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Workers' comp: What is it, and who qualifies for it?

Some readers of our Santa Barbara work-related injury legal blog have perhaps suffered an injury or illness that entitled them to receive workers' compensation benefits provided through the California Division of Workers' Compensation.

Many others, though, undoubtedly have not been involved at all with the state program and know little about it. Today's post serves as an overview of workers' compensation law.

An initial point to note is that an employee can apply for workers' comp benefits if he or she is injured while performing on-the-job duties. The workers' compensation regime in California and other states was established as a type of employer insurance to protect against employees' work-related injuries and illnesses.

One online article addressing workers' comp refers to a "trade-off," namely, that program benefits come with ceiling amounts and preclude recipients from also suing employers in court for damages.

There is a caveat attached to that, which an experienced workers' compensation attorney can fully flesh out for any person seeking benefit-related information. In a nutshell, it should be noted that a work-related injury or illness might owe partially or even entirely to the acts or omissions of one or more third parties. An individual can file a personal injury lawsuit against any such individual or entity. Additionally, a worker might choose to take an employer to court in lieu of filing a workers' comp claim for benefits.

There can be -- and often is -- considerable complexity attaching to a workers' compensation claim, ranging from issues such as "scope of work" and qualifying injuries/illnesses to time limits for filing and appeals.

A proven law firm that routinely represents employees in accident- and injury-related matters can answer questions and provide timely and tailored legal representation in a given case.

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