If you sustain an injury at work, there are several things you must do to protect yourself and preserve your rights. In general, workers’ compensation will provide you with the medical benefits you need to recover from your injury as well as partially replace some of the wages that you may lose while you recover.
If the injury was due to negligence by your employer or a third party, you will need to retain an attorney to help you seek pain, suffering, and punitive damages.
If you are injured at work, take these steps:
If you are in need of immediate medical treatment, call 911 or go to the nearest medical facility immediately. Make sure the medical staff knows your injury happened on the job.
Notify your employer as soon as you are able. Doing so helps to activate your claim and speed-up the benefits. In California, if you do not report your injury within 30 days, you might lose your ability to collect workers’ compensation.
File a workers’ compensation claim as soon as you are able. This triggers your employer having to pay your medical care. If you feel your injury was due to an unsafe working environment or negligence on the part of the employer, you should also seek legal help.
Make sure you document everything. Get copies of medical bills, keep a log of dates/times/procedures, record the particulars of your injury, and keep this file in a safe place.
You need to be aware that an employer cannot punish you for requesting workers’ compensation benefits if you’ve been injured. In addition, you don’t need to be a full-time worker to receive benefits. You are eligible if you work only part-time, or you are a temporary worker. And, you don’t need to be a legal resident of the United States to get benefits either.
Choulos, Choulos & Wyle proudly serve clients in San Francisco, Oakland and in cities throughout the Bay Area.