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Bakersfield Workers' Compensation Lawyers

Bakersfield Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

On paper, California’s workers’ compensation laws look like a good deal for both employers and employees:

  • Employers are required to provide a “safe and healthful” work environment (CLC §6400) and cover medical treatment and other expenses for injured workers.
  • Employees usually can’t sue employers for work-related injuries, but they have a safety net of no-fault workers’ compensation benefits.

But if you’re like many of the injured workers Chain | Cohn | Clark helps every day, you see a darker side of the picture.

The Cal-OSHA Bureau of Investigations is severely understaffed, limiting the agency’s ability to keep workplaces safe. It’s easier for unethical companies to cut corners on safety without fear of consequences.

If you file a workers’ compensation claim, you’ll be on your own dealing with:

  • Your employer—often a large company with its own bureaucracy
  • A for-profit insurance company more interested in its bottom line than in your benefits
  • The state Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC)—another bureaucracy

While you’re trying to heal from your injuries, there’s paperwork to fill out and deadlines to meet. Often, the people who are supposed to be helping you instead ask questions like:

  • Did you really get hurt on the job?
  • Are you actually still injured?

At Chain | Cohn | Clark, we know that most people just want to get well. They want to get back to normal and return to work. And in the meantime, they want the system to work as designed, providing them with the benefits they deserve.

Our firm has a long history of fighting for the underdog. We’re not afraid to take on big corporations, government agencies, or insurers. We’ve earned the respect of the legal community, area judges, and insurance companies.

Through negotiations or a court date, we’ll do what it takes to get you the benefits you deserve.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim? Get a Free Consultation

California’s workers’ compensation system was created as a safety net for injured workers. But for many people, it doesn’t provide a soft landing.

Instead, clients tell us about …

  • Employers who say their injuries didn’t happen on the job.
  • Doctors ordering them back to work while they’re still injured.
  • Insurance companies delaying or denying claims.

At Chain | Cohn | Clark, we still believe the workers’ compensation system should serve you—the injured worker.

That’s why we offer every prospective client a free, no-obligation consultation. And we don’t charge any fees up front. Our fee is a percentage (typically 10%–15%) of the compensation we win for you.

Contact us today to schedule a free review of your case.

Client Stories

What’s it like to have Chain | Cohn | Clark represent you in a workers’ comp case? There are no better people to tell you about our firm than our clients.

People like:

  • Roberto, who was injured on the job. His doctor ordered him back to work, but he was still hurt: “I figured I needed an attorney to help me figure out what to do next,” Roberto says. “Now that my case is finished, I’m very happy. Whenever I know someone who gets hurt on the job, I’ll be happy to recommend this law firm.”
  • Terry, who was burned by hot asphalt oil at work: “I was worried about losing my job and how the case would impact my job. We were able to work on a great settlement, and I still work at the same place.”
  • Lucia, whose husbandfather died after he caught Valley Fever on the job: “Mr. Yoro worked tirelessly to advocate on my father’s behalf in our workers’ compensation case, which in turn will also help many others suffering from the effects of Valley Fever.”
  • Isaac, who broke bones when he fell from a lift basket at work: At Chain | Cohn | Clark, “There was no BS,” Isaac says. “They did a great job. I’d tell anyone who needed help to go to you guys—plain and simple. I never had to use legal services in the past, but as far as my experience, I’m 100 percent satisfied.”

More client stories.

Case Results

Every case is unique—different injuries, industries, and insurers. So we can’t predict what your case may be worth. But we are proud that Chain | Cohn | Clark has produced more multimillion-dollar case results than any other law firm in Kern County.

Our workers’ compensation case results include:

  • $4.5 million for a farm worker who suffered a traumatic brain injury
  • $1.13 million for a trucker who suffered a spinal cord injury
  • $1.1 million for a refrigeration technician who suffered chemical burns
  • $1 million for a worker who suffered a skull fracture in a fall

Community-Oriented Local Lawyers

Plenty of big-city law firms have opened offices in Bakersfield and call themselves local attorneys. But they’re no more local than Hollywood or the Dodgers.

Chain | Cohn | Clark is a truly local law firm. Both the firm and its lawyers are deeply entrenched in the Kern County community:

  • Chain | Cohn | Clark was founded in Bakersfield in 1934—90 years ago.
  • Six of the firm’s nine lawyers are Bakersfield natives, and a seventh is from nearby Arvin.
  • Partner Beatriz Trejo—a graduate of Highland High—has been certified by the State Bar of California as a legal specialist in workers’ compensation. You can watch Beatriz’s story below.
  • “Of Counsel” attorney James Yoro has fought for Kern County workers for nearly 40 years as a workers’ compensation lawyer—and his case results prove it.

With an out-of-town firm, you may never meet your lawyer. When you choose Chain | Cohn | Clark, you’ll meet the lawyer handling your case at your first meeting. Contact us today to schedule a free review of your case.

Third-Party Claims

Third-party claims are an area where a lawyer’s advice and expertise are indispensable.

You may have heard that under the workers’ compensation system, you can’t sue your employer—and that’s true (although there are some exceptions).

But you can file suit against any third parties that were at fault in your accident.

Chain | Cohn | Clark was voted Bakersfield’s “Best Personal Injury Lawyer” in a 2023 poll conducted by The Bakersfield Californian. We cover a wide range of practice areas, including construction, oilfield, agriculture, and industrial accidents.

As our attorneys help with your workers’ compensation claim, they’ll investigate your case to see if the negligence of any third parties contributed to your accident.

A negligent third party could be …

  • The manufacturer of a defective product
  • The property owner at a construction site
  • A subcontractor who didn’t follow safety procedures

Workers’ compensation disability benefits only cover two-thirds of your salary while you’re recovering. And in a workers’ comp lawsuit, you can’t receive compensation for your pain and suffering.

But in a third-party personal injury lawsuit, damages can cover the full amount of past and future lost wages and the pain and suffering you’ve endured because of your injuries.

Chain | Cohn | Clark has the experience and resources to handle your workers’ compensation claim and any third-party claims related to your case.

Our Results


Pedestrian Accident


Oilfield Accident


Motorcycle Accident

Who is covered under workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation insurance in California covers all employees. If you receive a W-2 tax form each year, that’s a good sign that you’re probably covered. Workers’ comp doesn’t cover independent contractors or sole proprietors (people who run a small business).

In some cases, a company considers a worker an independent contractor, but they’re actually an employee. If you’re unsure about your status, contact a workers’ compensation attorney.

What types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation covers all injuries and illnesses you receive in the course of performing your job duties. In general, it doesn’t matter who was at fault unless:

  • You get injured in a fight you started.
  • You were drunk or under the influence of drugs on the job.
  • You deliberately hurt yourself.

Examples of covered injuries and illnesses include:

  • Sprains or broken bones from a workplace accident
  • Injuries from a car accident if you’re driving as part of your job duties
  • Repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or back problems from lifting
  • Illnesses from exposure to chemicals, asbestos, or other toxic substances
  • Valley Fever contracted while working outdoors in Kern County

If you’re not sure if your injury or illness is covered, talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer.

What industries does workers’ compensation cover?

Workers’ comp applies to all industries in California. That includes industries that involve heavy equipment and manual labor, like construction, agriculture, mining, and oil. But it also includes work in retail settings and ordinary office jobs.

What do I need to do to get workers’ compensation benefits?

The basic steps for getting workers’ compensation benefits are as follows:

  • Get any emergency care you need. If you don’t need emergency care, get a medical exam.
  • Report the injury to your boss as soon as you can.
  • Fill out a workers’ comp form called a DWC-1 and give it to your employer.
  • Your employer completes the form and sends it to the insurance company.
  • The insurance company approves the claim, and you begin receiving benefits.

The process may work as designed for minor injuries with a quick recovery period. However, in many cases, there are delays, denials, and appeals, and you may greatly benefit from the help of a workers’ compensation attorney.

What benefits are available under workers’ compensation?

The five main workers’ compensation benefits are:

  1. Medical care: Pays your medical bills and other treatment-related costs.
  2. Temporary disability: Pays two-thirds of your wages while you recover.
  3. Permanent disability: Provides long-term payments if you are partially or totally disabled.
  4. Return to work: Provides payment toward your transition to a new job if you can’t return to your old job.
  5. Death benefits: Contributes toward funeral and burial expenses for workers killed on the job, plus long-term payments for their dependents.

Why Hire Chain | Cohn | Clark?

Recovering from work-related injuries is hard enough. You don’t need the added burden of taking on the workers’ compensation system on your own.

Chain | Cohn | Clark provides:

  • Top-notch legal representation
  • A caring, understanding support system
  • Clear communication about your case

We’ll help you:

  • Get the benefits you’re entitled to
  • Take on the insurance company
  • Appeal unfair decisions
  • Negotiate a fair settlement
  • File third-party claims

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation review of your case.

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