How to Protect Yourself After a Workplace Injury
A work-related injury or illness can result in considerable financial setbacks. You can expect to accrue medical expenses and you may lose income if you need to take time off from work to recover. To protect your right to seek workers’ compensation in San Jose, you’ll need to take immediate action. By retaining the services of a workers’ compensation attorney, you’ll become informed of your legal rights and you’ll have the expert guidance you need to secure compensation for your workplace injury.
Get Medical Attention
If you have a medical emergency, you should call 911 right away or have someone drive you to the nearest emergency room. Even if you think your injury does not qualify as a medical emergency, you should be evaluated by a physician as soon as possible after the incident. If you delay seeking medical attention, the insurer may try to argue that your injury was not sustained while on the job or it was not as serious as you claim. When you arrive at the hospital, be sure to tell the physician, triage nurse, and other providers that you sustained the injury while on the job. Provide the name and contact information of your employer, and have the hospital send your medical bills to your employer.
Report the Injury
Your workers’ compensation attorney can help you file an accident report with your employer. In California, you have 30 days from the date of the incident to file a report. However, it’s best to file the report shortly after you receive medical attention to accelerate the processing of your claim. If you wait until after 30 days, you may forfeit your right to workman’s comp.
File a Claim
Filing a claim promptly after the incident can help protect your right to compensation. This claim form is different from the accident report you filed with your employer. You can get the claim form from your employer or from the website of the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). Make a copy of the completed and signed form before you submit it to your employer, who will then file it with the insurance company. Keep your attorney advised of the status of your claim; he or she can file an appeal if need be.