Injuries in the workplace can be catastrophic.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 5,000 people died each year between 2016 and 2020 after being hurt on the job.
In 2020, the total number of work-related fatalities decreased to just under 5,000 deaths. Have you had an injury at work in Los Angeles?
If so, your injury could entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits.
To secure benefits, you must be eligible and take the appropriate steps to protect your rights.
If you have questions about workers’ compensation benefits, contact a Los Angeles workplace injury attorney at Farzam Law Firm.
What are your rights if you get injured on the job? Here are five essential steps to take if you’re injured while at work.
1. Report the Injury to a Supervisor
If your company has workers’ compensation benefits, you have the right to seek medical treatment should you sustain an injury at work.
However, you must go through the proper reporting channels at work to start the claims process.
Don’t wait to report your accident, as workers’ compensation carriers have deadlines on when injuries in the workplace must be reported.
Reporting your injury right away is one of the most critical steps for workers’ compensation eligibility.
Your employer needs you to fill out paperwork and will ask how your injury occurred.
Do you have safety concerns about your workplace? If a safety hazard at your workplace caused your injuries, you must report it.
Hopefully, your employer institutes necessary changes that prevent other workers from sustaining injuries.
2. Seek Medical Treatment
If your injury is severe, the first step will obviously be getting medical assistance rather than reporting the injury. Your priority should be your health.
If you have life-threatening injuries, get to the hospital. You can fill out the workers’ compensation paperwork after any emergency care.
Even if your injuries do not seem that severe, you still need to be looked at by a doctor.
Once you report an injury at work to the proper supervisor, they should be able to provide you with a list of specific doctors to schedule an appointment.
Tell the doctor exactly what happened at work and where your pain is. You want to document everything and the symptoms you have.
Don’t leave anything out, as you could develop problems related to one of those symptoms.
Ensure the doctor documents everything in your workers’ compensation file as you may need it down the line.
3. Start Compiling Evidence and Keep Records
Evidence and documentation are necessary for workers’ compensation claims.
You don’t need this information to prove liability against your employer as benefits are no-fault.
However, you need to protect yourself to receive compensation for the time you lose from work. You could be entitled to temporary disability benefits if you are off work for an extended period of time.
In cases of permanent injuries, you might be eligible for permanent disability benefits.
Is there a third party that could have liability in your accident? For example, someone injured while driving for work might have a third-party claim against the other driver.
That claim would be in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. Evidence of liability against the third party is crucial in these instances.
Your Los Angeles workplace injury attorney will advise you on whether you have a personal injury claim in addition to workers’ compensation.
You’ll want to track all your expenses, including mileage to medical appointments.
Write down the medical treatments you receive, prescribed medications, etc. The more documentation you have, the better.
4. Ensure You Follow Doctors’ Orders
Following your doctors’ treatment plans are crucial. You may be seeing a doctor, physical therapist, etc. Each one will set forth a treatment plan.
Failure to follow the recommendations could jeopardize your workers’ compensation claim. It could also cause you to be reinjured after returning to work.
If you are unsatisfied with the treatment you’re receiving, you might be able to change workers’ compensation doctors.
Be advised that your workers’ compensation claims adjuster may require you to undergo a medical exam at some point after you’re hurt on the job.
You may hear this exam referred to as an independent medical exam (IME) or an independent medical review (IMR).
5. Contact a Los Angeles Workplace Injury Attorney
Contacting an experienced workplace injury attorney in Los Angeles is also an important step in the workers’ compensation claims process.
You need a legal advocate on your side who can explain your rights and help you if your workers’ compensation carrier disputes your benefits.
However, you don’t want to hire any personal injury attorney. Workers’ compensation disputes can be complex.
You need to hire an attorney who understands workers’ compensation law.
The team at Farzam Law Firm has over 20 years of experience assisting injured victims, including claims for workers’ compensation benefits.
If you need assistance after sustaining an injury at work, contact Farzam Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation.
Let us review the facts of your case and advise you on the best course of legal action.