Filing a California Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you are injured due to work, you must file a claim with your employer within one year.
Give notice of injury to your employer
First, you must notify your employer of the injury itself. You have 30 days from the date of injury to do this. It must be in writing, and signed by you or your representative.
If your injury was a traumatic event (such as falling off a ladder), then this 30 day deadline is easy. Just count 30 days out from the date you suffered the traumatic event.
If your injury is one that accumulates over time, then this is harder to calculate. Notify your employer in writing as soon as you learn about the injury, or have to take time off work because of the injury.
Even though you have 30 days there is no reason to wait. Just type or handwrite a simple letter, address it to your employer and supervisor. The letter should contain:
- Your name
- Date of Birth
- Date of injury (if traumatic) or date you first became aware of the injury
- How the injury occurred
- Treatment so far (if any)
- Anything else you think would be relevant
If you don’t give notice within 30 days of the injury
If you don’t give notice within 30 days of your injury, you would still be okay if you can prove your employer knew, or should know about your injury. For example, if you complained to your supervisor about back pain from lifting 30 heavy boxes.
If this exception doesn’t apply, you should request a consultation with us right away. We will help you prove your employer did not suffer prejudice and rescue your workers compensation claim.
One year from date of injury to file Form DWC-1
Within one day of learning of your injury, your employer must provide a claim form. The claim form is DWC-1. You have one year from the date of injury to file this form.
You can actually kill two birds with one stone, by completing DWC-1 and submitting it to your employer within 30 days of the injury. You will then satisfy the notice requirement above, and the claim requirement.
Medical treatment while waiting on your claim
After filing the claim, your employer must authorize medical treatment within 1 day of your claim being filed. Until your claim is ultimate accepted or denied, you are entitled to $10,000 in medical care.
The claims administrator has 90 days from the day you file the claim to accept or deny it. If they don’t respond within 90 days, your claim is presumed payable.
Requesting A Free Case Review With Us
If you miss any deadlines, or your injuries are severe, you should request a free consultation and case review with us immediately. It won’t cost you anything and you will find it very valuable.