With few exceptions, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for California employees. Workers’ compensation benefits are meant to protect employees who have sustained injuries on the job. Unfortunately, insurance companies can be challenging to deal with, and they can make financial recovery difficult for injured employees.
Attorney Joseph Kritzer knows that insurance companies will deny claims and limit coverage when they can. Because of this, injured employees should exercise increased caution when making workers’ compensation claims.
You must avoid making critical mistakes when it comes to workers’ compensation claims and medical care. See below for suggestions related to protecting your work comp claim and handling insurance companies during the claim process.
Report Your Injury
You generally have 30 days to report your injury to your employer, but there are some exceptions to this time-frame. Regardless of the notice requirements, it is always best to report your accident and injuries as soon as possible. Insurance companies may otherwise deny your claim for failing to provide timely notice to your employer.
Your employer should give you a DCW 1 claim form within one day after you report your injuries. If you do not receive the form, you can download the form to complete. After you complete the form, return it to your employer to open your workers’ compensation claim.
Tell Medical Providers You Were Injured At Work
When you seek medical treatment for your injuries, make sure that you tell every provider you see that you were injured at work. When your medical records state that your injuries were work-related, it is harder for insurance companies to deny your claim. Conversely, insurance companies may deny your claim if your medical records do not provide evidence that your injuries were work-related.
Follow Doctors’ Orders
You should follow all of your medical provider’s recommendations. For example, if you fail to complete the doctor recommended physical therapy, the insurance company may argue that your injuries were caused by failing to follow medical advice. Consequently, they might deny your claim.
Additionally, if your doctor gives you work restrictions, follow them. Sometimes injured employees try to return to work against their doctors’ orders because they are worried about finances. Insurance companies may use your return to work as evidence that you are not injured to the extent that you claim.
Speak With A Workers’ Compensation Attorney
You do not have to accept the insurance company’s settlement offer terms. You also do not have to have to accept their denial of medical treatment or denial of benefits. If you have been denied treatment or benefits, the state of California allows injured employees to appeal and challenge insurance company decisions regarding their claims.
Insurance companies are not on your side, but workers’ compensation attorneys are there to advocate for you. Your attorney will work to maximize your claim so that you get the medical care and compensation that you deserve. You have a right to workers’ compensation benefits, and a workers’ compensation attorney will help to make sure your rights are not violated.