Becoming injured on the job is never something someone wants to think about, but it happens more than people think. When you are injured, it’s common to think about the financial side of the situation.

Will you be able to afford your medical bills? What happens if you can’t work because of the injury? Without workers’ compensation, it can be hard to make ends meet.

In California, workers’ compensation benefits include:

  • Medical treatment for the injury
  • Payment for lost wages
  • Payment for permanent loss of function
  • Payment for job retraining

If you become injured on the job, follow these steps to give yourself your best chance of getting workers’ compensation benefits.

Start the claim process immediately

Workers have 30 days to provide written notice to their employer. Employers have one day to provide you with a workers’ compensation claim form. While you have a year to make a claim for the benefits, it’s more beneficial to get the process started as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more your benefits will be delayed.

Get medical treatment

Seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the injury. Not only can quick medical care lead to a faster recovery, but it also serves as evidence by documenting your accident and injury. Delaying medical care could increase the risk of an insurance company stating that you were not as injured as you claimed you were.

Keep copies of everything

After your injury, write down the specific date and team when the injury occurred. Also, write down exactly what happened in detail as well as what the injury is. It is in your best interest to keep copies of work restrictions, letters from your employer or insurance company, and any completed forms. Many of these records are essential for your workers’ compensation claim, so be sure to keep extra copies.

When you’re injured at work, not only are you injured but your income suffers as well. Protect yourself and your wages. By doing these three things, you may be able to get your workers’ compensation benefits quicker.