What you do in the days after a workplace injury can determine whether you can receive financial compensation and how much you can get. Your actions are critical, and mistakes can cost you the valuable money that you will need to sustain yourself after your injury. Here are some things that you can do for both your physical health and your legal situation after you have been hurt at work.
Notify Your Employer of Your Injury
You have likely seen signs hanging at your workplace telling you what to do in the event of a workplace injury. One of the things that you need to do early is to notify your employer. This is an obligation under California law. If you fail to notify your employer within 30 days of your injury, they may not have to pay you benefits under the law. In order to protect yourself, you should put this notice in writing. This was, nobody can come back after the fact and claim that you did not report your injury.
There is no reason to delay this report. Doing so would only heighten the risk to your benefits. You cannot file for workers’ compensation benefits until you notify your employer, so waiting could only cost you money and jeopardize your benefits.
Get Medical Care
The basis for your workers’ compensation benefits is the fact that you are injured and cannot work. Before you file a claim, you would need evidence to include with your paperwork that you have suffered an injury. Employers and their insurance companies often claim that injured employees should not receive benefits because they are healthy enough to work. The insurance company needs to see the evidence in front of them on paper in the form of your medical records. You only get those records after you are treated.
In addition, your claim may be denied because the insurance company does not believe that it is work-related. The longer that you wait to get medical care, the easier you make it for the insurance company to dispute that your injury came from work. Even if your injury resulted from a long-term condition as opposed to an accident, you should still seek medical care immediately.
Your company has the ability to direct you to see certain physicians that are on their list. To the extent that they are not directing you to travel too great of a distance, you must follow their direction. Otherwise, your benefits could be at risk. You may not be able to see your own doctor to diagnose and treat your injury. This is part of the workers’ compensation system. You should follow all the doctor’s recommendations and go to all of your appointments. If you need therapy and rehabilitation after your injury, stick with it for as long as the course of treatment lasts.
Get Legal Help
While most workplace injuries will lead to workers’ compensation claims, there is a chance that you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit after your injury. There are very limited exceptions to the general rule that you cannot sue your employer in a California personal injury lawsuit. However, you can sue a third party if they were at fault for your injury. For example, if you were injured by someone working for another company, you can sue their employer since they are not providing you with workers’ compensation insurance. First, an attorney would need to review your case to see if there is a possible lawsuit because that would lead to more financial compensation.
In addition, workers’ compensation claims can be complex. If you have suffered a serious injury, you may be able to negotiate a lump-sum settlement upfront. Many people are unequipped to deal with this on their own, especially when they are dealing with a workplace injury.
Finally, there is a chance that your claim could be denied. Then, you have the chance to appeal your claim denial. Many denials are converted to benefits when injured workers hire experienced lawyers to fight for them. However, you may first need to go through several steps of an appeals process before that happens. Insurance companies do not get the final say over your financial well-being and medical care when they deny claims.
Keep Your Documentation
When you receive workers’ compensation benefits, you get full payment for your medical costs. This category may include far more things than you may think. For example, you can receive payment for your costs in getting to doctor’s appointments, including parking and bridge tolls. These are all part of the costs of treatment. You can even be reimbursed for driving to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. It goes without saying that prescriptions, medications, and medical equipment would be covered.
You must keep documentation of all of the costs related to your injury to present as part of your claim. In addition, you should have documentation of things like your wages and the time that you have missed from work. Otherwise, you may end up being underpaid for your claim.
Finally, the most important piece of documentation is your claim itself. It should include evidence of your medical condition and that it was work-related. Take the time to prepare your claim properly because missing documentation can lead to a denial. An experienced attorney could help you prepare the strongest possible claim, reducing the risk that your workers’ compensation could be initially denied.
Call a Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured on the job, the law provides you with an option for financial compensation. It does not matter how the injury occurred or who was at fault. Contact the Arshakyan Law Firm online or call us at (888) 851-5005 to schedule your free initial consultation. When it comes to workers’ compensation claims, you should never take chances because you might need these benefits to keep a roof over your head and put food on the