Steps to Filing a Workers' Comp Claim in CA
After being exposed to dangerous conditions at work, a serious workplace injury can happen to anyone. Even the most careful of employees can be subjected to someone else’s negligence or failure to follow accepted protocols. After any injury that occurs on the job in California, a workers’ compensation claim should be filed. But do you know how that is done, or even where to begin? Have no shame if you don’t know the answer, as you’re in the same boat as just about every other employee in the state.
After an injury at work, you should:
- Make it known: Do not hesitate to tell your employer or immediate supervisor of your injuries. Remember that there are laws in place to protect you from retaliation for reporting accidents, even if it is deemed entirely your fault.
- Receive treatment: You should seek medical attention as soon as you can after being hurt, especially and clearly if your injuries are severe. In an emergency situation, you can go to any medical treatment facility for any sort of procedure and the employer must cover the payments.
- Collect evidence: See if anyone got pictures of the accident, before, during, and after. Is anyone willing to provide a written statement? The more evidence you have to use to your advantage, the better your chances of securing proper compensation.
- Get the right forms: Telling your boss you got hurt and then going to the hospital is not considered filing a workers’ compensation claim in California. You actually need to acquire the proper forms, usually from an HR representative, fill them out accordingly, and turn them back in. Key forms you should gather include DWC-1, Application for Adjudication of Claim, Declaration Pursuant to Labor Code 4906(g), and a cover sheet.
- Expect a response: Insurance companies only have 14 days to acknowledge and respond to your workers’ compensation claim. They can either deny it, begin temporary disability payments, or continue investigations. If they choose to conduct an investigation, they have 90 days to do so but must authorize payment for current treatments, up to $10,000.
Don’t Go Against Insurance Companies Alone
There is one step in this process that isn’t mandatory but is highly recommended by multiple sources: retaining a professional California workers’ compensation attorney. Laws can be convoluted, insurance companies can be fickle, and the entire process is sure to be stressful. With your health and financial stability hanging in the balance, you can’t afford to take chances by going up against insurance providers and your employer on your own.
Contact our Orange County workers’ comp lawyers from Alvandi Law Group today. We have focused the entirety of our practice on workers’ compensation claims and have successfully recovered more than $100 million for our clients in the past. We are confident that nothing about your case will catch us off-guard, and we can do everything in our power to provide you with strong, honest representation. Dial (800) 980-6905 for more information.