What To Do After You’ve Been Injured At Work
Though safety laws have helped reduce the rate of injury at work, accidents still happen. When they do, workers need to know what steps they should take to ensure their injury is properly documented and treated.
- Seek emergency medical treatment
If the injury is life-threatening, workers should seek emergency medical care. Let hospital staff know the injury or illness is job-related and when you’re in a stable condition, contact your employer for further instructions.
- Report the injury or illness to the employer by filing a claim form
It’s important to file a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation company as soon as possible to ensure your injury or illness is covered. Request a claim form from your supervisor and fill out the “employee” section of the form. Sign and date the form, submit it to your employer, and keep a copy for your records.
The employer will then complete the “employer” section and forward the completed form to their workers’ compensation insurance company. They should also give you a copy of the completed form for your records. The insurance company then has 14 days to mail a letter providing the status of the claim.
- Check the status of your claim
If the claim was denied, workers have the right to challenge the decision. But it’s important to file a dispute as soon as possible. Hiring a workers’ compensation attorney could help increase the odds of a successful claim. In California, workers must file an Application for Adjudication of Claim at the DWC office in the county where they live or the county in which they were injured.
Once the form has been filed, the DWC will send a notice confirming the form has been filed and provide a case number.
- Attend all medical appointments
While the claim is being processed, workers need to attend all medical appointments. Missing an appointment could give the insurance company a reason to deny the claim and withhold benefits.
- Hire a workers’ compensation attorney if your claim was denied
Certain factors make it difficult for injured workers to secure benefits. In these cases, they may need the expertise of a workers’ compensation attorney.
If you’ve been injured on the job, contact Thoms F. Martin, PLC, the best workers’ compensation attorney in Orange County, for legal representation.