Follow these important steps to ensure you receive the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve
Every employer in Los Angeles and the state of California is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you’ve been hurt on the job and are wondering what to do after suffering a work injury, there are important steps you need to take in order to protect yourself financially.
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is designed to pay benefits to employees whether they were hurt in the course of a single accident or by repeated instances of physical stress. If you suffered an injury at work, your employer may have to pay for your medical expenses, including doctors visits, testing, and reasonable travel expense related to medical treatment.
Depending on your circumstances, your employer may have to pay you part of your income for short or long-term disability if you are unable to return to work. Should your injury leave you unable to return to your job, you may qualify for vouchers to pay for training to help find other work. In tragic circumstances where an employee dies from an injury suffered on the job, his or her family may be eligible for payments.
Important steps to take after being injured on the job
California has a strict procedure in place to administer workers’ compensation claims. These laws are complicated and any deviation may result in having your claim denied. If you were hurt on the job and need legal representation to handle your Los Angeles workers’ compensation claim, contact an attorney for a consultation.
First, immediately report your work injury to your supervisor or manager as soon as you can. If the injury was caused by repeated exposure over the course of time, report the condition as soon as you think it was caused by working. Under California law, your workers’ compensation claim may be denied if your employer does not receive notice of your injury within 30 days.
Next, fill out a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) and return it to your employer. Your employer should send you this form within one day of learning about your injury. Be sure to accurately describe your accident and all injuries you sustained. After filling out your Workers’ Compensation Claim Form, file it with your employer to begin the claims review process. Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney can help you with this important step.
Lastly, seek medical attention. Having your injuries examined and documented by a physician is crucial to receiving all the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Your doctor will determine if you need specialist care, when you can return to work, and what type of workload you can handle while you recover.
What happens after I file my workers’ compensation claim?
Once you fill out the necessary paperwork and have your injuries examined by a physician, an insurance claims adjuster. The claims adjuster will determine whether or not your injury is covered by workers’ compensation. The adjuster must make a decision in a reasonable amount of time about your claim.
Even if your injury was sustained on the job and should be covered by workers’ compensation, your claim may still be denied for one reason or another. Issues with paperwork are one thing, but your employer and their insurance company may try to skirt responsibility for your injury altogether. Retaining a qualified Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney can help you get your benefits if your claim was denied.