Most people employed in California never have to worry about filing a workers’ compensation claim, as they successfully manage to avoid suffering a serious injury while on the job. Still, the California workers’ compensation insurance program exists for a reason. Sometimes, whether or not you get hurt comes down to luck or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
People can and do suffer serious, debilitating injuries while working that impact their ability to keep earning a livelihood and could potentially result in substantial medical expenses. Workers’ compensation helps ensure that no one winds up in poverty and struggling to take care of themselves because of an injury acquired as part of their employment.
Receiving workers’ compensation benefits is not automatic. You have to take certain steps in order to get the benefits you need after a workplace injury, including reporting the incident to your employer as soon as possible and filing a formal claim, part of which your employer will have to complete.
Your employer will need to corroborate your claim
The reporting requirements for workplace injuries exist to ensure that neither employers nor employees abuse the system. Companies have to maintain a record of any reported incidents, while employees will need to substantiate an alleged accident on the job through their own statements, corroboration by other workers and even security camera footage.
The sooner you report the incident that led to the injury and the more evidence you have to show that it happened the way that you claim, the easier it will be for you to connect with the benefits you need and for your employer to support you in the claims process.
Reporting as soon as an incident occurs helps you get medical care
Some people try to tough out an injury, which can mean that they just end up making it worse as they struggle through their day at work. Rest and timely diagnosis are both important aspects of recovery from a job-related injury. Neither is possible if you can’t see a physician shortly after you get hurt.
When you report an injury to your employer, they will either have you visit their on-site medical office, if they have one, or direct you to leave work and seek care off site. In both cases, you will then have corroborating medical documentation of the injury that will help you tie any symptoms and disability you experience to the injury that occurred at work while also increasing your chance of a quick recovery due to receiving the care you need.