After suffering an injury at work in California, you need to begin the claims process as soon as possible. There is no time to waste. Your employer should provide you with a claim form within one day of learning about your injury, and you need to fill it out posthaste.
Workers' compensation claims frequently receive denials. One common explanation for why this occurs is that the employee failed to meet a deadline for a vital piece of paperwork. You can still get coverage by appealing the decision, but everything becomes delayed. Here are important deadlines you should not miss as you go through the workers' compensation process.
When to notify your boss
You need to notify your employer of the injury as soon as you become aware of it. For sudden injuries that occur immediately at work, it will be easy to inform your employer of the situation. However, some people suffer from workplace injuries that develop over time. For example, carpal tunnel occurs from repetitive motions, and you will need to see a doctor for a diagnosis. Once you know of the situation, you have 30 days to inform your employer of the injury. Your boss will provide you with a DWC-1 form. You should keep a copy for yourself and give the original to your employer quickly. Your boss has five days to submit this form to the company's insurance company.
When to file a workers' comp claim
You have one year from the date of your injury to file a claim with the state's workers' comp appeals board. There are instances where a person can receive an extension due to extenuating circumstances. This most often applies to repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel. It is paramount you file this paperwork immediately because you could lose all benefits if you fail to meet this deadline. Having an attorney guide you through the process helps ensure you do not miss a single deadline.