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 suffer a work-related injury, your employer is required by law to provide certain benefits, including medical treatment for your injury.  The complete package of benefits provided to injured workers is known as workers’ compensation.

I was injured at work. What steps do I need to take?

Immediate report the injury to your supervisor.  If your injury or illness developed over an extended period of time, report it as soon as you learn or suspected it was caused by your job.

The prompt reporting of injuries helps to prevent problems and delays in receiving essential benefits, including medical treatment.

If you do not report your injury you could lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

In addition to reporting the injury to my employer, what else should I do?

Ask your employer for a workers’ compensation claim form (DWC-1), fill it out, and have your employer send it to their insurance carrier. Whenever you speak with someone about your injury, make a note of the date, time, and who you were speaking with.

What if my employer ignores my injury?

If your employer ignores you when you try to report an injury, seek guidance from a workers’ compensation attorney.  It’s extremely important to address your injury as quickly as possible.

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

If your employer continues to ignore your injuries or if they choose to retaliate against you, if you haven’t already done so, contact a workers’ compensation attorney immediately.

What if my employer asks me to lie?

If your employer tries to convince you into stating the work injury occurred at home and that you should use your private health insurance, do not do this!  The insurance company will use this against you when you decide to report a work injury.  Contact a workers’ compensation attorney immediately.

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

Undocumented workers and non-residents are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

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

You have one year from the date of the accident to file a workers’ compensation claim.

How do I receive medical treatment?

On an accepted claim, your employer will furnish you with necessary medical and hospital services

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

What benefits am I entitled to?

Medical Treatment – Until your injury is considered permanent and stationary.

Temporary Disability Benefits – Payment for lost wages.

Permanent Disability Benefits – Payment issued if your injury reduced your ability to work.

Job Displacement Benefits – Payment to help with job retraining.

What are temporary disability benefits?

Temporary disability benefits are provided to injured workers meeting two requirements:

1) Overnight hospitalization or unable to perform their usual fork for more than three days.

2) Employer does not offer work accommodations while paying the same wage.

In most circumstances, temporary disability benefits pay two-thirds of your gross (pre-tax) wages for missed work.

When do temporary disability payments start?

Payments begin within two weeks of your doctor saying you cannot work due to your injury. Payments are issued every two weeks thereafter until you are no longer eligible for temporary disability benefits.

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, contact a workers’ compensation attorney ASAP.

Should I hire a workers’ compensation attorney?

The workers’ compensation system is very confusing.  For injured workers, the system is incredibly difficult to navigate without help. A knowledgeable and experienced workers’ compensation attorney can guide an injured worker through the system and secure necessary medical treatment and other benefits with less hassle.

Attorneys deal with your employer’s insurance company so that you don’t have to, letting you focus on recovery.  Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney protects your rights and provides peace of mind.

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

It is illegal for any employee to be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim.  If you have been terminated after trying to report a work injury, immediately contact a workers’ compensation lawyer.

What is my claim worth?

The circumstances of every case are different.  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 SSDI?

Social Security Disability Insurance provides benefits to persons who become disabled and are no longer able to work.

Who can receive SSDI 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.  Applicants must meet certain financial and work history guidelines.

Certain family members of disabled workers may also receive benefits from SSDI.

Are benefits retroactive?

A successful SSDI claimant is entitled to receive benefits back to the onset date of the disability, up to a maximum of one year before the application was filed.

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

A professional SSDI advocate provides:

  • Competent representation to the claimant
  • Working knowledge of the applicable provisions, regulations and rules of Social Security
  • The ability to gather necessary information, complete the necessary forms, and meet required deadlines
  • Help obtaining detailed statements from a claimant’s treating physicians
  • Assurance that a case will be properly developed prior to a hearing date
  • The 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 have experience navigating the tricky SSDI program
What are the attorney fees?

Attorney fees are set by statute.  Fees are 25% of a retrospective award, up to a maximum of $6,000.  We do not charge attorney fees if we are unable to secure an award.

Do I have a personal injury claim?

The circumstances of every personal injury are different.  Without knowing more about your specific incident, no attorney could tell you if you have a case.  We offer free consultations to help you determine if you have a claim.

Why should I hire a personal injury attorney?

Personal injury attorneys offer immense benefits to clients pursuing personal injury claims, including peace of mind.  With decades of experience handling accident claims, our helpful attorneys help our clients plot the best course of action to maximize financial recovery.

Our services are provided risk free.  There are no up-front or out-of-pocket charges, and you only pay after we win your case.  In the rare event that we do not win your case, you will not be billed for attorneys fees.

What can I recover compensation for?

The victims of personal injury can pursue compensation for several types of damages, including:

  • Current and future medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Car Rental

After 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?

The circumstances of every case are different and there is no guarantee to the outcome of any case.  As such, no ethical attorney would ever offer a recovery estimate.  There are many factors that influence the potential recovery of any personal injury, including:

  • Who or what is liable for the injuries
  • Severity of injuries
  • Number of people injured
  • Availability of insurance

Our law firm knows how to pursue the maximum compensation possible, but that amount can vary drastically between cases.

I was in an accident with an uninsured driver. Can I receive compensation for my injuries?

Your auto insurance company offers optional coverage called “uninsured motorist coverage”.  If you have this coverage, you can pursue compensation without raising your premiums.  If you do not have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your chances of financial recovery for your injuries and property damage are not good.  We strongly urge you to add UM/UIM coverage to your auto insurance policy.

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

Partial liability will most likely reduce your overall compensation.  Typically, damages for pain and suffering are not awarded to at-fault parties.  In the context of partial liability, if you were found 20% at-fault for an accident, you can only receive pain and suffering compensation for the 80% of the accident that you were not at-fault for.

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 consult with an injury attorney.  The insurance company for the at-fault driver wants to close the claim as quickly as possible for the least amount of compensation possible.  The insurance company may not consider long-term damage, especially if you are still receiving medical treatment.

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

In California, the statute of limitations for injuries suffered in a car accident is usually 2 years.  If you are trying to file a claim against a public entity, the statute of limitations is as short as 6 months.  It’s important to contact an injury attorney long before the statute of limitations deadline.

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

It’s very important to seek medical treatment immediately after an accident, with or without health insurance.  Waiting too long to see a doctor or having a significant gap in treatment can negatively impact your injury claim.

The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help you find doctors and chiropractors who do not require upfront payments or out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment.

The other driver’s insurance company is harassing me. What should I do?

Insurance companies will often ask claimants for recorded statements or signatures with the goal of settling a claim as quickly and as cheaply as possible.  Do not sign any documents or consent to be recorded until you have contacted an injury attorney to learn more about your rights.  After you have retained an injury law firm, direct anyone calling about your injuries (who isn’t affiliated with your attorney) to your case file manager.

How can I get my car fixed? Can I rent a car?

Our helpful staff can help you make arrangements for vehicle repair and a rental car.