5 Things to Know About Workers’ Compensation

A work injury claim form for workers' compensation on a desk next to glasses and a law book

Have you recently suffered from a work-related injury? If so, you may be wondering how workers’ compensation claims work. California workers’ comp laws ensure injured workers get the benefits they need to recover from a workplace injury or illness. While the basics of the process are fairly simple, truly understanding workers’ compensation is a difficult task.

If you find yourself confused by the many steps of making a workman’s compensation claim, here are five things you should know:

1. What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries. However, it does not only cover accidental injuries. You can also get workers’ compensation benefits for illnesses from workplace exposure or for injuries that are a result of repetitive motion on the job.

It’s also important to know that workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Unlike personal injury lawsuits, you do not need to establish employer liability. Whether you, an employer or a third party caused your injury, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

2. What Workman’s Compensation Covers

The most significant workers’ comp benefit is coverage of medical expenses. Your employer must cover any medical care you receive for a workplace injury through their workers’ compensation program. You may need to see a specific doctor to qualify for these benefits.

The benefits also cover temporary and permanent disability payouts if your injury leaves you unable to continue work. In addition, if you need to switch fields, workers’ compensation can cover retraining costs. Finally, if a worker dies on the job, workers’ comp covers death benefits for the family.

3. How To Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits

To get your workers’ comp benefits, you need to file a claim with your employer. This form is called a DWC-1 and this should be provided by your employer within one working day of any knowledge of a work-related injury or illness. Additionally, this form must be completed within a specific time frame after your injury. It will ask for specifics about your injury and this form is required for you to receive your benefits. 

This form comes from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. The California Department of Labor requires all employers to have this coverage. The policy protects employers and pays them so they can pay for your benefits. Once you start a claim, you will be working with a workers’ compensation adjuster.

4. First Steps After a Workplace Injury

The very first step to take after a work-related injury is to seek appropriate medical care. In an emergency, you will be transported to an emergency medical center. If the situation is not an emergency, your employer will advise you where to go for medical attention. 

Your first priority should always be your recovery. It is always possible to work with your attorney to build your claim after the fact. However, the one thing you do need to make sure to do immediately is filing your DWC-1.

5. When to Call a Workers’ Comp Attorney

You may think that the workers’ comp process is simple enough that you can handle it alone. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when handling your physical recovery and your workers’ comp claim. It is best to call a workers’ compensation attorney immediately.

Hiring an experienced attorney can improve your odds of successfully obtaining workers’ compensation benefits. In the event that your claim is denied, your attorney will also be able to handle every step of your appeal. You don’t have to worry about navigating the complicated process, you just have to focus on healing. When you work with one of our workers’ comp lawyers, you know you will get all the benefits you deserve.

If you recently suffered a workplace injury, contact the Law Offices of Bo Katzakian. Our aggressive, experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are ready to fight for you. Call our Stockton office today at 209.308.1535 and tell us how we can help you get your workers’ compensation benefits.

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