After You Get Hurt on the Job

If you’ve been hurt on the job, whether through an accident, exposure to toxic chemicals, or repetitive motion injury, you may be unsure about what to do next. How do you make sure that you receive proper compensation? In California, workplace injuries are covered under the workers’ compensation system. Employers are required to pay into this system, which is similar to an insurance program. If an employee is injured while working, workers’ comp may offer benefits, including medical treatment and payments to make up for lost wages. However, you should be aware that workers’ compensation benefits don’t include compensation for pain and suffering or punitive damages.

A skilled El Monte workers’ compensation lawyer can assess your case to determine if you have a valid claim. If you do, they can help ensure that your case is filed correctly and within the deadline.

Immediately After the Injury

After a workplace injury, the first step you should take is to report it to your employer. Notify your supervisor about your injury or illness as soon as possible. If your injury or illness developed slowly, report it as soon as you suspect or confirm your employment caused it. Prompt reporting helps expedite your benefits, especially medical care, and ensures you won’t miss any crucial deadlines. In fact, if you don’t report your injury within 30 days, you might give up your right to receive workers’ comp benefits.

If it’s an emergency, call 911 or go to the closest emergency room immediately. Suppose your worker’s comp claim is approved. In that case, your employer must pay for necessary emergency medical care, even if an approved provider doesn’t treat you for that care. Make sure you inform the medical staff that your injury or illness is work-related. If your condition allows you to, reach out to your employer for further instructions. If you don’t need emergency medical treatment, make sure you get first aid and get a medical exam, so you know you are okay.

What’s Next?

Your employer must provide you with a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form within one working day of you reporting your injury or illness, or your employer becomes aware of it. You will need this form to request workers’ comp benefits. It’s imperative that you read all of the information that comes with the claim form. Fill it out entirely and sign the “employee” part of the form. Be sure to describe the full extent of your injury, including every part of your body affected. File the claim by turning it into your employer. By doing it correctly the first time, you can avoid any possible problems with your claim form. If you decide to mail the form to your employer, it’s a good idea to send it bycertified mail and buy a return receipt. This way, you can prove that it was sent.

Once they receive it, your employer is required to complete and sign the employer part of the form and give it to the claims administrator. They are the ones that manage workers’ compensation claims for your employer. In addition to your emergency care, the claims administrator is required to authorize care of up to $10,000 while your claim is under review.

Your employer is required to give or mail you a copy of the completed form within one working day after you file it. Retain this copy for your own records. Next, the claims administrator must decide within a reasonable time, usually 90 days, whether to accept or deny your claim.

It’s common to have questions or concerns about the workers’ comp process. If you need help with your claim or aren’t sure what to do next, it’s best to enlist the help of an experienced workers’ compensation claims attorney.