Starting a workers comp claim
Your employer must know within 30 days of your knowledge of the work comp injured that you were injured at work. There is an exception to this work comp rule that they employer was not prejudiced by the delay in reporting.
If you have a slip and fall or lifting work comp injury, the employer should be told immediately. Sometimes, work comp injuries have a delayed onset. For example, I was at work, lifting boxes, I felt a pull in my back, went home, and woke up the next morning and had excruciating pain, the next day I told my boss about my work comp claim. This is an acceptable scenario and should not cause a work comp delay.
Other types of work comp injuries can arise after many years of hard work. Even working hard but doing repetitive tasks can cause injury. One study found that typing all day was the equivalent of pushing almost 10,000 pounds through the fingers! These types of injuries can cause work comp disability within months and almost certainly within years.
It is important to file a work comp claim form. The work comp claim form for California, Orange County injuries (San Diego work comp injuries, Los Angeles work comp injuries) and other cities in California can be found here: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/DWCForm1.pdf
Once the work comp paperwork has been submitted to the employer, the employer is to give the information to the work comp insurance carrier. Usually there is are additional forms the employer is required to fill out, like an accident report.
It is very important to fill out your work comp claim form correctly! Make sure you use the correct date of work comp injury. Do not forget to list ALL parts of your body that were injured. This can cost you later!!
Your employer is supposed to either direct your work comp medical care, or the insurance carrier is supposed to tell you which work comp doctor to see.
Many times, injured workers are sent to an occupational clinic for work comp injuries. Most of these industrial clinics are best for cuts and basic sprains. These insurance work comp clinics are almost never adequate to deal with more major work comp and personal injuries. However, the work comp insurance companies like to use clinics (for example: US Healthworks, Concentra, Healthpointe, Work Comp Urgent Care) because they are relatively cheap and usually try to return the injured worker back to work to stop a work comp claim from costing too much. The problem with this approach is that rarely does an injured worker receive the prompt work comp medical care they need to best deal with the work comp or personal injury from work.
Did you know in California you have the right to see your own work comp doctor or a work comp doctor of your choosing? When you use your health insurance, do you see any doctor? NO! Usually, you will do research, ask around, and see who the best is. Why would you settle for less for your own personal care? Do you think the insurance company has your best interest in mind? The answer is almost always no.
Usually, at this point is when you require skilled workers comp representation. As an advocate for injured workers, I spend my own personal time picking my client’s work comp doctor when we find out which network the insurance company uses. This is because I want the best work comp doctor I can find for my client, and I know the ones who care from the ones who don’t!
Call today for a free work comp consultation: 949-391-3725