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Workers’ Compensation – A Quick Guide to California Law

If you are injured on the job, or suffer injuries or illness as a result of your job, workers’ compensation law requires your employer to pay for medical care related to the injury and any missed time from work to treat or recover from the injury.

Coverage for work-related injuries, illness, disability, and death

Work injury claim form on a table.The employer is also required to pay for temporary disability in case you need an extended time to recover from the injury (usually up to 104 weeks) and permanent disability for workers unable to return to work due to their injury. Workers’ compensation also pays for retraining in case the worker must get another job due to the injury.

If a worker is killed on the job or dies as a result of job-related injuries or illness, workers’ compensation pays a death benefit to their dependents.

Employers have workers’ compensation insurance in case of worker injury. To be covered, the injury or condition has to be caused by your work. It can be a sudden one-time injury or a series of events that gradually affected your health. So whether you were struck on the head by toppling supply boxes or breathed in fumes from inadequate ventilation, you are covered.

What to do if you are injured or become ill

If you are injured on the job, seek medical attention from either your predesignated physician or approved medical personnel. Be sure to tell them that it’s job-related. If it’s an emergency, go to the emergency room.

You must provide your employer with written notice of the injury or illness within 30 days of its occurrence. Notice must be written and signed. This is highly important. Failure to provide written, signed notice may mean affect your right to receive workers’ comp benefits.

If it is a condition that has only become apparent over time, or whose relation to work conditions has only emerged over time, such as damage to your lungs from chemicals, give notice to your employer when it becomes apparent.

What your employer must do if you are hurt on the job

Your employer must provide you with a claim form for workers’ compensation within one day of receiving your written notice. They must also authorize medical treatment of up to $10,000 while the claim is being processed.

After that, you have up to a year to submit the claim.

If the claim is not rejected once 90 days have passed, it is presumed to be covered.

If your claim should be rejected, you have a right to appeal before a judge.

When an attorney is needed for workers’ compensation claims

Ellis Law Firm has two decades of experience in fighting for workers’ compensation claims. The law can be complex, but we will fight for your rights aggressively. Please call today for a free appointment to discuss workers’ compensation and your case with a seasoned LA construction accident attorney.

Additional California workers comp resources:

  1. County of Los Angeles. New Employee’s Guide to Workers’ Compensation. http://ceo.lacounty.gov/mpn/pdf/NewEmpWrkrsCompGUIDE%20FORM%20FINAL.pdf
  2. State of California. Department of Industrial Relations. Workers’ Compensation in California: A Guidebook for Injured Workers. https://www.dir.ca.gov/InjuredWorkerGuidebook/InjuredWorkerGuidebook.html