What Should I Do After a Work Injury?

Work Injury Lawyer

Workers compensation benefits for injured workers

According to the CDC, 1.8 million Americans suffered from workplace injuries in 2020. Being injured on the job can be a traumatic and life-changing experience. If you were injured at work, it’s important to take the following steps in order to protect your health and legal rights. You may also want to consult with a work injury lawyer. Keep reading below.


What Is a Work-Related Injury?

A workplace injury or illness occurs on the job and within an employee’s duties. Workplace accidents are common at construction sites, but can also happen in a variety of work environments – even office settings. Injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to more serious injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, or permanent disabilities. Work injuries most commonly result from exposure to harmful substances, overexertion, and slips and falls.


1. Report the Injury to Your Employer

The first thing to do after a workplace injury is to report it to your employer. This should be done within 30 days of the accident. If you do not report your injury within this timeframe, your workers’ compensation claim may be denied. Reporting the injury to your employer in writing and include the cause, date, and time of the accident and when the injury occurred, as well as the name of any witnesses. Make sure to keep a copy of the report for your own records.

In most states including California, workers’ compensation follows a no-fault system. This means that injured workers are not required to prove fault for their injuries to recover compensation.


2. Get Medical Treatment

Injured employee should seek medical attention.

After reporting the injury to your employer, get medical attention immediately. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may need to visit the emergency room or urgent care center. Even if the injury seems minor, it is important to see a doctor. Delaying treatment can worsen your injury and may also impact your workers’ compensation claim. Under California’s workers’ compensation law, your employer is required to pay for your medical bills. Depending on your situation, you may be able to see your own doctor or a physician selected by your employer.

After getting medical care, follow the treatment given by your doctor. This may include taking time off work to recover, attending physical therapy sessions, or taking medication. If you fail to adhere to your medical treatment, your workers’ compensation claim may be denied or your benefits could be reduced.


3. File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you suffered a work-related injury, file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance company. Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to provide medical treatment for your injuries and partially replace your lost wages. Your employer should give you this claim form to fill out immediately following your injury.

The workers’ compensation claim process can get very complicated, but with the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, he or she can help you complete the paperwork and ensure that your claim is filed correctly. An Orange County work injury attorney will also ensure you are treated fairly and help you secure maximum benefits.


4. Document Everything

Workplace injury lawyers can help you file workers compensation claims

Throughout the process of dealing with a workplace injury, it is important to document everything. Keep copies of all medical bills, doctor’s orders, and workers’ compensation paperwork. You should also keep a record of any conversations you have with your employer or their insurance company regarding your injury.


5. Follow Up with Your Employer and Insurance Company

After filing a workers’ compensation claim, it is important to follow up with your employer and their insurance company. You should be notified within 90 days whether your employer accepted or denied your claim.

In a California workers’ compensation insurance claim, you are entitled to five basic benefits:

  • Medical care
  • Temporary disability payments
  • Permanent disability payments if you do not recover completely
  • Supplemental job displacement (SJDB) benefits
  • Death benefits if your loved one died from a work-related injury or illness

If your claim is denied or you disagree with your benefits package, you have the right to appeal. A workplace injury lawyer can help you gather evidence and represent you at a hearing for your case.


6. Return to Work

Workers comp claim is different from a personal injury claim

Once you have recovered from your injury, you may be able to return to work. However, it is important to take things slowly and follow any restrictions or limitations set by your doctor. Returning to work too soon can result in re-injury and may also impact your workers’ compensation claim.

If you are unable to return to your previous job, you may be entitled to certain additional benefits, such as Social Security disability benefits.


Orange County Workplace Injury Lawyer

Workplace injury lawyers

Suffering a workplace injury can change a person’s life forever. To help you through this difficult time, hire an experienced workplace injury lawyer who can guide you with the process of filing a claim and receiving proper financial compensation. Our personal injury law firm in Santa Ana works on a contingency fee, meaning you do not pay anything until you win your case. Call our Orange County workplace injury attorneys at (657) 655-6045 or fill out this quick online form to schedule your free consultation.