A workplace injury can set several things in motion. Understanding the steps that need to be taken after an injury may help you prove your workers’ compensation claim or a work injury related case later on. If you are injured on the job, here are the crucial steps you need to know. Review them now, because you never know when an accident may happen:
- Understand your company’s injury policies – While most basic steps are the same from company to company, knowing your company’s approach can help you prepare for the unexpected. You should feel confident that you understand what to do if someone else is injured and that your supervisor or manager knows what to do, too.
- Look over your injuries – Don’t try to move after an accident. Take a moment to assess the damage. If you fall, are struck, or have another accident, you may think you are fine immediately after it happens only to learn later that you have a fractured bone or the injury is the cause of your chronic pain. If you shrug your injury off without filing a report, you could lose your right to workers’ compensation later.
- Seek medical care – If you are seriously injured, your first goal should always be to seek medical assistance. Call for help and leave every other step for later on. Getting medical attention should always be your top priority.
- Assess the scene – If you are conscious, take time to look at the scene, recognize witnesses, and evaluate any circumstances that may have contributed to your accident. If you have your phone with you, snap a few pictures. Photographic evidence is powerful in insurance claims reports and in legal claims.
- Make sure your employer has an incident report – An accident report is the basic building block for every other action you can take. You only have a limited amount of time to file an accident report (typically 30 days), so make sure that the incident is reported as quickly as possible. For ongoing or chronic injuries and illnesses you have just discovered, let your employer know as soon as possible to maintain your ability to pursue workers’ compensation benefits.
- Keep track of ALL related information – Make copies of incident reports, medical reports, and communication between you and your employer, as well as you and any other 3rd By everything, we mean keep the gas receipts associated with your travel to and from treatment centers. You may be able to recoup many of the expenses associated with your injury.
- Filing for workers’ compensation – Your employer should provide you with workers’ compensation information after one week (7 days) out of the office. You will need to fill out and submit the claim form, DWC 1, to start the benefits process. If you have trouble getting coverage on the 8th day you are out of work for your injury, reach out to the claims department or a workers’ compensation attorney to better understand your circumstances and potential courses of action.
Under workers’ compensation insurance in California, you will have access to benefits including coverage for medical expenses, temporary and permanent disability, job displacement supplements, and death benefits. Depending on your injury and circumstances, you should always be able to secure compensation to fairly cover the costs associated with your injury or illness.
If you have trouble processing your workers’ compensation claim or your employer has not provided the requisite forms or information, you may need to take legal action to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve. Our attorneys at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo are here to help. Contact us to learn more about work injury law and workers’ compensation in California.