The Law Office of Joseph E. Richards is a firm comprised of dedicated attorneys that serve and advocate for the compensation and wage/hour rights of all workers across both Los Angeles and Orange counties and the Inland Empire. Through our representation, clients can expect us to do our best in helping them obtain the medical treatment they need, wages they are entitled to, and peace of mind to continue with their daily lives.
In addition, we recognize how important it is for our clients to preserve the relationship they have with their employer. We realize the last thing our clients want is a strained employment relationship or tense working environment. Because of that, our firm’s approach in dealing with employers and insurance companies is fair but firm, so that workers can ease their mind over fear of retaliation.
Address: 2677 N Main St, #520 Santa Ana, California 92705
Before law school, I was motivated by the things I could not see, by the things I could not know. Specifically, I was motivated by what goes on behind the scenes in any business. All businesses have certain functions that are similar. For example, the accounting and “legal” compliance function are generally necessary, even in accounting and law firms. I started there, with that idea that there was more for me to know if I ever wanted to either help myself or help others at work. Not necessarily to defend myself against anything in particular… you simply don’t know what you don’t know.
Fast forward to 2011. I graduated from Whittier Law School with a concentration in Business Law. In July 2011, I took the California bar exam, and achieved a passing score on my first attempt.
Also in 2011, I began working with attorneys in Irvine, California, as a legal assistant. My duties included organizing files into sections of correspondence, court documents, discovery, liens, and miscellaneous items, e.g. Subrosa. I briefed discovery documents including subpoenas duces tecum (SDT’s), medical reports from primary care and treatment providers (PCP’s, PTP’s, and STP’s), and from Qualified Medical Evaluators (QME’s).
I took the attorney’s oath in December 2011. I became admitted to practice before the courts of the State of California. After the winter break of 2011-2012, and around 2012 and 2013, I appeared before most, if not all, of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Boards of Southern California, on trials of cases-in-chief, attorneys’ liens, AOE/COE priority conferences, expedited trials on issues of medical treatment and temporary disability, mandatory settlement conferences, and status conferences. My primary board was the Santa Ana WCAB. My case load was hundreds of case files. I logged approximately four hundred (400) applicant depositions, one hundred fifty (150) pre-trial conferences, and eighty (80) priority conferences, expedited trials and trials. I was responsible for law & motion practice, including Cal. Lab. Code 132a claims, Serious & Willful petitions, and the drafting and filing of Petitions for Reconsideration and Removal. I also handled approximately twenty (20) Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund claims at various stages.
Then, in the months that followed, I worked with attorneys in Long Beach and Seal Beach, and defended “the” legally uninsured defendant in Workers’ Compensation claims. The highlight for me was a “take-nothing” trial after one (1) day of testimony. In other matters, I appeared mainly at the Long Beach WCAB, Marina Del Rey WCAB, Los Angeles WCAB, but also appeared at the Oxnard WCAB on lien conferences and lien trials. I also deposed QME physicians on matters of substantial medical evidence. My case load was approximately seventy (70) files, with appearance on other matters of pressing importance and calendar conflicts for other attorneys. I worked with “another” legally uninsured employer on matters of lien resolution, and I spent the majority of the next three (3) months working up lien files, contacting lien claimants and clients, and making appearances to resolve liens at lien conference and lien trial.
In approximately May 2014, I entered solo practice in Santa Ana, again representing Applicants in Workers’ Compensation claims, from the filing of the Application for Adjudication, to resolution. My primary board is the Santa Ana WCAB, but I enjoy appearing before the Judges in Riverside, Pomona, Ontario, San Bernardino, Anaheim, Long Beach, and others in Southern California.
In summary, subsequent to law school graduation in 2011, I now spend approximately ninety-five percent (95%) of my practice time in the California Workers’ Compensation system with regular frequency. The other five percent (5%) is split between labor & employment law, wages & hours, personal injury tort law, and disability law.
I am a member of the Orange County Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Section. I am a member of the State Bar of California Workers’ Compensation Section. I am a Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law by the State Bar of California, California Board of Legal Specialization. I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, membership in which is limited to Trial Lawyers who have demonstrated exceptional skill, experience and excellence in Advocacy by achieving a trial verdict, award or settlement in the amount of One Million Dollars or more.
Every case is different, and past results cannot be a guarantee of future performance.
But I guarantee every client that I will do my best.
- J.D., Whittier Law, 2011
- B.A., Lake Forest College, 2004
Jeff Wong joined the firm as an associate in 2017. He is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. In 2008, Mr. Wong attended Whittier Law School where he gained legal experience interning for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and the Honorable Judge Roy Paul. In 2011, Jeff earned his Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School and thereafter in 2012 gained admittance to the State Bar of California, California Court of Appeals, and Central District of California.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Wong worked with other attorneys on employment law matters including wage and hour and unemployment insurance benefits. In addition, in 2017 Jeff earned his certificate in Conflict Resolution and Mediation from the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center.
After joining the Law Office of Joseph E. Richards, Mr. Wong now wishes to use his skill and knowledge to aid those suffering from personal injuries.
- J.D., Whittier Law School, 2011
- B.A., University of California, Irvine, 2003
- State Bar of California, 2012
Areas of Practice
Covered Injuries and Illnesses
California law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation benefits to most employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness. The first step in recovering workers’ compensation benefits is to show that you are an employee, since independent contractors cannot recover workers’ compensation benefits. You must then show that your injury or illness arose out of and occurred in the course and scope of your employment. In many cases, such as when an employee suffers injuries due to a fall or a car accident, it is easy to show that the employee’s harm is work-related. In other cases, however, such as when an employee sustains an illness due to repeated exposure to harmful chemicals, it may be more difficult to prove that workplace conditions caused the impairment. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney in Orange County may engage in discovery to obtain evidence to support the position that your injury or illness is work-related, which may enable you to recover the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled.
Temporary Disability Benefits
If you are unable to work due to a job-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to disability benefits. The amount of benefits that you can recover depends on the nature and duration of your disability. A temporary disability is a disability that an individual can reasonably expect to be cured or improved with treatment. A temporary disability may be partial, meaning that you can perform the duties of your job in a reduced capacity, or total, meaning that you are unable to work. Under California law, if you are dealing with a temporary total disability, you may be entitled to recover disability benefits at a rate of two-thirds of the average weekly wage that you earned before your disability. If you are dealing with a temporary partial disability, you may recover two-thirds of the weekly loss in earnings due to your injury or illness. Temporary disability benefits may be paid for up to 104 weeks. Temporary disability benefits may end if the employee returns to work at full capacity or if the disability is deemed permanent.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If you are found to be permanently disabled, you may recover permanent partial disability benefits with the assistance of an Orange County workers’ compensation attorney. Similar to a temporary disability, a permanent disability may be partial or total. If you are deemed permanently disabled, you may receive a permanent disability rating, based on an evaluation of your injury, the nature of your occupation, and your age. If you have a permanent partial disability, you may be entitled to weekly payments. Your permanent disability rating determines the amount and duration of the payments.
Additional Benefits Recoverable
In addition to disability benefits, if you have suffered a workplace injury or illness, you may be entitled to the cost of any medical treatment, including prescriptions and adaptive devices, and the costs incurred in traveling to and from treatment appointments. If you are permanently disabled, you may be able to recover supplemental job displacement benefits, which are benefits that allow you to obtain skills and training to pursue other employment. If a person dies due to a work-related injury or illness, his or her dependents may be able to recover death benefits.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Orange County or Beyond
The attorneys at the Law Office of Joseph Richards have substantial experience recovering California workers’ compensation benefits and can aggressively pursue benefits rightfully owed. Our offices are located in Orange and Riverside Counties, and we assist employees suffering from work-related injuries and illnesses in Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Irvine, Moreno Valley, Corona, Temecula, El Centro, Long Beach, San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, and San Diego, as well as other areas of Orange, Riverside, Imperial, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. We can be contacted at (844) 562-2667 or through our online form to schedule a consultation.
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