What To Do After a Workers’ Compensation Injury
If you have experienced a workplace injury, you are likely wondering what you need to do to keep your workers’ compensation claim on track. Getting injured on the job is stressful enough, and having to navigate a complicated legal system on top of that can be a lot to handle. As an injured employee, you should be able to focus on your recovery rather than on the complications of workers’ compensation. Luckily, the Law Offices of Bo Katzakian can help you through the steps following a workers’ comp injury.
1. Get Proper Medical Treatment
Getting treatment for your injury or illness needs to be your top priority. Different types of work-related injuries require different types of treatment. If your injury was an emergency, then you were likely transported to the nearest emergency room or directed there by your employer.
If your injury was not an emergency, or if it was the result of accumulated exposure, then you should determine with your employer which provider to visit. Your employer may have a specific medical provider, or you may have predesignated (put in writing) your primary care physician.
2. Notify Your Employer
As soon as possible, injured workers need to notify their employers of the injury. In California, you need to notify your employer within 30 days of the injury. Ideally, you should tell your immediate supervisor immediately so you can begin the claims process.
Workers’ compensation can include injuries outside of the worksite. For example, if you were in an accident driving for your employer, or if you were doing work off-site. In these cases, you should still call your employer and let them know about your injury.
3. File Your Claim
Once you notify your employer that you suffered a work-related injury, they will give you a DWC-1 form. This is the workers’ comp claim form and is the first step to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer needs to provide this to you within one working day of the workplace injury.
When you fill out his form, be as detailed and as exact as possible. Describe all symptoms of your injury, and describe precisely how it affects your ability to work. Filling out this form, and doing it by the deadline, is essential. This is one area where a qualified workers’ compensation attorney can help you.
4. Gather Evidence
Once you file a DWC-1 Claim form, a claims administrator will begin evaluating your case. Under California’s workers’ compensation act, they need to get back to you in a timely manner. However, while you wait, it is best to start preparing for any possible setbacks.
Keep track of any medical records, and make sure these are accessible and organized. You may also want to create written documentation of any conversations related to your workers’ compensation claim that you have with your employer or medical provider. Be sure to document any dates related to your claim as well.
5. Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Navigating a workers’ comp claim can be complicated. In order to get the best possible compensation for your medical expenses and for lost wages, you should contact a workers’ compensation attorney immediately. Your lawyer will work with you through the entire workers’ compensation process.
An attorney can also ensure that you do not miss any deadlines for filing or following up on claims. These many dates are difficult to keep track of on your own, so an experienced lawyer is an absolute necessity.
At the Law Offices of Bo Katzakian, we understand that your top priority needs to be your recovery. You shouldn’t have to stress about whether or not you and your family will get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. Call us today at 916.256.4645 for more information, and see how we can help you get the best possible benefits.