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1. Obtain the necessary medical treatment immediately
If you have suffered a workplace illness or injury, you must seek medical help. Your employer’s human resources department should be able to refer you to a list of approved physicians who can help treat your injury. You should discuss your injury with your health care provider and tell your doctor that your injury occurred at your workplace. If your injury is a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the hospital immediately.

2. Report you injury to your employer
You must notify your employer about your injury and the way in which it occurred, within 30 days. Failing to properly notify your employer within 30 days may cause you to lose your rights to workers’ compensation benefits.

3. Fill out a DWC-1 claim form
Within one working day after your employer becomes aware of your work related injury, he or she must mail or deliver to you a DWC-1 claim form. You may also obtain this form from the DWC website (http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/DWCForm1.pdf). Once you fill out and deliver this claim form to your employer, your workers’ compensation case will begin. Your employer is required to submit this DWC-1 claim form to its workers’ compensation insurance company.

4. Keep records
Make sure to keep records of any and all doctors visits as well as all forms and correspondence you have received by your employer.

5. Consult with an attorney
A workers’ compensation attorney will review your case and determine whether you need an attorney to handle your claim. He or she will also file all necessary forms and ensure that all deadlines are met. Above all, a workers’ compensation attorney will estimate the value of your case and accurately assess any settlement offers.

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