GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS.
THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS GENERAL IN NATURE, AND SHOULD NOT BE READ OR UNDERSTOOD AS LEGAL ADVICE. IT SHOULD NOT BE SOLELY RELIED UPON IN MAKING A DECISION THAT MAY AFFECT ANY LEGAL MATTER. ONLY A CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY REVIEWING THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES IN YOUR PARTICULAR CASE CAN GIVE YOU THE ADVICE YOU NEED.
REPORT YOUR INJURY!
Once injured, there are time limits to file a claim. If your employer has not formally accepted the claim, and the time limit to file passes without filing, you may lose all rights to any Workers’ Compensation benefits. Therefore, if injured, or you think you have contracted a work related illness or impairment, REPORT YOUR INJURY. This is done using a form called a “DWC-1”. Kim LaValley or your employer can provide it to you upon request. Please review the reasons for contacting an attorney early on in the claims process discussed on the Workers’ Compensation FAQ page: When to call an attorney.
Maintain control of your medical treatment
This means you should immediately, and before any injury, designate your choice of a personal treating physician, chiropractor, or acupuncturist to your employer IN WRITING. If you don’t pre-designate your treating physician, and if injured on the job, the treating physician could be chosen by your employer or its insurance company which is often NOT a good thing. (You should have been informed of the right to pre-designate your treating physician at the time of hire, or annually thereafter.) To pre-designate your own treating physician, either fill out the forms from the following links, or write your employer about it with the information noted after these links:
- To see an approved form to pre-designate a Doctor (an M.D. or D.O.), click here
- To see an approved form to pre-designate a Chiropractor or Acupuncturist, click here
Or, write a note to your employer. State:
- “Pursuant to the Labor Code, I designate [name, general address and phone #] as my primary health care provider in the event of a job related injury”
- Date it, sign and print your name
- Be sure to make copies, and give one to your employer’s Personnel or Human Resource Dept. or to the owner or manager
- Make a note of when and where you delivered it on your retained copy
There are restrictions to your right to pre-designate a treating physician. To qualify,
- your employer must offer group health coverage
- the doctor must be your regular physician, who shall be either a physician who has limited his or her practice of medicine to general practice or who is a board-certified or board-eligible internist, pediatrician, obstetrician-gynecologist, or family practitioner, and has previously directed your medical treatment, and retains your medical records
- your “personal physician” may be a medical group if it is a single corporation or partnership composed of licensed doctors of medicine or osteopathy, which operates an integrated multispecialty medical group providing comprehensive medical services predominantly for non-occupational illnesses and injuries
- prior to the injury your doctor agrees to treat you for work injuries or illnesses
- prior to the injury you provided your employer the following in writing: (1) notice that you want your personal doctor to treat you for a work-related injury or illness, and (2) your personal doctor’s name and business address