Whether you have worked in the construction industry for years or recently had your first day on the job, it is important to remember that your profession is dangerous. Between falling objects, collapsing trenches and malfunctioning equipment, hazards lurk around every corner on construction sites. If you do suffer an injury while at work, do you know what to do?
In general, most people that get hurt at work can file a workers' compensation claim. Here are a few things to know if you suffer a workplace accident.
What to do after the injury
The very first thing you should do if you get hurt at work is to see a medical professional if necessary. If your injury is not too severe, you may be able to wait a few hours or see a doctor the next day. Also, you have to provide your employer with notice of the incident. This notice should be signed and written and you must deliver it within 30 days of the injury. Failure to provide notice in a timely manner could result in a denial of benefits. After you notify your boss of the injury, he or she has one day to physically give you or mail you a claim form that you must fill out and return within one year.
What to expect after filing the claim
After you return the claim form, your employer or claim administrator has one day to authorize your medical treatment. While the insurer reviews your claim, you could receive as much as $10,000 of treatment for your injury or illness. Generally, if the insurer does not deny the claim in 90 days, you will receive the rest of your benefits.
What to do if the claim is denied
If the insurer denies your claim, do not give up. You can file an Application for Adjudication of Claim along with any other documents the court requires and take your case before a judge. In addition to the application, you must notify the other parties involved and file a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed. After you complete the filings, you must first attend a mandatory settlement session. If you and your employer or the insurer cannot reach a settlement, the next step is to take the dispute to trial.
If you have suffered a workplace injury in San Diego, it is important to know at least the basics of filing a workers' compensation claim. The above information can help you get started and know what to expect during the process.