Getting injured at work it can be a stressful and confusing experience. We understand that several questions may arise from the injured worker. Navarro Law Firm gathered five questions that will guide you through claiming your work injury.
Q. What should I do if I'm injured at work?
A. Report the injury to your employer by telling your supervisor right away. If your injury or illness developed over time, report it as soon as you learn or believe it was caused by your job. Reporting promptly helps prevent problems and delays in receiving benefits, including medical care you may need.
If your employer does not learn about your injury within 30 days and this prevents your employer from fully investigating the injury and how you were injured, you could lose your right to receive workers' compensation benefits. Your employer must give or mail you a claim form within one working day after learning about your injury or illness. If your employer doesn't give you the claim form you can download it from the forms page of the DWC website.
Q. Do I need to fill out a DWC1 claim form?
A. Yes. Giving the completed form to your employer opens your workers' compensation case. It starts the process for finding all benefits you may qualify for under California state law. Benefits include, but are not limited to:
- A presumption that your injury or illness was caused by work if your claim is not accepted or denied within 90 days of giving the completed claim form to your employer.
- Up to $10,000 in treatment under medical treatment guidelines while the claims administrator considers your claim.
- An increase in your disability payments if they're late.
- A way to resolve any disagreements between you and the claims administrator over whether your injury or illness happened on the job, the medical treatment you receive and whether you will receive permanent disability benefits.
Remember, filling out and giving your employer the DWC1 form within 30 days of your work injury is crucial to obtaining your rightful benefits.
Q. The insurance company keeps calling me, what do I do?
A. Get in touch with Navarro Law first. After you're injured at work and file your DWC1 claim form, insurance companies call to obtain information that can be used against the claim which can result in minimizing the amount they pay you, or even denying the claim entirely.
Insurance companies have some legal rights to obtain basic information about an accident or injury and to obtain medical documentation of that injury. However, those rights are limited. Certain confidential medical information cannot be obtained. Navarro Law Firm can help by communicating with insurance companies and making sure benefits are maximized.
Q. Injured workers are entitled to what workers' compensation benefits?
A. Workers' compensation insurance provides five basic benefits:
- Medical care: Paid for by your employer to help you recover from an injury or illness caused by work
- Temporary disability benefits: Payments for lost wages due to your injury preventing you from doing your usual job while recovering
- Permanent disability benefits: Payments if you don't recover completely
- Supplemental job displacement benefits (if your date of injury is in 2004 or later): Vouchers to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you don't recover completely and don't return to work for your employer
- Death benefits Payments to your spouse, children or other dependents if you die from a job injury or illness.
Q. What resources are available to me?
A. There's a lot of information on the I&A page of the DWC's website. Check out the fact sheets and guides for injured workers. The fact sheets provide answers to frequently asked questions about issues affecting your benefits. Injured workers can fill out forms they may need at their local DWC district office or online on the DWC website.
Q. What should I do if my claim is denied?
A. We strongly recommend you get in touch with an attorney before you speak with your insurance company or third party association (TPA) claims adjuster.If your claim is denied, do not panic! Contact Navarro Law Firm for a free consultation. We can assist by starting the appeal process with the board of workers' compensation.