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When should I report an injury to my employer?

The workplace can be fraught with hazards, and injuries are not uncommon. If you happen to get injured while at work in California, you likely will be covered through workers' compensation. However, it is imperative that you follow the right steps to ensure your claim is valid and that you can qualify for coverage.

According to the Department of Industrial Relations, if possible, you should report the injury to your employer as soon as it occurs. Of course, if it is a severe injury, you can seek medical care first and then report to your employer. If it is an injury that develops over time, you should report it when you first learn that the injury is related to your work duties. This could be right after seeking medical care or if you discover the connection on your own.

Your employer has a claim form that you must fill out to get the workers' compensation process started. If you fail to report your injury and get that form within 30 days of the injury or of knowing the link between the injury and work, then you could be denied benefits. The reason is that it does not give your employer proper time to investigate the situation. Your employer should provide you with the claim within one day of you reporting your injury.

Workers' compensation benefits can be quite helpful if you will be off work to recover and to cover medical expenses associated with the injury. So, it is imperative that you make sure your employer has all the needed information as soon as possible. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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