If you have been hurt or injured on the job in the state of California, you must file a workers’ compensation claim to receive key benefits like the following:
- Compensation for missed wages
- Funds for medical treatment
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
To receive these important benefits, there are certain steps and procedures that you must follow to successfully file a claim and receive your workers’ compensation benefits.
Let Your Employer Know That You Are Hurt
California law says that injured workers must report a job-related injury to an employer within 30 days. This notice must be made in writing, which is a key detail in the process. Of course, be sure to take care of any immediate injuries and receive continued treatment as needed, but do be aware that time is of the essence for all California workers’ compensation claims.
The timeline for when the 30-day period begins to count down differs depending on the type of workplace injury you suffered. For one-time injuries like a fall, the 30 days begin on the day that the accident took place. By contrast, injuries such as poisoning or similar injuries that develop over time have 30 days to report only after:
- The worker first suffered the disability, thereby losing time for work or needing to get treatment, and
- When the worker either knew or should have known that the disability was related to work
Regardless, failing to report the injuries in writing could mean that you lose your legal right to receive benefits. As such, the first and most important step you can take after an injury is to report the injury quickly and in writing.
Filing the Claim
Once you notify an employer of the injury you suffered, the employer should provide you with a California workers’ comp form. This is because California law requires that employers provide this form within a business day of the time you provided injury notice to the employer.
You are required to fill out the “Employee” part of the form, at which point you will return it to your employer. From there, the employer has one business day to complete the rest of the form before sending it to the insurance company.
Keep a copy of the “Employee” portion you filled out, and keep the copy of the completed form that is given to you by the employer for good record-keeping practices.
The form must be completed extremely carefully, making sure all aspects of the injury are properly addressed, which include:
- Your name and address
- The time and date of the injury
- Where and how the injury occurred, being as descriptive as possible
- The injuries you suffered and where on the body those injuries were suffered
- A legally valid signature
Once the form is properly filled out and submitted by the employer, you then wait to hear back from the insurance company and employer. However, this process is complex, and claims are often denied for a wide array of reasons.
To avoid making any legal mistakes that can harm your claim or for help after a claim is denied, talk to an Orange County workers’ comp attorney who will protect your legal rights.
Talk to The Ledger Law Firm for Assistance When Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim
Our experienced team at The Ledger Law Firm is here to help you get the results and benefits you deserve. We represent injured workers throughout Orange County, including Los Angeles and Riverside.
Contact us online for a free consultation to discuss your Orange County workers’ compensation claim today.
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