In California, as with the rest of the country, there are certain types of occupations that pose a higher risk for injury than others. For example, construction workers face hazards ranging from heavy equipment to explosions. Restaurant workers may end up with cuts, burns or slip-and-fall injuries. Hospital workers can suffer from repetitive stress injuries and injuries to their backs and joints.
Whatever your industry, it is important for you to understand what to do if you suffer a workplace injury in California. What follows is a basic primer about California law regarding workers' compensation and some of the things you should consider if you become injured on the job.
Workers' compensation in California
California law requires all employers to provide their employees with workers' compensation insurance coverage. This coverage protects workers in the event of an injury on the job. Further, employers cannot make their employees pay for the insurance. Carrying workers' compensation coverage in California is the employer's legal obligation as well as financial obligation. Employers in California are also required to have an injury and illness prevention program.
When you suffer an injury on the job, you must report it to your employer as soon as possible after the injury takes place, or as soon as you become aware of the injury. Failing to do so could impair your ability to qualify for benefits. However, you should not abandon the possibility to file a claim just because you fear you have waited too long. The first step is to report it to your employer and go from there.
Legal action in workers' compensation cases
It can often happen that these types of workplace injuries cause significant financial hardship due to lost wages or lost work. Even post-traumatic stress and psychological injuries can qualify as workplace injuries in certain cases. This is why you should not determine by yourself whether your injury or impairment qualifies for a legal case that may help you obtain compensation.
The best way to find out whether you have a case for compensation is to speak to a personal injury attorney in California. These lawyers have experience assisting clients with the many issues surrounding workers' compensation and on-the-job injuries and have the qualifications to properly evaluate your particular situation.