Workplace injuries are a common occurrence in California. In 2015, there had been 470,600 reports of injuries related to work, resulting in 273,500 employees losing time at their jobs or limiting them from performing their tasks efficiently.
While there are also many injuries that happen inside offices, employees also suffer from accidents outside the four walls of their workplace. These accidents include mishaps that occur on the road or in other premises for as long as it involves performing their duties for work. These instances make it crucial for you, an employee with rights, to know what to do when you get injured at work.
5 Steps to Take When You Get An Injury at Work
- Inform your employer about your injury: The first step to take is letting your employer know about your injury. By doing so, you secure your chance of collecting worker’s compensation benefits. But understand that this also depends on the kind of injury you have sustained which makes medical attention the main priority in some cases.
- Seek medical treatment for the injury: As discussed in the first step, seeking medical attention is vital. But know that employers are obliged to pay the medical bills for your injuries that you sustain from work-related activities. Let your physician know that your injury was due to a work-related incident so that the bill can be given to your employer or insurance company instead.
- Discuss all the symptoms to your doctor: If you are under severe pain, do not hesitate to tell medical professionals immediately since it is crucial for doctors to understand what you’re feeling and document the symptoms entirely. This can also function as evidence for your compensation claim, which is why it is important to discuss everything about your work-related injury in full detail.
- Submit a claim form: Know that employers are obliged to provide you a claim form within a day after you report about your injury. Once you have completed it, return the form to your employer who will then submit it to the workers’ compensation insurance company. When the form gets submitted, your claim will have an administrator who will manage it.
- Adhere to your doctor’s advice: Taking care of your well-being doesn’t mean you have to compromise your rights as an employee. Listen to your doctor’s orders and inform your employer about it. There are medical experts who would advise you not to perform specific tasks for a certain number of days. If your employer has been informed by this, then you have the right to decline work that goes against the doctor’s orders.
Know that there are other things to gain when you get injured from a work-related accident. Immediately submitting your claim form ensures you certain benefits. For example, you can get temporary disability benefits if you are hospitalized overnight or miss work for more than three days.
How Long Do You Have to Report an Injury at Work?
In California, the law dictates a 30-day window for employees to report an injury at work. This is important to know because once this timeframe expires, employers are no longer legally obligated to provide workers’ compensation benefits. There are cases when employees can still get their benefits despite delaying their report, but risking this is not worth the trouble.
This 30-day window starts once the injury happens. However, some injuries are not that easy to pinpoint when they started to occur. In cases like occupational diseases or repetitive stress injuries, the time limit begins on the date you discovered that the pain is related to your occupation.
Who is Responsible for Reporting to PI/Supervisor Any Work-Related Injury?
The employee should report to their supervisor regarding any injury at work. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring a safe working environment. Any employee should also feel confident and be able to approach them to report any unsafe or hazardous conditions in the workplace.
Below are the primary responsibilities of a supervisor regarding the employees’ safety:
- Conduct training and orientation about safety at work
- Enforce safe work practices
- Fix hazardous or unsafe working conditions
- Probe injuries at work thoroughly
As an employee, do your part to help your supervisor investigate work-related accidents and develop a safe working environment. However, if you’re employer isn’t being cooperative with your case, the best thing to do is seek legal advice.
Seek Work Injury Lawyers in Los Angeles
There is nothing wrong with taking a step back to recover from your injury. Unfortunately, there are still some employers who may pressure you to work even though you’re not fit to do so yet. These requests may also be contradicting your doctor’s orders regarding the kind of tasks you need to avoid in order to have a speedy recovery.
In these cases, the best thing to do is to seek work injury lawyers in Los Angeles for legal assistance. Employers may pressure you to return to work while others may even threaten you with grave consequences such as disciplinary actions or termination if you fail to fulfill their requests. When this happens, know that you shouldn’t tolerate such behavior from your superiors. Find legal professionals who have experience in handling personal injury and employment rights cases to assist you with your circumstance.