What do I have to do?
Q: I was injured at work; what do I have to do?
A: If you need emergency medical care, seek treatment immediately. Notify your employer about the injury as soon as possible. If you do not inform your employer within 30 days of incurring or noticing the injury, you risk losing your right to workers' compensation benefits. Also, once you receive a Workers' Compensation Claim Form from your employer, submit it to your employer and keep a copy for your records. This form notifies your employer that you are claiming workers' compensation benefits.
Q: What does my employer have to do?
A: California law requires your employer to do several things both before and after injuries occur. Employers in California are required to have an Injury and Illness Prevention Program, which includes safety training and workplace inspections. Additionally, employers must maintain workers' compensation insurance and post an informational poster about workers' compensation where employees can see it.
After an injury has occurred, your employer must:
- Make available any emergency medical treatment, if needed
- Provide you with a Workers' Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) within one working day after you report your injury or illness (or your employer learns about it)
- Return a copy of the completed form to you within 24 hours of you submitting it
- Forward the form, along with the copy of your injury report, to a claims administrator within 24 hours
- Authorize up to $10,000 in appropriate medical treatment within one day of receiving the claim
- Provide transitional work (light duty) when appropriate
- If you are the victim of a crime that was committed at work, the employer must give notice of workers' compensation eligibility
Q: What if my employer ignores my claim for benefits?
A: Your employer cannot simply ignore the fact that you have reported an injury or illness. If you have notified your employer that you suffered an injury, or if you filed the Workers' Compensation Claim Form, and the employer is ignoring you, it is important to seek assistance from experienced workers' compensation attorneys who understand California's laws and are dedicated to protecting your rights to benefits.
Seek Experienced Legal Representation
If you have suffered an injury at the workplace, it is important to hire experienced attorneys. At the Law Offices of John E. Hill, A Professional Corporation, we have four attorneys who focus exclusively on representing injured workers, and two of them are Certified Specialists in Workers' Compensation Law from The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your workers' compensation case, contact us today.