Hundreds of thousands of workers are injured in the line of duty every year. While a good number of these cases are deserving of workers’ compensation benefits, not all affected workers get to enjoy them.
Victims are often unaware of what they need to do to claim workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace accident. Others are intimidated by the claims process. As a result, many lose out on benefits they are otherwise entitled to. Here is what you should know if you suffer a workplace accident in California.
1. Inform your employer immediately
Notify your employer of your workplace accident or occupational illness as soon as possible. While you have 30 days to do so, it is advisable not to wait for so long since it could cause unnecessary issues or delays. There is some paperwork involved once you inform your employer, and it formally kicks off the entire process.
2. Your doctor must be approved
Selecting your doctor is one of the things you have to get right in a California workers’ compensation claim. If you get it wrong, your employer is not obligated to meet the medical bills.
If you require medical care, you should see a healthcare provider approved by your employer. Should you go to your personal doctor who is not pre-designated with the employer, you may have to pay for the costs out-of-pocket. (However, emergency medical care does not require any pre-approval.)
3. Most workers are covered
It does not matter if you are a temporary or part-time employee or an immigrant without the proper documentation. You still can enjoy the benefits available to injured workers. You are still entitled to file workers’ compensation benefits if you suffer a workplace accident.
Learning more about your workers’ rights and understanding workers’ compensation laws will help protect your interests following a workplace accident. It will also ensure you efficiently deal with unexpected outcomes, such as a denied claim or insufficient benefits.