Insurance Companies and their Duty to Investigate in Workers’ Compensation Cases

With respect to my Workers’ Compensation Claim, Does the Insurance Company handling my Claim have a duty to treat me fairly?

Yes. California law requires that Injured Workers be treated fairly. Regulation Section 10109 section (e) provides that “Insurers, self-insured employers and third-party administrators shall deal fairly and in good faith with all claimants” Not only does this section apply to the injured worker, it also applies to any dependent’s claims as well. Dependent’s claims may arise upon the injured worker’s death. In those circumstances, there can either be a death claim or an accrued benefits claim on a “live” claim. In other terms, any outstanding unpaid benefits owed up to the date of death.

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What Are California Workers’ Compensation Medical Appointments and Evaluations?

How Can They Damage a Worker’s Claim of Industrial Injury?

In California Workers’ Compensation Law, Injured Workers attend both medical treatment appointments and medical legal evaluations as part of their claims. While these appointments are intended to provide either treatment or assess aspects of Injured Worker’s claim, such as permanent disability, these examinations and evaluations can also inform Insurance Companies of information that cast doubt as to the validity or the severity of both, the Injured Worker’s claim and/or their entitlement to benefits. These items are frequently called “red flags.” Many doctors who contract with insurance companies will note these “red flags” within their reporting.

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labor code section

Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Taxable?

Many workers’ compensation benefit recipients wonder if their benefits are taxable like other forms of income. Generally, workers’ compensation benefits are classified as a non-taxable income. There is, however, one exception. Read on to learn more about Labor Code Section 132a & workers’ compensation.

Labor Code Section 132a

If your workers’ compensation claim involved the Labor Code Section 132a action for discrimination, you may incur a tax obligation.  Labor Code Section 132a action allows you to seek benefits such as lost wages and other benefits if you are wrongfully terminated or otherwise discriminated against.

If you are able to try and be awarded back pay or back benefits, back pay would be considered taxable.  Further, other benefits, such as payment of a bonus, would also be considered taxable.

If a Labor Code Section 132a Claim is Settled

Some Defendant’s request that a portion of the settlement is considered as payment of wage and therefore be considered taxable income. In those circumstances, a skillful attorney can work on limiting tax exposure.   Usually, you will receive a 1099 tax form from your employer in those circumstances.  It is very important that you consult an accountant or tax preparer to ascertain the amount of taxes you will owe.  If you do owe money, it is recommended that you set aside some money so that you can make your tax payment.

Law Offices of Edward J. Singer

At the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, we specialize in helping our clients with their workers’ compensation claims. With more than 20 years of expertise in defending workers’ rights, we are here to assist with any questions a person in Southern or Central California who receives workers’ compensation may have. We welcome anyone who needs assistance to contact us today concerning any workers’ comp questions or issues.

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