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What Is the Best Way to Report a Work Injury?

Worker filling out a DWC-1 form

It’s not uncommon for California workers to be unfamiliar with how the Workers’ Compensation system works. Facing a workplace injury leads to many questions and doubts; What to do first? What is the best way of dealing with it? What’s next? 

Although it can get complicated, knowing the basic steps and procedures can help you feel more confident. What should you do first when you suffer a workplace injury?  

In this article, you will learn the first steps to reporting an injury as well as the benefits you can get from doing so. 


1. How to report an injury at work 

2. The importance of filling out the form DWC-1 Form 

3. The benefits you get from your work injury report 

1. How to Report an Injury at Work 

Basically, the best way to report your on-the-job injury is to fill out a DWC-1 claim form. This document is the official state form, and its purpose is to start a Workers’ Compensation case.   

When you suffer a work injury and inform your employer about the accident, they must provide you with a copy of the DWC-1 claim form, this is required by law in California. Make sure to take notes on as many details as possible and if there were any witnesses, keep them in contact. 

Due to the nature of some injuries, the employer may have to fill this form out on your behalf. If this form is not provided for you right away, you can download a copy of it online, just click here

2. The importance of filling out the form DWC-1 Form 

You can find lots of good reasons to report your workplace injury. But the one that should stand out the most is the benefits you get from reporting your injury. The wisest thing to do is to secure your stability, and well-being, and to make sure you take the right path following your injury.  

For example, if you have an accident while on duty and you report the injuries, you are then entitled to free medical care. If you don’t, you could be the one paying your medical bills out of pocket. Honestly, there’s really no reason for you to pay for your treatment. Employers in California must obtain workers’ comp insurance for the company and the insurance is the one that pays for any medical treatment and benefits. 

3. The benefits you get from reporting your work injury 

Besides the medical care payment being covered, there are other benefits you can get after reporting your injury. For example, you’re also entitled to lost wages in the form of temporary disability, which is generally two-thirds of your average weekly pay. That is another great reason to fill out the form.   

If you reach a medical plateau stage, meaning there is nothing else doctors can do to help your injury, you can also be entitled to permanent disability. This benefit compensates you for the functional limitations you will have, which can’t be improved through medical care.   

There’s also a chance that you won’t be able to get back to your everyday work. In other words, you will be displaced because of the new work restrictions due to the injury. If that is the case, you will be entitled to a particular benefit called the supplemental job displacement voucher.   

This voucher is a payment that helps you recover or rehabilitate into the workforce. Of course, this rehabilitation depends on the work restrictions you have after your injury. 


In summary, there are only good reasons to fill out the DWC-1 form, and it’s as easy as asking for it from your employer, the insurance carrier, or clicking here. Besides, the benefits you can get from reporting the injury are totally worth it, as it will assure you of medical care and other benefits to suit your needs.  

Whether it is easy to fill out the form and successfully report your injury or you encounter obstacles or troubles, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney representing you and your best interests.   

Do you need help with reporting your injury or filing a claim? Talk to us for free at 800-606-6999 or make an appointment here.     

Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers in Northern California's Premier Workers' Compensation Law Firm. Representing First Responders, Health Care Workers, Construction Workers, Delivery Workers, Warehouse Workers, and all the hard-working people that keep our community moving in their Fight for Justice against the Insurance Companies.  

With over 250+ Five Star Reviews; an incredible staff of caring, well-trained, advanced technology for superior client communication: a track record of an over 98%-win rate and giving back to our community through the Pacific Workers' Foundation, it is easy to see why Pacific Workers' is the go-to law firm for all injured workers in Northern California. Offices in Oakland, Concord, Stockton, Tracy, San Jose, and Sacramento.  

If you or a loved one need help or just have a question, give us a call at 800-606-6999. 

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