No one plans on getting injured at work. A small puddle on the floor or a weak spot in scaffolding can send you to the ground - hard. After you get treated and are sent home it is difficult to know what to do next. You are stuck at home as the clock keeps ticking. It is hard to rest when you know that you are missing valuable money at work. If you are feeling rushed to return to work then you might find relief knowing that you can receive benefits for your injury.
Get workers' compensation benefits while you heal
Rushing back to work while you are still injured will only make problems worse. Instead you can stay home and heal while receiving payments from your employer's insurance company. These benefits are called workers' compensation which is provided for people who get injured on the job. It does not matter if you are a legal citizen or not, it is a basic right in California. Injured workers should take the following steps to receive benefits:
1. Get medical attention right away
It is important to seek medical attention from a doctor as soon as you are injured. You should seek care not only for yourself but as important evidence for your workers' compensation claim. If you do not go to a doctor your employer's insurance company might try to argue that your injury is not that bad and you do not deserve benefits.
2. Tell your boss
Make sure to tell your boss about your injury sooner rather than later. They might ask you to put it in writing as part of the workers' compensation documentation. Do not delay in telling your boss about your injury in fear of getting fired. It is illegal for an employer to fire you for an injury or for filing workers' compensation.
3. Talk to a workers' compensation attorney
While every worker injured on the job should get compensation, it is not always the case. The insurance company could decide to deny your claim or underpay what you deserve. This is why it is so important to have an experienced workers' compensation attorney at your side. Hiring an attorney can maximize the benefits that you receive for your work injury, making the service more than worth it.
You could qualify for additional benefits
There are several different kinds of benefits that you can receive if you were badly injured, not just workers compensation. Below are a few options for workers who cannot return to their job immediately after an injury.
- Social Security disability benefits are helpful for people who are coping with a disability. If you were hurt at work but expect the injury to last longer than a year then you could qualify.
- State Disability Insurance can help you out if your workers' compensation claim is denied or delayed. While a workers' compensation claim check could take weeks to arrive in the mail, State Disability can kick in right away.
- Paid sick leave is offered by a lot of employers. Ask your boss if this is an option for you while you are out of work.
California laws are meant to protect all types of workers. Whether you are a citizen or not, state laws require that an employer treats you fairly and provides workers' compensation. The process can be confusing so talk with an attorney and they can help you set up a claim.