If you work at a restaurant and get injured on the job, you need to know the workers’ compensation claims process for restaurant employees. The good news is that filing a workers’ comp claim in the restaurant industry is the same process you would use to file a comp claim in any other industry in California. The not-so-good news is that making a mistake could damage your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
This blog will provide an overview of the steps to file a claim for workers’ compensation for restaurant workers. Every claim is different, depending on the unique facts of each situation, so you may want to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney in addition to reading this restaurant workers’ comp filing guide.
First Steps After Getting Injured While Working in a California Restaurant
According to Workers’ Compensation in California: A Guidebook for Injured Workers, your first steps after a workplace injury are to get emergency medical treatment if needed and report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. For an emergency, you should call 911 or go to an emergency room for medical attention immediately.
California workers’ compensation requires injured workers to report the injury within 30 days of the event. If you miss this reporting deadline, you might not qualify for comp benefits under the workers’ compensation program. These benefits can include medical treatment, partial wage replacement benefits, and other valuable offerings.
What to Do After a Work-Related Illness
You should report a work-related illness as soon as possible. Sometimes, illnesses like repetitive motion diseases or hearing loss develop over time. The 30-day deadline is hard to apply to these situations.
In an instance like this, you should report the medical condition to your employer as soon as possible after you realize or think that your job might have caused the condition. The 30 days starts from the day that you realize or think that the condition is work-related.
Notify Your Employer and Submit a Written Claim Form
Telling your boss or manager about your work-related illness or injury is not enough to make you eligible for benefits through the California workers’ comp program. You must also complete and submit a claim form.
Here are the steps for getting and submitting a workers’ compensation claim form as an injured restaurant worker:
- Tell your manager, supervisor, or someone in administration at your job about your work-related injury or illness.
- Your employer must mail or give you a claim form within one business day of when they learn about your injury or illness. You can contact an Information & Assistance officer at the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Workers’ Compensation to get a copy of the claim form.
- The form is the DWC 1 – Workers’ Compensation Claim Form. You use this form to request benefits from the workers’ compensation program. You should read all the instructions, then complete the portion of the form for the “employee.”
- After you describe your illness or injury and complete the rest of your part of the form, you will give the form to your employer. The date on which you did this might become an issue, so you will want to keep a copy of the completed form for your records.
- Mailing the form by certified or first-class mail with a return receipt could provide some proof of when you complied with the 30-day filing requirement. It is essential not to miss this deadline. To avoid getting caught by “Murphy’s law,” you will not want to wait until close to the deadline to complete this form and give it to your boss.
These steps start the process, but there are additional requirements as you navigate the California workers’ compensation process as an injured restaurant worker.
Medical Care After a Restaurant Worker Gets Injured on the Job
You should get your illness or injury treated by an approved doctor. The California workers’ compensation program offers multiple options for medical treatment. You could select someone from the list your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company provides, or you could “predesignate” a health care provider.
Be sure to check the terms of your employer’s coverage on this issue. If you do not jump through all the hoops of the program, and you get medical treatment from someone who is not an approved provider, you might have to pay those bills out of your own pocket.
You must complete your prescribed medical care plan. If you do not, the insurance company will likely deny a request for permanent disability benefits.
Begin a Free Consultation With Our Workers’ Comp Lawyers
You do not have to try to find your way through this complicated process alone. A workers’ compensation attorney from KJT Law Group could help you fight for the benefits you deserve. Legal representation can take the headache out of pursuing damages after an on-the-job injury.Call (818) 507-8525 to get started.