A worker in the greater San Diego area, whether they work in San Diego itself or in suburbs like Carlbad or El Cajon, California, would probably find significant workplace injuries a little overwhelming. In addition to the physical recovery and all that entails, a worker also has to figure out how he or she is going to pay medical bills and continue to support his or her family without being able to earn income. The situation can leave someone not knowing where to turn first.
Like other states, California has a no fault workers’ compensation system to help injured workers get through these unexpected struggles. Therefore, obviously after getting whatever emergency care is needed, an employee needs to report his or her injury to the employer and other necessary authorities. Shortly thereafter, the employee should ask for and complete a workers’ compensation claim form.
Even while the claim is pending, the person should then start the process of getting appropriate and quality medical assistance. In a workers’ compensation case, this might not be as simple as just visiting the family doctor or a local clinic, so it is important for the employee to understand his or her obligations. Moreover, the doctor who treats the injured employee will play an important role in the claim.
During the process, it is important for the employee, as much as possible, to keep good records of his or her case and the progress of medical treatment, even if there does not seem to be any trouble with the claim. The employee should also try to learn what he or she can about workers’ compensation and pay careful attention to developments in the claim, as some of them may require the worker to take prompt action, such as filing an appeal.
Thankfully, one thing an injured worker will not usually need to worry about is getting fired or disciplined for the injury, unless the worker was also violating some workplace rule or breaking the law. California law forbids an employer from punishing an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim, even if the employee could done more to prevent the accident.