The timely reporting of workplace injuries can impact workers’ compensation claims in the health care industry. Waiting too long to initiate your claim could result in your claim getting denied or having a hard time proving that your injury or illness was, indeed, caused by your health care industry job.
You want to do everything in your power to mitigate any complications when seeking workers’ compensation benefits. One of those options may involve partnering with a abogado de compensación de trabajadores. This blog will do a deep dive into the benefits of legal representation and how promptly starting your case could avoid case-related problems.
First Steps After a Work-Related Illness or Injury
Por the California Department of Industrial Relations, you should report your work-related illness or injury to management as soon as possible.
The guidebook warns that if you do not let your boss or supervisor know about your injury or medical condition within 30 days, you might not be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Also, a delay in reporting will likely cause a delay in receiving benefits––which is the last thing you want while you can’t work.
Get Medical Care for Your Injury or Illness
Prompt medical care is essential to your reclamo de compensación para trabajadores as a health care worker. Your medical records will establish a link between your job and your medical condition. The doctor might also decide whether it is appropriate for you to work while you recuperate and what work accommodations you need.
Be sure that you go to an approved medical provider. Your boss should give you a list of the health care providers that participate in the company’s workers’ compensation insurance program. If you go to an unapproved health care provider, you might have to pay those medical bills yourself.
One exception is if you predesignated your regular doctor before you got injured or sick. Another exception is if you suffered a life-threatening emergency and went to the hospital with the paramedics.
How Health Care Workers Can File a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Según el Injured Worker Guidebook, when you notify your boss of your work-related injury or illness, they are supposed to give or mail you a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1) within one business day. You need to complete your portion of this form and give it back to your employer, so they can complete their portion and file the form.
You will want to do this as soon as possible, even though the rules require you to notify your boss within 30 days, and then file a formal claim. There might be a dispute about when the illness started, or you might have an urgent situation come up at the last minute.
If you file the claim form well before the 30-day notice deadline, you have proof that you provided notice in time by showing the date on the claim form. It is better to notify your employer and complete and file the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form well in advance of the deadline.
Also, the workers’ compensation insurance company cannot start processing your claim until it receives it. If you cannot work because of your work-related injury or medical condition, you want to get the temporary disability benefit checks as soon as possible to help replace some of your income.
Deadlines for an Illness With No Known Start Date
Some conditions develop over time. For example, if you have tendinitis from repetitive physical motions on the job, you might not be able to state with any certainty the date the condition started.
The clock starts ticking on the date you realized the condition was job-related or that you learned or believed that it was. You have 30 days to notify your boss and file the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form. Of course, just as with injuries, you will want to take these actions well before the deadline.
Situations That Could Alter Your Workers’ Compensation Filing Deadline
Your boss is supposed to post information about what employees are supposed to do after getting hurt or sick at work. If your boss did not post the required notices or misled you about the reporting procedures or rules, you might be able to get wage replacement benefits if your notice was not timely.
If your boss or manager saw the accident happen or learned about the injury, and they did not file their report, your late reporting might get excused. Other reasons for late reporting getting excused include:
- The worker was incapacitated by the work-related injury or illness and could not notify the boss or file a formal report because of that incapacity.
- The illness or injury developed symptoms gradually.
In any of these situations, you will have an uphill battle on your hands. The claims administrator might allege that your injury or illness was not work-related and, instead, happened away from the job. A delay in reporting can make it challenging to find evidence that proves that your job caused the medical condition.
Explore Your Options With Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you have problems securing workers’ compensation benefits as a health care employee, you have options––and one of those options involves working with a workers’ compensation lawyer. They can help you navigate the claims process and everything it entails.
A workers’ compensation lawyer from KJT Grupo de Derecho could help you fight for the benefits you deserve for your health care worker job-related illness or injury. Begin your free consultation when you call (818) 507-8525.