Steps to Document Your Work Injury
If you are injured on the job in California, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. To qualify for benefits, however, you must make sure to jump through all the appropriate legal hoops. Employers and insurance providers often look for reasons to deny or limit payment on claims to protect their bottom line. Below we discuss the steps you should take to document your workplace injury to ensure that you secure your workers’ comp benefits and preserve any other legal claims you may have. For additional questions or help filing a workers’ comp claim, call a dedicated and effective Orange County workers’ compensation attorney.
Report the Accident to Your Employer
As soon as possible after a workplace injury, you should report the incident to your employer. If you suffered a serious, critical injury, your first step should be to get emergency medical attention. Let your employer know as soon as possible after getting emergency treatment. If your injury is any less severe, report the incident to a supervisor as soon as you can. Often, if an injury occurs at the workplace, you can simply alert a supervisor before leaving to get medical attention.
In California, you have 30 days after the incident to report your injury to your employer. If you wait longer than 30 days, your claim could be denied.
See a Doctor & Tell Them It’s a Work Injury
See a physician as soon after your accident as you are able. You should leave work to see the doctor. Your employer may have a designated list of in-network physicians or may have advised all employees of the physician medical care network for workplace injuries. If so, ask your supervisor for the network or list of physicians, and choose your doctor from that list.
If you predesignated your own physician to your employer, then you can see your own doctor. Regardless of whether you go to a physician suggested by your employer or your own pre-designated physician, it is vital that you tell them that your injury was work-related. That way, your physician will bill your employer or the workers’ comp insurance provider. You should never receive a bill personally for treatment of a work-related injury.
It is also important to explain all of your symptoms to your doctor, as well as the nature of the accident. The more thorough you are explaining your symptoms, the more likely they are to identify all of the injuries that resulted from your workplace injury.
Gather Your Evidence
Building your claim starts right after your injury. Collect all documentation relating to your injury. Medical records from before and after your injury, the results of an independent medical examination, statements from witnesses (in writing), employment records, and medical bill receipts are all extremely helpful in documenting your workplace injury. Continue collecting documents even after you file your initial claim form–there is a good chance that you will need to provide additional evidence down the line. Keep copies of all of your documents for your records and to share with your workers’ comp attorney.
Submit a Claim form
Your employer is required to give you a claim form within a day of you reporting your injury. Fill out your designated part of the form and send it back to the employer as soon as you can. Discuss your injury and your claim form with a seasoned California workers’ compensation attorney for assistance in filling out your claim form thoroughly and in a manner geared toward maximizing your benefits.
COMPASSIONATE ADVICE AND REPRESENTATION FROM THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEYS AT INVICTUS LAW
If you have a claim for workers’ compensation and want to ensure you get the maximum coverage available, call Invictus Law today at 949-287-5711, and speak with a seasoned California workers’ compensation attorney to evaluate your claims.