Injured at Work? 5 Steps to Take Next
Each year, thousands of employees are injured while at work. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of these individuals recover the compensation they deserve simply because they don’t know what steps to take. If you are experiencing pain caused by an on-the-job injury, the time to take action is right now.
California has a complex workers’ compensation system. Injured workers must follow certain steps to ensure both the protection of their rights and a favorable outcome, but how do you know where to begin? Keep reading for five of the most crucial things to do after sustaining an injury at work.
Report the injury to your employer.
Saying nothing and hoping that your employer will catch word of your injury is the worst thing you can do. Speak up immediately! It can feel uncomfortable, but your employer is responsible for your safety while at work. Report the injury as soon as it happens or your employer may be able to avoid liability. A failure to report your injury within 65 days can result in a complete loss of workers’ comp benefits.
Obtain medical care.
Not only is it important to see a doctor for your own well-being, doing so can also strengthen your claim when it comes time to file. Submitting proof that you actually saw a doctor and were treated for your injury is one of the best ways to validate your need for workers’ compensation.
File a workers’ comp claim.
Filing a claim is the only way you can be compensated for your injury. After completing the “employee” section of the form, immediately send it to your employer. Your benefits are at risk if you do not send the form to your employer. Keep a signed and dated copy of the claim form for your personal records, as this can prevent legal complications.
Keep in touch with the insurance company.
If you have an attorney, this is something they will do on your behalf. Insurance companies typically have 14 days once they receive your claim to mail you a letter informing you of the status of your claim. Don’t receive your letter? Call right away. Being proactive is crucial for a successful outcome.
Determine your response.
This final step depends on whether you are satisfied with the outcome of your claim. If it was accepted, you will be informed of the benefits you can obtain. If it was denied, or you have other concerns, your attorney can help you move forward with the appeals process.
Don’t wait to begin this necessary process after an on-the-job injury. Contact our Oakland workers’ compensation attorneys immediately for dedicated legal representation!