People in California rely on their jobs in order to earn an income and provide for themselves and their needs. Whether people like their jobs or not, most go because they need the income. That is why it is important that people are physically able go to work and perform their job tasks. However, people are injured from time to time and are unable to perform the job requirements. There are many ways that people suffer injuries, but sometimes people suffer the injuries in workplace accidents.

This can be very devastating because as they are recovering from their physical injuries, they also may have to worry how they will pay their bills. However, people who are injured at work may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits which can pay for medical bills and a portion of the victim’s income while they are unable to work. In order to receive these benefits though, people should follow certain initial steps after the injury.

  1. The very first step is to obtain emergency medical care, if that is necessary.
  2. Next people need to notify their employer or manager as soon as possible after the injury occurs.
  3. Obtain a Worker’s Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) from the employer, who has one day to provide the claim form, and fill out the claim form. Once it is completely filled out, return the claim form to the employer as soon as possible.
  4. People then need to obtain the appropriate medical treatment from medical professionals trained to treat the particular injury. People should make the medical professionals aware of what workplace activities led to the injury. The medical professionals should, in addition to treating the injury itself, determine when people can return to work and what type of work they are capable of performing once they do return to work. The written medical reports from these doctors play a large role in the benefits people receive.
  5. Follow up with the claims administrator regarding whether the claim will be accepted or declined.

After these initials steps, the claims process is not over though and people may need to go through more steps especially as they near a return to work. However, properly following the initial steps can be very beneficial to ensuring people receive the benefits they deserve. It is also important for people to know their rights. Many claims are initially denied or partially denied, but that does not mean workers cannot eventually receive their benefits. These cases can become very complicated and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through the process.