Workers Compensation 101

workers' comp

If you’ve been injured at work, you probably have some questions about workers comp insurance. Let’s review the basics to get you up to speed. Here’s a quick guide to some steps you’ll need to take in order to safeguard your right to benefits. 

What is Workers Comp Insurance?

Workers compensation insurance is available to employees who are injured at work. It provides benefits that can help pay for work-related medical care, as well as temporary disability benefits for lost wages due to your injury. It can also include coverage for disability benefits, ongoing medical treatment, or even funeral costs. 

This business insurance also protects employers who would otherwise be held financially responsible for work-related injuries or illnesses, and helps protect the company from employee lawsuits. Work comp benefits, regulations, and requirements vary by state, making it all the more important to seek the professional guidance of a skilled workers comp attorney. 

What to do if You’re Injured at Work

Document and Report the Injury

The first thing to do if you’ve been injured at work is to notify the HR department or your supervisor. Don’t hesitate to report a work-related injury even if it seems like something that will quickly heal. Documentation is essential if the injury ends up being worse than it initially seemed. Be sure to protect yourself by taking notes and even photographs. Carefully document the details of the event for your records. Take note of the date and time, as well as how the injury occurred and who was present at the time. Additionally, if the injury is serious enough to warrant a trip to the nearest emergency department, notify the medical staff that it’s a work-related trauma. Be as specific as possible about the extent of the injury and the body parts injured. This ensures proper documentation of the event from an outside source. If you ever need to fight a denied claim in court, these details are essential to your case. 

Filing a DWC-1 Claim Form

If you intend to seek workers comp benefits, you have more steps to take. Next, request a DWC-1 Claim Form from your employer. If you have already reported a work-related injury, your employer must provide you with this form within 24 hours. You can also download a DWC-1 Claim Form online. Once you fill it out, don’t forget to make a copy for your own personal records. The completed form then goes to your employer who is responsible for initiating the claim process through the insurance company. 

What if Your Employer Doesn’t File the Form?

If you’ve been seriously injured at work but your employer has failed to start the claim process, you can actually look up the insurance company on your own. California employees are able to find this information online by clicking here. Simply enter a new search and contact the insurance company on your own behalf. This will initiate the claim process.  

Talk to a Workers Comp Attorney Today

As you can imagine, there are many other things to consider, but these are essential first steps. Navigating workers compensation benefits is often complex, but an experienced attorney can make all the difference when you’ve been injured at work. Don’t suffer in silence. For expert guidance, contact the Law Office of Jon Marlowe at 925-302-9176.

Disclaimer: The information provided above pertains to the law and is intended to help the person visiting this site with legal information. But legal information is not the same as legal advice; the application of law to an individual’s specific circumstances. No guarantees are made as to the accuracy and applicability of the information provided to a particular person’s situation and legal needs. It is recommended that the person consult with a lawyer in order to professionally evaluate their particular situation.