Home FAQs


Will I Lose My Job if I file a Workers Comp claim?
  1. If I file a claim for my work injury can I be fired?
    a. If your employer fires you because of your on the job injury he could subject himself to a discrimination claim under Labor Code 132a.
    b. Being injured on the job does not prohibit your employer from firing you but it must not be for getting injured or filing a workers compensation claim.
    c. When you have a good workers compensation attorney it is less likely they will terminate you without cause.
    d. If you qualify for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) it will provide you with job security for up to 12 weeks, after that you could be replaced.
What do I do after I get Injured on the Job?
  1. As soon as possible report the injury to a supervisor or Human Resources.
    a. The longer you delay in reporting your injury the worse it becomes for your case.
    b. Employers need to be notified immediately so they can conduct an investigation quickly.
    c. The longer you delay thinking the injury will get better on its own, the greater the likelihood your case
    will be put on delay or denied status… So Report every injury immediately no matter how slight.
  2. If there were any witnesses to your injury get their names and email address.
  3. Seek Medical attention… if employer sends you to their chosen industrial clinic or if after hours then treat on your own and give the report and bill to the employer.
  4. If possible and practical take photographs of your injury as close as possible in time to when it occurred. Bruises will disappear in time and a picture is worth a thousand words.
  5. Your employer will have you fill out a form to initiate the workers compensation claim with their insurance carrier… this form is called a DWC 1. You will fill out the top portion with the date of injury and how it occurred, listing ALL the body parts injured at the time that you are aware of. The employer will send that form to the insurance carrier and you will receive a claims package in the mail from the claims adjuster.
  6. Many times injured workers only list the main body part giving them the most pain at the time… and later they discover other body parts they failed to list. This is especially common after an motor vehicle accident that a few days later your entire spine hurts when you at first only felt a broken arm.
  7. Contact a Good workers compensation attorney in your area after you get the package from the insurance adjuster and let them go to work for you right away and set you up with injured worker friendly doctors rather then letting the insurance company pick their doctors for you.
How Much is My Workers Compensation Claim Worth?
  1. The value of your work comp claim is dependent upon the nature and extent of your injuries and what the level of permanent disability is that you are left with after the treating doctors and medical examiners determine what percentage of Whole Person Impairment you are left with.
  2. Each individual body part is rated separately. If you suffer a back injury for example, your cervical spine which is your neck is rated separately from your Mid Back ( thoracic spine ) which is rated separately from your Lumbar Spine which is your low back.
  3. Various measurement are taken by your orthopedic surgeon to determine many factors including loss of range of motion, pain levels, and impact on your activities of daily living.
  4. The doctors will also determine the need for future medical treatment and opinions for what particular types of treatment will or may be required in the future.
  5. All of these factors are calculated by the insurance company and by your lawyer and negotiations begin.
  6. There is a permanent disability rating schedule that both sides use ( the money chart ) every percent of permanent disability (PD) has a value.. the more disabled you are the higher the money chart value.
  7. Once the value of your permanent disability is determined by the chart, then the real battle begins as to
    arriving at a fair value of your future medical care begins.
  8. If you are still working for the employer and intend to continue working for them, you will most likely be required to leave your future medical open and receive the value of your permanent Disabilty in bi-weekly payments which are currently $580 every 2 weeks.
What If My Case Is Denied And We Go To Court And I Lose, Do I Owe The Attorney Any Money?

NO !!

Your attorney is only paid if he obtains a settlement with a dollar amount for you.

If you are awarded no permanent disability … he may receive nothing.

If you later receive an offer from the insurance company to buyout any future medical care that you may have been awarded your lawyer will receive a fee on that amount.

What Does It Cost To Hire A Workers Compensation Attorney?

We never ask an injured worker for any money to take his case. The fees a workers comp lawyer can charge are set by statute and are up to the workers comp judge to approve.

The range of attorney fees is 12% – 18%… but nearly all workers compensation attorney’s charge 15% and have been doing so for the past 20 years. There are a few exceptional situations where the fees could increase if there are separate actions filed against the employer for discrimination under Labor Code 132a, or for violations of Cal-Osha codes and regulations that led to serious injury resulting hospitalization… this is called a serious and willful.


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    The Law Offices of Dr. Peter M. Schaeffer serves the State of California and the Riverside and San Bernadino counties, which includes the surrounding communities of Riverside, Corona, Moreno Valley, Hemet, Temecula, and Palm Springs. Our office locations are conveniently located in the cities of Riverside (main office), Temecula, and Palm Springs