I’ve been seriously injured at work. What should I do??
Notify your employer and seek medical treatment. First, notify your supervisor and seek medical treatment as soon as possible. While you are at the hospital or clinic, inform your doctors and nurses that your injuries are job-related. Provide your medical providers a full description of the incident causing the injury and the injuries themselves. Comply with your medical providers instructions.
File a workers’ compensation claim. File a claim to protect your rights and begin the workers’ compensation process. Your employer must give or mail you a claim form within one working day after learning about your injury or illness. Contact workers’ compensation attorneys to make sure your rights are being protected.
Keep records. Since claims may take time to be resolved, thorough record keeping now will help you in the future. Keep record of the incident and your injuries by noting contact information for witnesses to the incident, dates and information discussed at doctors’ appointments, conversations with anyone concerning the incident or injuries, dates you were out of work, notes on your condition, and any money you have spent related to you injuries. Save copies of all records, documents, or photos in one location to make it easier for you to find later.
Contact personal injury attorneys. If you were injured by someone other than your employer – for example another company’s employee or a piece of equipment – you may also have a “third-party” claim or lawsuit. Contact attorneys who specialize in personal injury claims as soon as possible to discuss your specific situation because there are strict time limits under which you must act to protect your rights.
Know your rights. It is illegal for your employer to punish or fire you for having a job-related injury or for filing a workers’ compensation claim. You may have additional employment protections for ongoing disabilities under federal and California laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). You may also be eligible for benefits to help you financially while you are unable to work, including short-term disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, State Disability Insurance, or Social Security disability benefits.
-Alexandra A. Hamilton, Leary Trial Team at The Veen Firm, PC
This Month's Expert; Alexandra A. Hamilton