From 2015 to 2016, 144 workers were killed in a workplace accident and
another 621,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries on the job. However,
only just over 72,000 of these non-fatal wounds/illnesses were reported
by employers. These injuries are typically underreported by proprietors,
as they are either not severe enough to cause a problem or because reporting
them would cost a business time and money. It is your duty to stand up
for yourself if you are injured at work and file a compensation claim,
and here are a few reasons why.
Without Rest, It Could Get Worse
If you sustain a repetitive stress injury, your condition will likely only
get worse. A repetitive stress injury is a pain felt in muscles, nerves,
and tendons caused by the irritation of repetitive movement and overuse
of the body. It mostly affects parts of the upper body, such as forearms,
elbows, wrists, hands, necks, and shoulders. While this kind of injury
can result in mild pain, stiffness, or numbness, you do need time to heal
the area. If the pain worsens, you may later need surgery to solve the
problem. Filing a workers’ comp claim will allow you to pay for
and will pay for any lost wages while you recover. Any good employer will
understand that a healthy employee is a productive employee.
Your Health Insurance Could Be a Problem
Deciding to use your own insurance rather than your employer’s could
be disadvantageous. Not only can your insurance put limits on your treatment,
but your insurance company can sue you for what they paid if they find
out your injury was work related. With workers’ comp insurance,
you are entitled to
all the medical care that is reasonable and necessary to heal your injury.
Your own insurance could fail to cover all of the surgeries or physical
therapy you require. You also should be using your workers’ comp
insurance to cover the cost of a work injury. If your health insurance
company pays for what it doesn’t have to, it will try and get that
You’re Not Suing Your Employer
A workers’ comp claim is not a lawsuit. If your employer has workers’
comp insurance, he or she knows an employee might be injured at some point
and will need assistance. They pay a premium for this insurance, which
means they are consistently paying the same amount regardless of whether
or not you file. However, a submitted claim is not the same thing as a
lawsuit. You might be inconveniencing the insurance company, but you will
not be forcing your employer to provide coverage in court unless he or
she decides to reject your claim.
There’s a Time Limit
If you choose to change your mind later, sometimes you can’t. Every
state has a different statute of limitations, or a period during which
you can file a workers’ comp claim. In California, employees must
report their injuries or illness within 30 days of becoming aware of it.
After this time, your claim can be legitimately rejected by the insurance company.
The Law Protects You
Your employer can’t retaliate against you for filing a claim. Under
California law, if your business attempts to fire you for requesting worker’s
comp, you are covered by statutory protections. Any employer who attempts
to do so will be charged with a misdemeanor, and the employee will receive
a 50% increase in his or her benefits.
If you’re ready to begin filing, contact our
experienced Orange County workers’ compensation attorney. Thomas F. Martin has devoted his career to fighting for the rights of
injured workers all over Southern California. He has been handling workers’
comp cases for more than 25 years, which means he is extremely familiar
with this area of law. Trust our award-winning advocate to represent you
in court and get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us at (714) 594-5389 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case
evaluation. We look forward to working with you.