Your Workers Compensation Claim Is Accepted, Now What?

Work-related injuries can range from inconvenient to debilitating and detrimental; this is why your California employer is required to carry workman’s compensation insurance. Once your claim has been accepted, there are several things to consider next, including who is qualified to provide treatment, whether you’re able to continue working in the same capacity as before, how your injury will impact your income and benefits, how to supplement missing income, and who can assist you if you aren’t receiving the help you need.

Seeking Treatment for Your Injury

In most cases, you have already sought injury for your treatment prior to receiving approval from workman’s compensation due to the urgent nature of your injury. Chronic or repetitive injuries are usually treated after approval is received. You can seek treatment from the primary care provider you predesignated with your employer, who can refer you to specialists if necessary. If you don’t remember who you predesignated, contact your human resources office for more information. If you didn’t predesignate, your employer will determine who should provide the first line of treatment and any referrals.

Working During Your Recovery

Your primary care doctor should evaluate your injury and determine what kind of work you can do while you recover. This information is provided to both you and your employer in writing, and then you, your employer, and your attorney should meet to discuss how the restrictions impact your ability to perform the duties listed in your job description. Appropriate accommodations should be made, which may include:

  • removing certain duties from your job description temporarily or permanently
  • assigning you a transitional job, which you can perform in lieu of your own while you recover
  • reducing the number of hours you’re expected to work per day or per week
  • providing physical accommodations, such as visual or audio aids, footrests, etc.

Accommodations depend on the injury and related restrictions; this list is not exclusive. The California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation provides a 36-page guidebook on the return-to-work process that may answer many of your questions.

Planning for Income Replacement

If your injury results in medical expenses, time away from work, reduced hours, or permanent disability, you may be entitled to compensation from your employer’s workman’s compensation policy. Workman’s compensation can pay for your medical expenses as well as replace some of your lost income related to a work injury. If you need additional help, there are several resources that might be able to help:

  • paid time off and sick leave balances from your current employment
  • short-term disability and/or long-term disability insurance if you had a policy before your injury
  • funds in your retirement account
  • State Disability Insurance
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Social Security disability benefits

An employment attorney can help you determine the best route to take to ensure you’re able to pay your bills and make ends meet after a work related injury.

Who Can Help When Your Claim Doesn’t Go as Expected?

If your claim is denied, your employer has provided false information about your claim, you have been terminated for being injured on the job, your injury was caused by somebody other than your employer, or you haven’t received safe, effective treatment for your injury, you should contact an attorney who specializes in cases like this.

The attorneys at Appel Law Firm LLP are able to navigate the law and evaluate your situation to determine where cause lies and ensure you get the compensation you’ve lost because of your injury. We may also be able to expedite your case to avoid lengthy waiting periods and the financial problems that accompany these waits. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

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