Workplace safety remains a serious issue in California. According to the state’s Department of Industrial Relations, around 500,000 employees are hurt at work each year. California’s workers’ compensation insurance laws mandate that businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies must obtain no-fault workers’ compensation insurance for their staff.
Unfortunately, getting a workers’ comp claim approved is not always easy. You can go a long way towards protecting your right by avoiding some of the most basic errors. Here, our Fresno workers’ compensation lawyer highlights six of the most common mistakes that injured employees need to avoid in California.
To get a workers’ comp claim approved in California, you must have some official medical documentation. If you decline to ever seek medical care, you will not be in a position to access benefits. You have a right to your medical treatment covered and receive workers’ comp wage benefits so that you can take time off to recover.
California law is clear: Injured workers have a duty to provide prompt notice to their supervisor or employer. It should be done immediately or within 30 days. If you fail to do so, you are at risk of having your workers’ comp claim denied on those grounds. Make sure you tell your employer right away that an accident has occurred or that you have developed an occupational illness/disease.
Note: With occupational disease claims (injuries/illnesses with a gradual onset), you should notify your employer as soon as you suspect that your medical impairment is work-related.
Notifying an employer is not the equivalent of filing a workers’ comp claim in California. This is a mistake that some injured employees make. They think that since they told their employer the claims process will automatically move forward. Not true. You must file an official workers’ compensation claim to get benefits.
- Downplaying Injuries or Skipping Out on Follow-Up Care
Injured workers should be honest and straightforward with their doctor. It is not the time to play it “tough” and downplay injuries. A doctor needs a clear understanding of your pain and ailments so that they can make an accurate diagnosis. Downplaying your injuries could undermine your ability to get the workers’ comp benefits you are owed. Additionally, you should always attend all follow-up appointments. Skipping out on follow-up care and medical appointments could result in a claim being denied or workers’ comp benefits being prematurely cut off.
Call Our Fresno, CA Workers’ Comp Attorney for Legal Advice and Support
Joseph C. Yrulegui is a top-rated workers’ compensation lawyer. If you have any questions about the workers’ comp mistakes you need to avoid, we are more than happy to help. Contact us today to set up a confidential consultation with a lawyer. From our Fresno office, we represent injury workers throughout Fresno County, including in Clovis, Coalinga, Sanger, Selma, Reedley, and Parlier.