Even the strictest safety standards cannot stop Murphy’s Law, which is the timeless phrase, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
If you suffered a work-related injury, you have the right in California to apply for workers’ compensation. Every employer in the Golden State must purchase workers’ comp insurance to cover the cost of diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating workplace injuries.
Now that you have learned about your workers’ compensation rights, let’s review the five steps to take after a workplace injury.
Inform Your Employer
The California legal system wants injured workers to notify their employers about an injury as soon as possible after a work-related incident. Workers that suffer serious injuries should seek emergency medical care. For all other work-related injuries, employees should contact the human resources manager to initiate the workers’ compensation process.
California gives workers 30 days to inform their employers about an incident that caused one or more injuries. However, we recommend that our clients report a work-related injury immediately after the incident that caused the injury. Most workers’ comp claims that are filed after 30 days typically do not receive approval.
Seek Medical Attention
Workers that need emergency medical care visit the nearest emergency room for treatment. For injuries that are not deemed serious or life-threatening, your employer lets you know where you should go to receive medical treatment. California law requires employers to post a notice that explains the process of seeking medical treatment. If you do not see the notice hanging in a high-traffic area of your workplace, ask your supervisor about the company’s Medica Care Network. You might be able to visit with your physician, but only if you predesignate the physician as the doctor you want to visit for medical procedures.
File a Claim Form with the State of California
Your employer has 24 hours to give you a California DWC-1 claim form to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. Return the form to your employer on the same day that you complete it. Your employer then submits the completed DWC-1 claim form to its insurance company, which assigns a claims administrator to handle your case. If your employer refuses to give you the DWC-1 claim form, contact our law office for legal assistance.
Closely Follow Medical Recommendations
Some employers apply pressure on employees to return to work before an injury or injuries fully heal. You might have to deal with your employer asking you to perform certain job tasks that go against your doctor’s recommendations. For example, if your physician has cleared you to work with a restriction of lifting no more than 25 pounds, do not let your employer force you to lift anything that weighs more than 25 pounds.
If your employer threatens you with termination or disciplinary action, speak to one of the workers’ compensation attorneys at PLBSH Law Firm.
Work with a California-Licensed Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Going through the California workers’ compensation process can produce plenty of stress and frustration. From filing an inaccurate DWC-1 claim form to having to deal with an uncooperative employer, you might feel like you are overwhelmed with obstacles. By working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, you receive helpful legal advice during every step of the workers’ compensation process.
Get the legal help you deserve by submitting the online Contact form or by calling the PLBSH Law Firm at (800) 435-7542.