Accidents happen at work. Thankfully, the state of California presents no-fault workers’ compensation statutes to protect individuals who are injured on the job. “No-fault” means workers have no obligation to prove negligence when seeking a workers’ comp claim. Removing such a burden takes away hurdles, but do not assume that the process comes without deliberate steps. Anyone injured at work may benefit from taking specific actions immediately after the incident.
Vital steps after an accident occurs
A slip-and-fall accident, a tool-related injury, fire or car crash could lead to on-the-job injuries. Some might be severe, and others may only require a short recuperation time. Regardless, anyone unable to work needs to act properly. Otherwise, an employee might undermine a legitimate workers’ compensation claim.
Right after the accident occurs, it’s important to report the incident to a supervisor. Of course, if medical attention is necessary, safety comes first. However, there should be no unnecessary delays when reporting the incident. A supervisor or another company representative should log the incident, and the record becomes vital when filing for a workers’ comp claim. Waiting too long could ruin the claim.
An employer must provide the injured employee with Workers’ Compensation Claim Form DWC 1 within one business day of the injury or when the employer learns about it. Employees may also find themselves dealing with a claims administrator, which could add stress to the situation.
There’s also the matter of medical care. An injured employee must undergo medical treatment from a doctor who is approved under California’s workers’ compensation regulations.
Working with an attorney
The claims process may prove overwhelming, which is why hiring an attorney might prove wise. An attorney may assist with completing the form and dealing with the insurance adjuster. Experience is beneficial when performing both these tasks.
In the event of a denial, the attorney might take steps to file an appeal. An initial denial may not mean the end of the claim, but workers may have a better chance if they’re represented by a legal professional.
Filing for workers’ comp requires taking careful steps. An attorney may lend the assistance necessary to move things along.