3 FAQs About Orthopedic Injuries and Workers Compensation


The process of obtaining workers compensation for your on-the-job injuries seems quite straightforward… until you actually sustain an orthopedic injury at work and start asking too many questions.

It’s true that in order to collect workers comp benefits for an orthopedic injury you have to jump through quite a few hurdles. To help you get a better understanding of how compensation for workplace injury works in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California, we asked our Los Angeles orthopedic injury attorney to answer some of the most common questions about the actual process of obtaining workers comp benefits.

Q: What can I do if my employer contests the validity of my workers comp claim and doubts that I was injured at work?

First of all, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for employers in California, who are legally required to provide a safe work environment for their injuries, to contest the validity of workplace injury claims. After all, no employer in his/her right mind would want to be held liable for something they failed to prevent in the first place.

The best way to prove to your employer that your orthopedic injury is indeed work-related is to hire a workers compensation attorney, who will:

  • review your claim;
  • order a medical evaluation from a competent physician;
  • get a compensation carrier to perform an investigation into your claim; and
  • negotiate with your insurance company and the insurer of your employer to verify your claim.

Your employer will not be able to contest the validity of or turn down your workers comp claim if all evidence indicates that your injury was caused by certain work conditions and you require to get compensated in order to return to work.

Q: What should I do if my employer is demanding that I return to work to perform my usual duties after my orthopedic injury?

You have the legal right to skip work if you’re in too much pain and cannot perform your usual duties after an injury. However, in case of a partial disability, you may be advised to return to work and perform your duties under a doctor-recommended lighter-duty program (or simply be advised to not perform certain activities at work such as lifting heavy objects).

If you are unable to return to work due to an orthopedic injury – and your doctor has proof that your injuries make it impossible for you to work in your usual capacity – seek the legal advice of a Los Angeles orthopedic injury lawyer to get an official excuse from work.

If you were assigned a light-duty program after an injury and yet your employer asks you to perform a task that doesn’t fit your program, let your lawyer do the talking. A skilled attorney will ensure that you are not being asked to perform many tasks that go against your doctor’s recommendations. The last thing you would want is to aggravate your injuries at work.

Q: If I get injured at work, does it mean I can be excused from work for any number of days I want?

No. Under California workers compensation laws, you can be excused from work for the day after suffering an on-the-job injury. In order to get an official excuse from work for a prolonged period of time, it’s vital to report your orthopedic injury to your physician and employer.

However, it’s not advised to speak to your employer without seeking legal advice from an attorney first. Contact our orthopedic injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach to evaluate your case in a free initial consultation.

Call our Los Angeles offices at 818-609-7005 or complete this contact form for a free case evaluation.

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