If you or a loved one has sustained an on-the-job injury in California, you should be able to receive workers’ competition. Unfortunately, there are times when workers’ comp insurance carriers or employers resist paying out the compensation work injury victims are owed. This can present significant challenges to injury victims.
Here, we want to discuss some tips that can help ensure that your workers’ comp case is successful. We understand how important it is that you secure the compensation you need after sustaining an injury in the workplace. We hope that these tips make the process flow a little smoother for you, and we always encourage work injury victims to contact a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer in Orange County for help with their case.
1. File a Claim Quickly and Accurately
After a workplace injury has occurred, it is crucial that you report the injury as soon as possible. In the state of California, work injuries must be reported to a supervisor within 30 days from the date they occur, but we do not suggest waiting this long. Make sure you have all of the accurate information about your injury and make a report as soon as possible.
In California, filing an initial report is not the same thing as actually filing a work injury claim. After a worker reports the injury to their employer, they need to be aware that there is a statute of limitations of one year from the day the injury occurred for them to file their workers’ compensation claim.
2. Obtain Statements From Eyewitnesses
Employers and workers’ compensation insurance carriers often push back against injured workers, sometimes claiming that the injury did not occur in the way that the worker said it did. In order to prevent a work injury case from becoming a “He said, she said,” type of incident, it is crucial for the injury victim to obtain statements from any eyewitnesses to the incident. The injured worker should get a written statement from any person who saw what happened as opposed to a verbal statement.
3. Obtain Any Available Evidence
Often, there will be various types of evidence available in the aftermath that will work injury. If there or any video surveillance cameras in the vicinity, an injured worker should find a way to obtain a copy of the footage. If the employer does not want to hand over copies of this footage, the injured worker should contact a skilled California work injury attorney as soon as possible. Additionally, if it is safe to do so after the injury occurs, the worker could use their cell phone to take photographs of everything at the scene, including the cause of the injury.
4. Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
There will be almost no way for a person to collect workers’ compensation insurance if they do not seek medical treatment for their injury. When an injured worker seeks immediate medical care, they are establishing (1) that they have been injured and (2) that there is a direct link between the workplace and the injury. Every workers’ compensation claim in California is going to center around whether or not a person receives medical care and the reports made available pertaining to the medical treatment.
5. Read and Understand Medical Authorization Requests
After a work injury occurs, it is not uncommon for the workers’ compensation insurance carrier to request that the injury victims sign various types of documents. Sometimes, these documents include a medical authorization release form. These forms are intended to allow the insurance carrier to gather various medical records or bills related to the injury. It is crucial that the injury victim carefully read the report and make sure that the information being requested is related only to the work injury. It could be the case that the workers’ compensation insurance carrier is seeking information about the victim’s past medical history to try to show that their current injuries or illness are related to something other than the workplace incident.