Timing is Critical in Your Worker’s Compensation Case
While some jobsite injuries can’t be ignored and must be dealt with right away, the vast majority of injuries aren’t life-threatening. Many employees fail to address their workplace injuries soon enough, or take them seriously, and this can compromise their ability to receive workers compensation benefits. How many times have you strained your wrist or threw out your back, and continued working without telling anyone? It’s a common thing to do, but not always the best idea.
Some work environments make it confusing or intimidating to file a claim, even if you have every right to do so. Some people are afraid of retaliation, or losing their job, by stepping forward and reporting an injury. Others simply don’t want to be bothered by it, or be seen as weak. All of these things can be hurdles to you getting the compensation that you deserve, to care for your injuries.
It’s important to know that, the longer you wait to alert your supervisor about your injury, the smaller the chances that you will win your claim. There is something known as the “critical window” in workers comp claims, which often entails all the activities in the week or so following the incident. What you do (or don’t do) during this period of time can seriously affect your credibility, and even the most qualified workers comp attorney in Sherman Oaks likely won’t be able to resurrect it. Therefore, it’s crucial that you follow the steps to start your claim as soon as possible. Don’t wait for several weeks to finally file the paperwork with your employer, or to seek medical care.
The first week, starting at the moment you were injured, is the ideal time to get the ball rolling, and to establish your case. The exact process may depend on your employer, but at the very least, you should alert your supervisor or other management about your injury. You should also gather evidence about the circumstances surrounding your injury, taking pictures and talking to witnesses if possible. Additionally, make sure you seek medical care, through an employer-approved clinic or provider, to have a record of your injury- even if you may write it off as minor! You may not know the full extent of your injuries right away, and even seemingly trivial injuries can leave you with lasting damage.
If you have been hurt on the job, don’t hesitate. Know your rights under workers compensation laws, and exercise those rights. Want to learn more about the workers comp process in California? Reach out to us at the Employee Defense Group today and ask for your free consultation.