No matter where you turn, it seems like almost everyone is willing to offer his or her 2 cents about your workers' compensation claim ― including your boss who wants you back at work, the doctor who is treating your injuries, the insurance adjuster who wants to close your case and even your friends and family.

However, you need to be cautious of trusting anyone when it comes to your workers' comp benefits, especially if they are not familiar with the law. In fact, if you have questions about a workers' compensation claim, it is always best to speak with an experienced legal professional ― like those at the Law Offices of William J. Kropach. Our attorneys can answer any question you may have about workers' compensation in California, including common concerns such as:

What should I do after a work-related injury? The first thing you should do is to notify your supervisor of your injury, both verbally and in writing. This is extremely important, especially since you may lose your rights to workers' comp benefits if you fail to report your injury in a timely manner.

Can an attorney still help if my initial workers' comp claim was denied? Yes, the attorneys at the Law Offices of William J. Kropach can explain what legal options still exist following a denial, including a possible appeal. In fact, we can present your case to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).

How much does a workers' compensation lawyer cost? At the Law Offices of William J. Kropach, we take workers' comp cases on contingency — meaning you do not pay any lawyer fees until we get you benefits or a recovery. In fact, the amount we can collect is usually 15 percent of your award, so there is no risk to you.

Will I get full pay for lost time? Unfortunately, no. Typically, workers' comp disability payments are limited to two-thirds of your pretax wages, but the amount is tax free. Also, there is a maximum weekly amount that you may be able to collect, which can change from year to year.

Can my employer make me go back to work if I'm still recovering? Until your doctor says you have improved as much as possible — otherwise known as maximum medical improvement — you are still eligible for temporary disability benefits and therefore do not have to return to work. However, it should be noted that you might have to return if your boss offers you different work that fits within your medical restrictions. In any case, you should have a discussion with your doctor about this.

Can my boss fire me for seeking workers' compensation benefits? No, he or she cannot fire you. In fact, it is against the law for an employer to fire, threaten to fire or otherwise discriminate against you for simply filing a workers' comp claim or collecting benefits. If you are the victim of such retaliatory acts, contact us and we can help.

Is my boss required to pay for my health insurance during my recovery? Generally, no. However, if you have to pay a health insurance premium, you may be able to add it to your average weekly wage, which may in turn increase the amount of benefits to which you are entitled.

If you have concerns about these or any other questions, contact the experienced workers' compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of William J. Kropach. We will provide you with the answers you need and deserve. For more information or to arrange a FREE consultation, call our Encino office at 818-600-4714 or contact us online.

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