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Workers’ compensation in California: The basics

If you work in the construction industry in the Glendale area, you already know you have a dangerous job. Even if you follow all of the safety rules and your employer provides top-of-the-line personal protection equipment, you could still have an accident on a work site.

Like most people, you probably cannot afford to take days or weeks off work to recover from a job-related injury. Fortunately, you may be able to file a workers' compensation claim for your injury to get the medical treatment and other benefits you need during recovery.

In order to file a workers' compensation claim in California, it is important to know the benefits you are eligible to receive and the requirements for filing the claim. Below are the basics of California's workers' compensation laws to help you get started.

Deadlines

If you suffer a workplace injury, you must notify your employer in writing within 30 days. After you provide notice, your employer must give you a claim form to complete within one day. After this, you have up to one year to file your claim for workers' compensation.

Benefits

The benefits you might be eligible for include medical care and temporary or permanent disability payments, depending on the severity of your injuries. In addition, you might qualify for retraining if your injuries prevent you from returning to the same job. Also, if a work-related injury results in death, your dependents could qualify for death benefits.

What to do first

After an on-the-job accident, the first thing you should do is seek emergency medical attention if the injury warrants such. If the injury does not require emergency care, then you should go to an approved medical provider for treatment as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you have only 30 days to provide written notice of the injury to your employer or risk losing your rights to workers' compensation benefits.

What to do if you receive a denial

Sometimes, workers' compensation insurance providers or employers deny an employee's claim for benefits. If this happens, you can request that a judge preside over your case. To do this, you must file an Application for the Adjudication of Claim along with other required documents.

You must also inform your employer and the insurer that you are filing the application and file a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed. The process typically includes a mandatory settlement conference to reach an agreement about the benefits. If that fails, then you will have to present your case in front of an administrative law judge.

If you have suffered a work-related injury, you might qualify for workers' compensation benefits. If these benefits are denied, you may be able to take legal action to fight for the compensation and medical care you deserve.

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