Call for a FREE Consultation: (916) 288-9193Hablamos Espanol • Мы говорим по-русски
Call for a FREE Consultation: (916) 288-9193 Hablamos Espanol • Мы говорим по-русски

Call for a FREE Consultation: (916) 288-9193
Hablamos Espanol • Мы говорим по-русски

What should I do if I am injured at work in California?

If you have been injured due to an on-the-job injury and need immediate medical attention, do not hesitate to go to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care. After you receive all treatment necessary there, you should report the incident to your employer as soon as possible. The sooner you report the injury, the more accessible for the insurance adjuster to investigate what happened and accept your claim or to allow you to start challenging a denial. Although it is highly advisable to report work-related injuries immediately, as some rights may be lost for not reporting timely, you generally have up to a year after the incident to tell your employer.

What should I do if I am injured at work in CaliforniaShould I report my work-related injury to my employer or doctor first?

If your injury does not require you to see a doctor immediately, or if it is a condition that has accumulated over time due to the nature of your work, then you should report the injury to the employer first.

When you report your injury to your employer, they must give you a DWC-1 form. You must fill out the “Employee” section and return the form to your employer to fill out the “Employer” section. It is a common misconception that your visit to the doctor’s appointment starts the workers’ compensation claims process. Completing the DWC-1 form officially starts the workers’ compensation claim process, so it is crucial to file the form and give it back to your employer as soon as possible.

The law gives the employer one day to fill out the “Employer” section, after which the form goes to the insurance adjuster, who will investigate the claim. I want to let you know that your employer is not responsible for investigating your claim; instead, it is the insurance company. Also, it is against the law for your employer to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, nor can they legally fire anyone who is testifying in another’s employee’s workers’ compensation case.

How long does it take to investigate a workers’ compensation claim?

Submitting the DWC-1 form to the insurance company may take up to 90 days to investigate your claim. During this time, the insurance company will typically pay up to $10,000 for the medical expenses that you have incurred. In most cases, a primary treating physician doctor will evaluate your injuries and file a medical report.

After the 90-day investigation period, the insurance company will inform you whether your claim has been accepted or denied. If the insurance company “accepts” your claim, they agree to cover your medical expenses beyond the $10,000 mentioned above. If the insurance company denies your claim, they believe that your injuries are either unrelated or covered by workers’ compensation. However, you have the right to challenge this decision!

When should I contact an attorney after an on-the-job injury?

You can consult an attorney at any stage of this process. Usually, our clients contact us after filing the DWC-1 form and talking to the assigned primary treating physician. Your case may not require legal help, especially if considered a minor injury. However, most cases involving serious injuries that lead to some permanent disability will significantly benefit from the experience of a workers’ compensation attorney. You are welcome to contact our office to have a free consultation with a practicing attorney with experience with workers’ compensation cases. They will let you know if you are on the right track with your case and will answer any questions you might have.

Contact a Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorney today if you have been injured at work. Our workers’ compensation attorneys can help you through any part of the workers’ compensation claims process.