Workplace Injury & Safety Advice
Every job site has its own set of occupational hazards. Whether you work in construction, manufacturing, healthcare, or sit behind a desk all day, your employer is legally required to provide a safe and healthy work environment. However, accidents happen, and an employee can become injured on the job or aggravate a pre-existing condition in an instant. Dangerous tools, slippery surfaces, elevated platforms, and exposed wiring all pose a risk to your safety.
If you suffer an injury on the job, your rights are protected under workers’ compensation law. In California, this means your employer is required to pay workers’ compensation benefits that will cover your missed wages and any medical bills incurred as a result of your injury. That is, as long as you report your injury and file the proper claim forms on time. A workers’ compensation attorney can walk you through this complex legal process and help you avoid common pitfalls to ensure you get the benefits you deserve.
What do I do after an injury in the workplace?
The hours and days following your workplace accident are critical. First and foremost, seek the medical care you need. Be sure to tell any healthcare provider who treats you that your injury is job-related. After seeing a doctor, it’s important to report your injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. Even if you don’t require immediate medical help, it’s a good idea to report your accident. This way, if you wake up with soreness or stiffness a week later, your employer can’t deny your injury happened at work.
In California, an injured worker is required to provide his or her employer written notice of an incident within 30 days. For an injury or illness that worsens over time, such as carpal tunnel, you must report it to your employer within 30 days of noticing the aggravation is work-related. Be sure to write down any important details of the accident you can remember, including the date, time, and witnesses. Save this information in a safe place in case you need it as evidence to support your case.
File a workers’ compensation claim form
In addition to reporting your injury to your supervisor, you also have to file a DWC-1 claim form. This form is required to officially file for workers’ compensation and become eligible to collect benefits. After filling out the “employee” section of the DWC-1, you’ll hand it into your supervisor who will forward it onto its workers’ compensation insurance company. To complete your claim, you will also 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). If you need help filling out any of these claim forms, a workers’ compensation attorney can help.
What happens after I file my workers’ compensation claim?
As you await a response from the workers’ compensation insurance company, it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and shift your focus to recovery. The insurance company is required to respond to your claim within 14 days, after which you’ll either begin to receive temporary disability payments or a letter denying your claim. If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal. This is another instance where a workers’ compensation lawyer becomes invaluable.
Have you been injured on the job? Contact Gerald D. Brody & Associates in San Diego
If you’ve been injured on the job and aren’t sure where to turn, we can help. At the Law Office of Gerald D. Brody & Associates, we have more than 45 years of collective experience helping injured employee's file for workers’ compensation and collect the benefits they need to recover. The road to justice for your injury can be a long and complicated one, but the process becomes much more manageable when you have someone by your side every step of the way. Give us a call at (619) 528-9800.