Our Commitment To You
Our award-winning staff is highly experienced and specialize in California Workers’ Compensation.
For over 40 years, Brent M. Thompson has successfully represented thousands of injured workers throughout Southern California. Workers comp cases have become highly technical and require an expert attorney to achieve a fair and adequate resolution. Our team of experts will guide you through the process, secure your medical and disability benefits, and strive resolve your claim as soon as reasonably possible.
We strive to obtain the best possible settlements for our clients.
A knowledgeable and experienced attorney can guide the injured worker through the procedural pitfalls to properly secure needed medical treatment, temporary disability payments and an award of adequate permanent disability at the conclusion of the case.
Timing is everything. Missed statutes and deadlines can affect the outcome of your case.
There are many time deadlines, statutes of limitations, and procedural pitfalls that can jeopardize your claim or result in a complete denial of benefits. Mistakes made in handling a case by an injured worker are frequently irreversible by an attorney at a later date. You need a law firm with proven experience, confidence and an aggressive approach to successfully protect your interests.
The laws have recently been changed to benefit the insurance companies.
The negative aspect of self representation is the fact that the insurance carrier has knowledgeable and experienced adjusters who will use the numerous technical procedural requirements to delay or deny benefits to an injured worker. Do not rely on the insurance company or their representatives, their primary purpose is to generate profits for their shareholders.
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Frequently Asked Questions
In many situations the injured worker has a personal injury or products liability claim against a person or entity other than the employer. For instance, if the injured worker sustains an injury while operating a motor vehicle, when the accident is caused by another party. Many construction accidents involve negligence by an entity other than the workers’ employer. Injuries involving products often give rise to products liability claims that the injured worker can pursue against other companies.
If your claim is against a governmental entity, there is a requirement that you file a formal written claim with the appropriate governmental entity within six months of the date of injury. If you fail to file a written claim within this time period, it is likely that your claim would thereafter be barred.
The Labor Code precludes an injured worker from suing their employer for an injury caused due to the negligence of the employer in most situations. If the employer is willfully uninsured, the injured worker has the option of suing the employer in civil court and/or pursuing a workers’ compensation claim against the uninsured employer.
It is important that an injured worker get knowledgeable and experienced advice on possible collateral remedies such as personal injury or products liability claims. There is generally a two-year statute of limitations in the State of California on personal injury or products liability claims occurring since the year 2003. It is important that an injured worker contact an attorney as soon as possible to secure advice on any statutory issues and to preserve evidence necessary to pursue any collateral remedies.
The insurance carrier can put your claim on a ninety-day delay in order to investigate your injury. If your claim is denied, you will have the burden of establishing that the injury arose out of and occurred during the course of your employment.
The carrier may claim that you were an independent contractor, or that your injury was not caused by your employment, or that the injury was pre-existing to your employment.
If your injury is denied, you should file for State Disability Benefits immediately. You will need medical certification to qualify.
The Statute of Limitations to file an Application for Adjudication of Claim with the appropriate Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board is within One Year of the date of your injury or your claim will be barred from adjudication.
The fact that you are working or have been returned to work does not affect your right to pursue permanent disability or further medical treatment.
Many injured workers return to the same job, although they have permanent disability to which they are entitled. The insurance carrier does not always pay the permanent disability to which the injured worker is entitled according to the medical opinion of the doctors involved in the case.
Do not confuse the ability to work with the right to receive permanent disability benefits for an injury or the right to continuing medical treatment.
If you have been released from treatment by your primary treating doctor, you have no further right to treatment. You will either have to convince your primary treating doctor to reinstate medical treatment or you must go to a Qualified Medical Examiner to secure an opinion on the medical treatment issue. If the Qualified Medical Examiner, or QME, believes that you should receive additional medical treatment, the issue can be brought to trial for a decision by a workers’ compensation judge.
A workers’ compensation case can be settled in one of three different ways.
The case can go to trial, in which case the judge makes a decision on all relevant issues. The judge will issue a Findings and Award.
A case can be settled by way of a Compromise and Release, which is a full and final release of any and all claims. A Compromise and Release would terminate the liability of the insurance company for all benefits, with the possible exception of vocational rehabilitation benefits. This is a lump sum settlement. It forever settles any entitlement to further medical treatment.
A case can be settled by way of a Stipulation with a Request for Award. With a stipulation, payments for permanent disability are made bi-weekly and the injured worker will probably receive future medical treatment.
With a Stipulation with Request for Award the parties are agreeing to a certain level of permanent disability. The judge will decide whether the injured worker is entitled to future medical treatment based on the medical evidence in the case. If you are awarded further medical treatment you will be entitled to all reasonably and necessary treatment for the specified parts of the body injured for the balance of your life. The injured worker would also have the right to petition to reopen the case should the worker sustain new and further disability at any time within five years of the date of injury.
Our main focus is communicating with our clients. The staff at the Law Office of Brent McAfee Thompson is fluently bilingual in English and Spanish. In cases where a client requires an interpreter or translator, we will provide you one. There are also certain instances where the insurance carrier will also provide you with an interpreter in your primary language. These situations include but are not limited to: Medical Appointments, Depositions, Settlement Conferences, and Trial.
Do You Have A Case?
Tell us more about your injury to find out what we can do to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
Law Offices of Brent M. Thompson 78100 Main St., Ste. 206 La Quinta, CA 92253