If you’re injured on the job in California, you may be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. These benefits can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to your injury.
However, the process of making a worker’s compensation claim can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you’re not familiar with California laws and regulations. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how to make a worker’s compensation claim in California and what you need to know to protect your rights.
Step One: Report Your Injury
The first step in making a worker’s compensation claim is to report your injury to your employer. This should be done as soon as possible, and no later than 30 days after the injury occurred. You should also seek medical attention right away to document the injury and get the treatment you need.
Step Two: Fill Out Claim Form
Once you’ve reported your injury, your employer is required to provide you with a claim form (DWC-1) to fill out. This form should be completed and returned to your employer as soon as possible. Your employer is then required to file the claim form with their worker’s compensation insurance carrier.
It’s important to note that if your employer does not provide you with a claim form or does not file the claim form with their insurance carrier, you can file a claim with the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) yourself. You can also file a claim if you disagree with your employer’s decision on your claim, or if you believe your employer is acting in bad faith.
Step 3: Determining Eligibility
Once your claim is filed, it will be reviewed by the DWC. They will determine if you’re eligible for worker’s compensation benefits, and if so, how much you’re entitled to receive. This process can take some time, so it’s important to be patient and keep in touch with the DWC to stay informed about the status of your claim.
It’s also worth noting that you have the right to appeal any decisions made by the DWC. If you disagree with the DWC’s decision, you can request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ will review the evidence and make a final decision.
Seek Legal Representation
Making a worker’s compensation claim in California is a multi-step process that can be confusing and overwhelming. In many instances, it makes sense to consult with a lawyer familiar with the process. A competent worker compensation attorney can be your advocate through the process and maximize your benefits and compensation. Consult with our office if you have questions.