If you suffer an injury on the job, especially if it is not a necessarily serious injury, you may be wondering if you should report it to your employer. Many employees choose not to report workplace injuries because they fear they may lose their job or experience other forms of retaliation by their employer.
The bottom line, however, is that it is critical that you report your workplace injury in California as soon as it happens, or as soon as you become aware of the injury. Waiting to report or deciding not to report can have serious consequences for you, your health and your finances as time goes on.
Time limits and eligibility for benefits
You may feel that your injury is not important or serious enough to report, but if you do not report your injury within 30 days, you may lose your right to claim workers' compensation under California state law. Although you may not need immediate medical treatment, some injuries are progressive or do not show symptoms until later. If that is true in your case, and you do not report your injury, you may not be entitled to receive compensation for your injury.
Employers are required to carry insurance
California law requires employers to carry workers' compensation insurance if they are not self-insured. This insurance covers benefits such as paying for medical expenses, including hospital stays and surgeries, as well as recovery of lost wages. Do not be misled into believing that there is no insurance protection for you as an employee. Speak to a workers' compensation attorney about your particular case so you can understand the types of benefits you may be eligible for, and how you can move forward in claiming these benefits.
It is in your best interest to report your workplace injury to your California employer. Not doing so could jeopardize your chances of receiving benefits. Medical expenses can mount quickly, and if you must miss work due to your injury, you may be able to seek compensation for lost wages. Consult with a qualified attorney who handles workers' compensation cases in California to learn more about how to proceed.