Workers Comp

Why should someone choose Turchin Law over all the other firms in California, and how does Turchin Law stand out?

Our core promise to our clients is communication. We literally have an open door policy. We are open from 8:30 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday and we do not close for lunch. If you cannot meet during the day or it needs to be on a weekend, Turchin Law will make every effort to accommodate your schedule. Our friendly staff is always available live to answer all of your questions by phone or in person. Other firms may talk the talk regarding communicating with clients, but at Turchin Law we actually walk the walk.

Turchin Law stands about from the vast majority of other workers’ compensation firms because we aggregately have close to a hundred years’ worth of experience in the field. More importantly, the attorneys and staff at Turchin Law have spent decades working for the very insurance companies that are doing everything possible to avoid paying benefits to injured workers. We have learned the ins and outs of what drives and motivates insurance companies in terms of their claims handling policies. Our reputations were built working for these insurance companies and the respect built over those decades serves as a benefit to our clients because the insurance companies know that our experience and willingness to fight for our clients often results in the resolution of disputed cases that lesser known law firms simply cannot achieve.

Are there any Work Comp laws that differ in California as compared to other states that are worth mentioning?

The first thing that comes to mind is lifetime medical care that can be settled for a single tax free check in California subject to the negotiations with the insurance company as to the value of the settlement and approval by a Judge who will consider the fairness of the settlement before approving it.

What are the common causes of workplace injuries?

The most common injuries involve slip and fall accidents, lifting injuries, and repetitive motion injuries such as typing causing carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive lifting causing back pain that worsens over time. There are also exposure cases which involve exposure to toxic materials and substances in the workplace. Another type of injury is due to work related stress that causes anxiety and/or depression.

Can workers’ compensation cover anything other than obvious injury, like cancer or heart issues?

Workers’ compensation will cover pre-existing conditions, such as heart, lung and internal injury if your exposure at work has aggravated the pre-existing condition at least by 1%..

What are the duties of an employer in a workers’ comp case?

The employer is required to provide you with a claim form within 24 hours of your notice that you are claiming a work comp injury. Even if the employer does not believe the injury is work-related, they are still required by California law to provide you with a claim form within 24 hours of notice.

Who does your firm represent in a workers’ compensation case?

At Turchin Law we are dedicated to representing the injured worker.

What kind of compensation can a person receive for a workplace injury claim?

Temporary disability benefits pay you for time off of work which is based upon a calculation of 2/3 of your average weekly wages payable for a maximum of 104 weeks (2 years) over a 5 year period.

Permanent disability benefits are intended to pay you for any injuries that do not fully heal and leave you with permanent impairment. This is intended to reimburse you for the reduced ability to perform work related activities as well as inability to engage in certain activities of daily living.

Medical benefits are intended to provide you with reasonable medical care to cure or relieve the problems caused by your injury for the rest of your life.

Job Training Benefits are provided in the form of a Voucher that can be used for job training/education, computers, tools, etc. Vouchers are payable when your injuries result in permanent disability that will not allow you to return to your old job and assuming your employer cannot provide a modified job within your medical restrictions. The value of the voucher for injuries that occurred between 2004 through 2012 is $4,000 to $10,000 depending on the level of your disability. For injuries after 1/1/2013, the Voucher is set at $6,000 for all injuries where the employee cannot return to their old job and there is no valid modified work offered to you.

What steps need to be taken in a workers’ compensation lawsuit?

Contact Turchin Law ASAP. You are never charged you for any work done on your claim. Only in the event that we are successful in obtaining you benefits is there a fee and that modest fee (typically limited to 15%) is payable out of your case. Remember, you should never be charged by any lawyer out of pocket on a workers’ compensation case. It’s a no recovery/ no fee arrangement so if we get you nothing, we receive nothing.

Again, all of our fees are approved by a workers’ compensation judge. We do not get a single dollar of a settlement fee until a judge approves it.

What can a person expect in this process when they meet with a lawyer?

The first thing is that we help you take control of your claim. There are different benefits that every injured worker is entitled to, including temporary disability which discussed, above. While you are off of work due to your injuries, you are paid 2/3 of your weekly wages, tax free, up to a maximum amount, depending on the year of your injury. You’re entitled to up to two years of that benefit (104 weeks) which is intended to cover you for time missed during the first 5 years following your injury. Temporary Disability benefits do not have to be consecutive, meaning you could go back to work and then have to go out again. The key is that over the first 5 years following your injury, you are entitled to up to 104 weeks of time off to heal from your injuries.

We will provide you will advise on the best physicians available to treat your specific medical problem. As the injured worker, you have the right to control your medical treatment. While the insurance company may tell you that it is going to do everything for you, the reality is that insurance companies make money by limiting the benefits paid out on claims. For that reason, the insurance company will normally try to steer you to the most conservative physicians available. Do not let this happen! Remember, you have the right to choose your own doctor, and Turchin Law has the experience to identify the best doctors in all the different specialties to best treat your injuries. Trust Turchin Law to get you to the right doctor to help you recover.

Additionally, you have the right to return back to work to your prior occupation through accommodations that have to be made by your employer that are reasonable, and we will fight to make sure that those rights are maintained. We will ensure that the doctors who treat you write comprehensive reports identifying what permanent impairment was caused by your work injury, what medical needs that you may have to recover and, when it comes to settling your claim, with all of our years working with the insurance companies in the past, we know how the insurance company thinks and evaluates claims which allows us to use the toughest negotiating tactics to ensure the best recovery possible for your case.

If you cannot return back to work, and you need to be retrained, we will make sure that you get the money necessary to enroll in the right school to retrain you in a new job and to purchase whatever tools or equipment will assist in putting you in the best position to succeed in a new job.

If you are currently seeing a doctor who has requested treatment and the insurance company is delaying or denying treatment, we will fight for you to obtain the treatment necessary to help you recover. For example, the insurance company is required to respond to a request for authorization for treatment within 5 days. If the insurance company does not respond within 5 days, we will file for an Expedited Hearing to enforce your right to receive medical treatment which by law must occur within 30 days.

If the insurance company or your employer deny your claim and take the position that you were not injured at work, we will file all the necessary paperwork for you with the Employment Development Department so that you’ll continue to receive lost wages which is, the same 2/3 of your salary that you would otherwise be entitled do, payable by the State of California’s Employment Development Department (EDD), up to one year. This gives us the time to prove up your case so that we can get it before a Judge which ideally occurs before the EDD benefits expire.
What it all comes down to is that Turchin Law will fight for you. Turchin Law will take whatever depositions of witnesses are necessary to protect your interests and establish that your injury is valid. We will subpoena records, locate the best available doctors to treat you and will do everything we can to establish a valid work injury.

Please remember that all of these services do not cost our clients a single dollar. Not only can we expedite your case and get it before a judge if the insurance company is dragging their feet or denied your claim in its entirety, we will gather the best available evidence to win your case.

Why would a person need an attorney for a workers’ comp case?

All right, through decades of experience working for insurance companies starting more than 30 years ago, we can tell you that the insurance company is constantly working to convince you not to obtain an attorney. They insurance company wants you to avoid hiring a lawyer because it is not in the insurance company’s best interest for you to have an attorney.

An  experienced Los Angeles worker comp attorney knows all the rights of the injured worker which allows the attorney to provide advice and direction on your claim that you would not be able to do on your own simply because workers’ compensation is a complicated legal system. Choosing an attorney from Turchin Law will ensure that every possible benefit is provided to you.

The reality is that Insurance companies have a fiduciary responsibility to their stockholders to pay out as little money as possible to injured workers. At Turchin Law, as the injured workers’ attorney, our fiduciary duty is not to stockholders. Our only duty is to you, our client, with the goal to maximize the amount of benefits that the insurance company pays to our clients.

When should a person seek legal help for their case?

As soon as possible. Immediately. ASAP. All it takes is a phone call or email to Turchin Law. Once you call our office, you will see that our staff at Turchin Law is extremely responsive, knowledgeable, friendly, and we will go out of our way to answer all of your questions. At Turchin Law we are ready, able and willing to schedule an in-office consult at your earliest convenience. We are conveniently located two blocks from the courthouse in the center of the San Fernando Valley, on Van Nuys Boulevard.

How does a person know if they have a case?

If you were injured at work or as a consequence of your work, you have a workers’ compensation case. Whether you find yourself waking up at night in pain caused by work activities, you are involved in a car accident making a delivery for your employer or any other of the million ways workers are injured, contact Turchin Law to learn of your rights so you can make the best decision on how to proceed forward with your case.

Do Independent Contractors Have the Right to Obtain Work Comp Benefits?

Independent contractor law is quite complicated. There are tens of thousands of people whose employers designate them as ‘independent” when in reality they are really employees. Even though you may have signed a multi-page contract agreeing to be an independent contractor, the State of California may still recognize you as an employee. The first step to learning your rights and about the laws affecting independent contractors is to contact Turchin Law as soon as possible.

Do all workers’ comp cases go before a judge?

Yes. Even if the case settles with the insurance company, every settlement must be approved by a Judge. So even if your case doesn’t go to trial, we will review your case with the judge and we will advocate for you and the settlement to be approved.

Is it possible to open an old workers’ comp case if injuries show up much later?

Yes. If your case has been settled, leaving future medical open, you have up to five years from the date of your injury to reopen your claim. If your case has never been resolved then your claim is still open and we can likely make sure it’s revived. The first step, of course, is to contact Turchin Law so we can evaluate your case free of charge.

If a person was fired after a workers’ comp claim what do they need to do?

Call Turchin Law. Even if you never reported your claim before you were terminated, you still have your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Turchin Law can still help you get workers’ compensation benefits and can provide you with advise on how to deal with the termination issues as well.

Can you define what EDD is?

EDD is the Employment Development Department, which is an entity of the State of California that pays you for time missed from work due to medical disability. So as long as a doctor says that you are unable to work, even if your case is denied, the State will pay you for up to one year of missed work. A Turchin Law, we will help to secure you this benefit if your case was denied by the insurance company which will allow us the time needed to prove up your case while you continue to receive 2/3 of your prior salary, tax free!

If a person can never work again due to their claim, what options are available to them?

If a physician finds that injuries caused by your work are so severe that you cannot return back to work in the future, you are entitled to lifetime benefits which include a lifetime Award of temporary disability benefits payable at 2/3 of your average weekly wage, tax free, plus medical treatment for the rest of your life. For example, if you were earning $1,500 per week at the time of your injury and you are unable to work again due to that injury, you would be entitled to receive $1,000 per week, tax free, for the rest of your life in addition to lifetime medical benefits.

The inability to work again due to injury also opens up other doors. At Turchin Law, we also assist our clients in any social security claims for Medicare benefits, social security benefits, and disability benefits as well. Whatever your needs, Turchin Law can help.

What Should You Bring to Your Initial Consultation With Turchin Law?

For the initial consultation, please bring any and all paperwork regarding your injury.
If you have seen a doctor already bring any medical reports you may have, pay stubs to show your earnings, a list of physicians and hospitals you have been to over the past 10 years, all documents sent to our received from the work comp insurance company, etc. Even if you do not have the paperwork available now, coming in to Turchin Law to be advised of your rights and to get your case moving in the right direction is far more important than bringing in the paperwork. Not waiting is very important to your case. Call Turchin Law or email us now to schedule an appointment.