Is Your Injury Work Related? This Is How You Get Compensation
According to Californian law, you can adequately get compensated for any work-related injuries, even if they aggravate over time. However, it can be a lengthy and confusing process – this guide is an easy introduction to what a typical process looks like. Don’t worry, you can always hire a lawyer to help you with the process. Finding a good San Diego workers compensation law firm can save you a lot of hassle!
- What does my employer owe me?
Before we get into that, it is essential to know what constitutes a workplace injury. Even though your employer might be doing everything to guarantee a safe working place, injuries can happen. A pre-existing health condition can also be aggravated on the job and comes under the law. As a result, your employer will cover not only your missed wages but also any and all medical expenses.
- Immediate protocol after the injury
Sadly, you won’t be able to avail the rights guaranteed under the law unless you follow the procedure and take measures to counter any loopholes. For that, it is integral to report the work injury as soon as possible. Immediately get the medical care you need, and communicate the work-related nature of the injury to your doctor. Report the injury to your supervisor, too, even if you think that it might not be that severe. This way, even if the work injury aggravates overnight or in a few days, the employer can’t outright deny it.
According to Californian law, the worker must submit a written notice of the injury to the supervisor within 30 days. In case it aggravated over time, you should submit the written information within 30 days of noticing it. As a handy side note, you should note down the event’s details such as the date, witnesses, place for personal use. Our memories can be unreliable, and its best to be prepared for every scenario.
- How to file the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form
This is where it gets a bit tricky, and having a lawyer can significantly ease out the process. You also need to file a DWC-1 claim form. You can find the form online easily. You only need to fill in the employee section of the form and forward it to your supervisor, who will send it to their insurance company. Sign and date the form, and keep a copy for your record. Your employer is required to give you a copy of the completed form. If they don’t, ask for it! The insurance company is obligated to update you about the status of your claim, i.e., whether it falls under a work-related injury and the range of damages being covered by them, within two weeks. If they don’t, you can always call them to ask about it.
The last significant bit is that you need to file an Application for Adjudication of Claim, a Declaration Pursuant to Labor Code 4906(g), and a document cover sheet for the package of forms you’re submitting to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB). Remember, if your claim isn’t accepted, you can always file for an appeal.
This is a short and comprehensive guide to securing your compensation after a work injury. There can be some complications in the process, and a good lawyer can smoothen it out for you.