If you get hurt while at work, or sick due to working conditions, your employer is required by law to pay you workers’ compensation benefits. Injuries that occur at work can happen from a single event or accident such as a fall, or from a constant action over time—like injuries to your back or wrist from continued, repeated movements or even losing your hearing due to constant loud noise. You are also entitled to workers’ compensation if you are injured in a car accident while performing work duties, such as making deliveries for your employer.
The workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system, which means that the injured party does not need to prove that their injury was someone else’s fault in order to receive benefits. The system is set up as a tradeoff between both employees and employers, which provides employees with prompt, effective medical treatment for on-the-job injuries no matter who was at fault. In return, employees are prevented from suing their employers over those injuries.
Most of the time, workers’ compensation claims are resolved with little or no problems for either part. However, there may be a disagreement between the injured party and the claims administrator over how the injury was sustained or how much in benefits the injured party is entitled to. If this happens to you, the Department of Workers’ Compensation Information and Assistance can help you. To find an office close to you, please visit www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/IandA.html or call (800) 736-7401.
What should I do if I get injured at work?
If you get injured at work, the first thing to do is report the injury to your supervisor immediately. If your injury developed over time, you should still report the injury as soon as you become aware that it was caused by your job. Reporting your injury immediately helps prevent problems down the road or delays in receiving your benefits.
If it is an emergency, get treatment immediately and tell the health care provider that treats your injury that it was job-related.
You will also need to fill out a workers’ compensation DWC form 1, which should be provided by your employer within one working day of your injury. If your employer does not provide you with the form, one can be downloaded from the Department of Industrial Relations website at www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/forms. html.
To get more information on workers’ compensation benefits, visit the Department of Industrial Relations website at www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/ InjuredWorker.htm or call (800) 736-7401. To locate Workers’ Compensation Division office close to you, visit www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/dir2.htm.