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Employee rights in the event of workplace injuries in California

One of the primary concerns most workers have is the potential hardship their families would have to suffer if they should be injured in an on-the-job accident. How will they pay medical bills and cope with personal financial obligations if they can't return to work for some time? Gaining knowledge about their employee rights may provide some peace of mind. Employers in California must provide workers' compensation insurance to cover all work-related injuries or illnesses.

The benefits cover reasonable medical care costs that include fees charged by doctors, hospitals, therapists, also cover X-rays, medical equipment, lab tests and even travel costs. Temporary Disability Benefits are paid to cover lost wages during the time of recovery, and Permanent Disability Benefits will come into play when occupational injuries cause permanent disabilities. In such cases, benefits might include vouchers for Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits to equip disabled workers with new skills. In the event of a fatal workplace accident, dependents may pursue claims for death benefits.

There are specific rules related to the choice of a physician. An employee who wants to use his or her own physician rather than a doctor who was chosen by the employer must give notice in writing to the employer before an injury occurs. This must indicate the name and contact details of the personal physician. The procedures to follow immediately after an injury include getting medical care and reporting the injury to a supervisor or employer within the prescribed time limit, upon which the employer must provide the injured worker with a benefits claim form.

Any injured California worker who has questions about his or her employee rights related to workplace accident injuries may find that an experienced workers' compensation attorney can provide the answers. Furthermore, a lawyer can provide the necessary support and guidance with the administrative and legal processes. If a claim is denied, an attorney can navigate the appeals process and work on getting maximum compensation for the injured worker.

Source: dir.ca.gov, "Notice to Employees--Injuries Caused By Work", Accessed on Oct. 27, 2017

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