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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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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