while performing work-related duties. This no-fault system seeks to provide certain compensation for employees, free from the legal burden of needing to establish proof of wrongdoing. Simultaneously, it protects employers, in most cases, from liability for civil damages to employees for accidents that occur in the workplace.

Those who have been injured, whether in an accident or through repeated strain over time, may pursue compensation for their injuries and subsequent loss by filing a claim with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, which nearly every employer in the state is required to maintain according to the state Labor Code. The insurance company may review all documentation of the injury, evaluate the case, and provide benefits to the injured worker.

What Is the SIBTF in California?

The Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund (SIBTF) can provide additional compensation benefits to individuals who experience a qualifying workplace injury and are already living with a pre-existing condition or disability. The additional benefits are provided beyond workers’ compensation benefits already being distributed for workplace injuries.

The intention behind the fund is to promote employing workers living with a disability. By removing the worry of being responsible for their pre-existing disabilities, the SIBTF encourages employers to hire workers living with disabilities. It also tries to encourage workers living with disabilities to seek out employment.

The SIBTF is a potentially significant source of additional compensation for California workers living with disabilities. There are two thresholds that must be met to qualify:

  • You must present proof demonstrating that you had the pre-existing condition at the time of the workplace injury.
  • You must have a minimum permanent disability of 70% after the combined effects of both your injury and your pre-existing condition. In most cases, the recent occupational injury must account for at least 35% of the total resulting disability.

What Types of Pre-Existing Conditions Qualify for SIBTF?

The SIBTF may qualify any disability, injury, congenital or developmental disease, or other acquired illness or disease, no matter the source, as a pre-existing condition so long as it was present prior to the new workplace injury. Some common examples include:

  • High blood pressure and hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain disorders
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Vision impairments
  • Hearing impairments
  • Cardiovascular illnesses
  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Cancer

Additionally, you might qualify for SIBTF compensation if you were unaware of your pre-existing condition at the time of the workplace injury. Orthopedic conditions, such as degenerative disc disease, are commonly found during post-injury examinations. If you later discover you had a pre-existing condition, you could still be eligible to apply.

What Are the Benefits of the SIBTF?

As a supplement and addition to standard workers’ compensation claims, the SIBTF may provide not only additional compensation but additional protections as well.

For employees, the SIBTF protects and compensates workers living with disabilities, enabling them to pursue compensation without the burden of establishing fault. They may secure appropriate additional funding as needed for their now-combined disability with consideration for their previous condition factored in.

The SIBTF further protects employers as well. Just as standard workers’ compensation may protect employers from liability for civil damages for a workplace injury, the SIBTF seeks to protects employers from liability over an employee’s previous conditions or disability.

How Do I Begin the Process of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

There are several important initial steps that should be taken following a workplace accident. Consider completing each step in order to protect against any otherwise avoidable delays in receiving your compensation.

  • Get medical attention. The first step should be to seek immediate medical attention for an injury, no matter how severe or benign it appears. Many conditions can be difficult to ascertain without proper medical examination. If someone suspects a medical problem, they should discuss it with a medical professional.
  • Report the incident to your employer. In most cases, it is advised to report an accident to whoever the present supervising manager is on-site immediately following the accident. Consider obtaining a copy of the accident report for your records. Filling and submitting a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form provides written notice that an employee is seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Partner with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. By speaking with a qualified attorney, like those at Wiesner English, P.C., you can obtain proper legal counsel on how to approach your case to seek maximum benefits. The right lawyer can help you navigate each step and can represent you through potential obstacles.

Reporting your workplace injuries and filing a workers’ comp claim works in much the same way as filing a claim with any other type of insurance. You may be asked to provide documentation where available, including medical records and an accident report. Filing a claim does not represent a litigious act and workers’ compensation benefits are not predicated on proving fault or negligence. Instead, consideration is usually given to the following:

  • What specific injuries were suffered?
  • What caused those injuries? What took place?
  • What short-term and long-term limitations might those injuries have caused?

The insurance company may collect the information and review the case. They may ask for further information. Finally, depending on where the injury is once it’s medically stable, the insurance company may be obligated to issue payments for permanent disability and offer ongoing medical care.

What Will Be Covered in a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Workers’ compensation is intended to mitigate the loss caused by a workplace injury or accident and seeks to reimburse or cover certain qualifying financial burdens, including:

  • Medical expenses and bills. Medical costs necessary to treat a workplace injury and help the worker to recover may be covered under workers’ compensation. This generally includes hospital bills, doctor visits, medical procedures, medication, and follow-up care, such as physical therapy, ongoing prescriptions, and medical equipment, such as a wheelchair.
  • Lost income. Workers’ compensation injuries require some amount of time out of work for recovery and treatment in many cases. Additionally, those with long-term disabilities could be eligible for Permanent Disability benefits.

Workplace injuries can be severe, and receiving full care for recovery can be complicated by the comp claims process, especially when dealing with SIBTF eligibility. While much of the process should be straightforward, it often isn’t in practice. For this reason, it is highly recommended you work with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.

California SIBTF Lawyer and Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you are an injured worker in the process of filing for a workers’ compensation claim, or if you have already filed a claim and have a pre-existing condition or disability that could qualify you for additional benefits through the SIBTF, talk with a member of our team today. We understand the complexities that often make up eligibility processing and can help you pursue full compensation. Contact our office today for an initial consultation and to get started on your claim.

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