FAQ

warmuth-criminaldefense

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth is comprised of dedicated attorneys and law professionals ready to represent you in a variety of legal areas.

Below are some frequently asked questions about the legal process.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

If you have a work-related injury, your employer is required by law to pay for workers’ compensation benefits.

What Steps Do I Need to Take to Successfully File a Claim?

Report the injury to your employer by telling your supervisor right away. If your injury or illness developed over time, report it as soon as you learn or believe it was caused by your job.

Reporting promptly helps prevent problems and delays in receiving benefits, including medical care you may need.

By NOT reporting your injury, you prevent your employer from fully investigating the injury, you could lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Aside from reporting the injury to my employer, what else should I do?

Ask your employer for a DWC-1 Claim Form, fill it out and have your employer send it to their insurance carrier. Make a note as to the date, time and who you spoke with regarding your injury.

What if my employer ignores me and insist I work after I got injured?

If your employer ignores you when you try to report an injury, you should still immediately go to see a doctor.  If your employer tries to talk you into using your private health insurance and stating the accident occurred at home, do not do this, as the insurance company will use it against you later when you decide to report it as a work injury.

If your employer insists you complete job functions that your doctors have advised you against or you feel pain completing certain tasks you should again notify your employer that you are unable to do this tasks because of your injury.

What if I am an undocumented worker or a non-resident?

If you are an undocumented worker or are a non-resident you are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

How long do I have to file a claim for Workers’ compensation benefits?

The time period in which you must file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits is generally (1) year from the date of the accident.

How do I get medical treatment?

On an admitted claim, your employer is to furnish you with medical and hospital services that are necessary to cure and/or relieve you of the effects of an injury.

Injured workers are entitled to receive all medical care required to cure or relieve the effects of the injury.

What benefits am I entitled to?

Medical Treatment – Paid by your employer

Temporary Disability Benefits – Payment for lost wages

Permanent Disability Benefits – If you don’t recover completely

Job Displacement benefits – Vouchers to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement

What are temporary disability benefits?

Upon a doctors’ certification, the injured worker is entitled to Temporary Disability Benefits for lost wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job while recovering.

Temporary disability benefits pays two-thirds of the gross (pre-tax) wages you lose while you are recovering from a job injury.

When do payments start?

Payments begin when your doctor says you cannot perform your usual work for more than three days or you get hospitalized.  Payments are made every two weeks.

The claims administrator hasn’t accepted or denied my claim yet, but I need medical care for my injury now. What can I do?

The claims administrator is required to authorize medical treatment within one working day after you file a claim form with your employer, even while your claim is being investigated.  The total cost of the treatment provided while your claim is being investigated is limited to $10,000.  If the claims administrator does not authorize treatment right away, speak with your supervisor about the law requiring immediate medical treatment.

The workers’ compensation system seems very confusing. Should I retain a workers’ compensation attorney?

You have the option of representing yourself or hiring an attorney.   The system is virtually impossible to navigate by non-attorneys.  A knowledgeable and experienced workers’ compensation attorney can guide the injured worker through the maze to properly secure needed medical treatment, disability payments and an award of adequate settlement based on permanent disability at the conclusion of the case.

We will deal with your employer’s insurance company so that you can be relieved of a lot of the stress involved with being injured.

 

The peace of mind you’ll gain from knowing your rights are protected by experienced attorneys is priceless.

Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim?

It is unlawful for any employee to be discharged for having filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

What is my claim worth?

The monetary value of your claim is determined by the severity and nature of your disability.  No ethical attorney can tell you the “value” of your claim until they have all the facts and evidence to make such a determination.

What is Social Security Disability Benefits?
  • Disability benefits are paid through two programs
    • Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Who can Receive Disability Insurance Benefits?
    • Social Security pays benefits to people who cannot work because they have a severe medical condition that is expected to cause the person to miss at least one year of employment.
    • Certain family members of disabled workers may also receive benefits from Social Security.
Are benefits retroactive?

Social Security Disability Insurance – The successful claimant is entitled to receive benefits back to the onset date of the disability up to a maximum of one year before the application is filed.

 

Supplemental Security Income Program – The Supplemental Security Income Program makes cash assistance payments to aged, blind and disabled persons (including children) who have limited income and resources.

What impact does a professional representation have on the process at the initial level?

A professional provides:

  • Competent representation to the claimant
  • Provides the client working knowledge of the applicable provisions, regulations and rules of Social Security
  • Provides the ability to gather necessary information, complete the necessary forms and meet required deadlines
  • Help obtain detailed statements from a claimant’s treating physicians
  • Ensures that a case will be properly developed prior to a hearing date

Best chance of receiving benefits to which the claimant is entitled

Why would a Claimant hire an attorney?
  • Claimant may have a mental condition that would impair their ability to navigate the application process
  • Claimant may feel intimidated by the process or by their own disabilities or health conditions
  • While the program seems straight forward, SSDI claims not properly handled are denied at an extremely high rate
  • Claimant would have a dedicated team of Social Security Disability Insurance attorneys on his/her side
  • Claimant’s team of attorneys can successfully maneuver the tricky Social Security disability insurance program
What are the attorney’s fees?

No Benefits, no Fees!  The fees are set by statute (25% of retrospective award up to a maximum of $6,000)

Approval vs Denial rate at Law888
  • About 15% of initial claims are approved at 1st step:
    • Average SSDI benefit in 2015 = $1,200/month
    • Maximum SSI benefit in 2015 = $870/month for individual $1,011/month for disabled couple
  • About 85% of initial claims are denied
What Compensation Can I Recover?

You can pursue compensation for several types of money damages. A California car accident lawyer can help you file your personal injury claim and make sure you pursue every kind of relief available under your circumstances. Our lawyers can help you with:

  • Current and future medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of income
  • Property damage
  • If you have suffered the unfortunate loss of a loved one, we can also help you obtain justice through a wrongful death claim, which could result in compensation for:
  • Funeral expenses
  • Pain and suffering prior to death
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of financial support
How much is My Case Worth?

Our law firm has helped thousands of people with their cases. We know what it takes to prepare a case for maximum value so we can get our clients as much money as possible and as fast as we can.  However, every case is different.  Our experienced attorneys can work with you to help find the answers you need: Who is liable for your damages?  How much could your case be worth? Which course of action will best suit your needs?  Our experience staff will handle all legal work for you so you can focus on recovering. We commit to make the process as rapid and successful as possible, every step of the way.  We’re with you all the way!

What happens if I’m partially to blame for a crash?

This is a good time to call an attorney to make sure that the insurance company has done a proper investigation and that you are still compensated for the percentage of fault that is attributed to the other party. Our attorneys can help make sure that liability is determined fairly for you.

I was involved in a car accident and the other driver is at fault? The insurance company wants to send me a check. Should I accept?

Before you accept a check from the insurance company, it is recommended that you speak with an attorney.  The insurance company for the at-fault driver wants to solve the case as quickly as possible for the least amount possible.  The insurance company may not consider the long-term damage, especially if you need and still receiving medical treatment.  An experienced lawyer will help you determine your total benefits and compensation.

I was in a car accident one year ago. Do I still have time to file a claim?

Statutes of Limitation vary from state to state and depending on what kind of party you are filing a claim against.  For instance, a California statute could be as short as 6 months when the defendant is a public entity, but it could be up to 2 years for a private party. It is best to check with an attorney for the specific statute that applies to your case because if you fail to file a claim or a lawsuit on time, you will lose the right to do so in the future.

I was recently in a car accident and the driver at fault does not have car insurance.  Am I eligible to receive compensation for my injuries?  Depending on your coverage, such as Underinsured or Uninsured motorist coverage, you can actually recover damages from your own policy without affecting your premiums.

I got hurt in a car accident, but I don’t have any health insurance. What should I do?

We recommend that you seek medical treatment immediately after an accident.  Lack of medical treatment or a significant gap in treatment can have a negative outcome on your recovery.  Oftentimes right after an accident, you won’t feel any pain.  What is worse that you may not realize that you have a serious injury.  It is very important to seek medical advice right after you have been involved in an accident.  If you don’t have health insurance, you may be able to get your medical bills paid by other means, such as Medicaid and Medicare, or you may be able to get reimbursed for your medical bills by the at-fault insurance company.  An experienced personal injury attorney may be able to find a health care provider that will take care of your injuries with no upfront payment.

The other driver’s insurance company is trying to get me to sign papers and possibly a recorded statement of the accident facts. What should I do?

We recommend you speak with an attorney before signing any documentation or making a recorded statement.  Your recorded statement can be used against you later by insurance companies.  Make sure you understand your rights before signing any documents as your signature might jeopardize your case in the future, as well.

My car is not drivable after the car accident. How can I get it fixed? Can I rent a car?

Our professional staff helps to make sure that you vehicle is handled properly and that you obtain payment for repair or replacement of your vehicle.  Our staff also facilitates rental cars where applicable.

My car accident was a hit-and-run. The car is damaged but I’m not hurt. Can you help me?

Depending on your coverage, you should have coverage from your own policy without affecting your premiums.