Workers’ Comp: I’ve Been Hurt, What Do I Do Now?
The aftermath of a workplace accident can be a painful, stressful, and confusing time for a person injured on the job and their family. In addition to getting treatment for your injuries, you may be worried about how they will impact your ability to earn a living.
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed as a safety net for employees injured at work in California. Although these benefits (medical and missed wages) are supposed to be widely available for workers across the state, there are specific steps that you should take to simplify the process of obtaining benefits and get the full compensation available.
Report the Injury to Your Employer in California
In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you have to notify your employer that you were injured on the job.
California law requires injured workers to report the injury to their employers within 30 days. Workers who miss this deadline risk losing their right to benefits.
It is important that your employer is notified immediately. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you can start receiving benefits.
Seek Medical Attention
In emergencies, the first thing you should do is call 911 and seek immediate attention for your injuries.
In all other situations, you should request medical treatment after informing your employer of the injury.
Injured workers typically must be treated by a medical provider who your employer has approved. However, you can find your own doctor if your employer does not give you a list of approved providers or if an appropriate doctor is not available from the list.
Call a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in California
The California workers’ compensation system was intended to make it easy for injured employees to get benefits. But, unfortunately, obtaining benefits can sometimes be difficult because employers and their insurers resist paying out claims.
That is why it is essential to discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. A lawyer will help you understand your rights and options, ensure that you have completed all of the requirements for obtaining benefits, and fight any efforts to deny you are getting the compensation you deserve.
File a Claim
In addition to verbally notifying your employer of the injury, ensure that a DWC-1 form is filed to document the claim.
The form is available in English and Spanish. A workers’ compensation attorney from Carrasco Law Group can help you complete it.
Follow Work Restrictions and Attend Medical Appointments
It is vital you do not return to work until the doctor lifts any work restrictions. Going back early not only puts you in jeopardy of re-injury, but it may also risk your eligibility for further benefits.
It is also essential to attend all medical appointments to ensure that you take the proper steps to treat your injury.
Talk With an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in California Today
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job in California, Carrasco Law Group can help you seek workers’ compensation benefits.
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