Step You Need To Take After Being Injured At Work
If you just had an injury or sickness related to your job, we’re here to let you know there are systems in place to protect you from costs relating to it.
You don’t have to fear to have to pay for your medical costs.
You don’t have to fear of losing the opportunity to earn from being absent from work while you’re recuperating.
You don’t have to fear of losing your job at all because of your work-related injury or sickness.
That’s because there’s such a thing as the Workers’ Compensation System here in California that ensures you get the protection you need while doing your job.
Workers' Compensation System
According to this workers’ compensation guide, the Workers’ Compensation System is a result of the Workers' Compensation Act enabling any employee to file a claim to cover for any medical costs from a job-related injury and any other costs that may come as a result of it.
Think of a car factory worker getting a neck joint inflammation from the strain of looking up under the chassis.
Think of a roofing installer who falls and breaks his leg.
The Work Comp system protects them from having to shell out their medical costs which include emergency transfer and care, physician’s consultation fee, medication administered, scans made, prescriptions, acupuncture, use of medical equipment like ultrasound or MRI, any other prescriptions and even hospital stay.
It actually also includes acupuncture and twenty-four sessions with a physical therapist, chiropractic or occupational therapist.
And if death occurs to a worker, the Work Comp provides for the funeral, burial costs and more.
On both situations of incapacity either from injury or death, the Workers’ Compensation claim also takes care of a portion of the worker’s monthly wage to be given to the worker in his absence from work or to his next of kin in case of his death.
Immediate Steps You Need To Take
Action 1: Get Medical Help First
When you are injured from any work-related accident or cause, take care of your medical emergency first. If your injury is serious, seek emergency transfer with an ambulance or just get yourself to the emergency center if you can. Any delay can result in getting less from the Workers’ Compensation Claim.
Action 2: Inform Employer of Your Injury
When you’re then able to, inform your employer of your work-related accident as soon as possible. By law, you have thirty days from the time you were injured to report your injury to your employer. That’s the same when you get sick because of the nature of your job. You have to inform somebody from your employment, normally it's your supervisor.
If death occurs to an employee, the next of kin has the right to file for a claim taking care of the deceased worker’s funeral, burial and financial compensation from a percent of the worker’s monthly wage.
Action 3: File A Formal Workers’ Compensation Claim
The employer should provide the worker the form DWC-1 or download it from the Department of Industrial Relations website for free.
Once the form has been completed, it must be submitted to the employer who will file the claim to the company’s workers’ compensation insurance.
Action 4: Document & Copy Any Claims Filed & Communications Made
It’s advisable to document and file all claims and communications as records such as the DWC-1 for any possible questions in the process of claiming.
Write notes of any conversations along with dates, times and names of any witnesses to your accident. This will be important to corroborate your claims you’ve made for the Worker’s Compensation.
Action 5: Seek Help From Experienced Worker’s Compensation Attorney
A Workers’ Compensation Attorney maximizes your compensation package you’re supposed to get from the Workers’ Compensation Claim.
The difficulty of doing this is that companies and their insurance generally want to limit the cost that has to come out of the claim. They will do what they can to pay only what’s required which limit what you’re supposed to get.
An experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney keeps that from happening. Using his many years of experience in this area of expertise, the attorney handles your claim and negotiates on your behalf with the company’s insurance and, if need be, speaks for you in the court of law.
They are most helpful with pre-existing conditions, extending benefits period, working with other government benefits and any dispute with your permanent disability rating.
Attorneys are paid only when you get your claim.