Can I File for Workers’ Compensation if My Back Injury Happened on the Job?
California state law requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, even those with just one employee. This means that if a back injury occurs at work, the injured employee generally can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, the workers’ compensation claim process is straightforward on paper and complex in practice. As a result, many claimants have trouble completing their claim packets, and others experience undue resistance from employers and other complications that interfere with their ability to collect benefits.
If you sustained a back injury while performing your job duties in Thousand Palms, you likely have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. You should notify your supervisor of the injury immediately. If you require emergency medical treatment, see a doctor as soon as possible. You can visit any doctor in the event of an emergency. However, to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you must undergo a medical examination from a physician approved by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. This workers’ compensation doctor will assign you a disability rating that you will need for your claim.
The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) handles all claims for workers’ compensation benefits filed in the state. The DWC will want to know how, when, and where your injury occurred and will evaluate the findings of the workers’ compensation doctor. Workers’ compensation benefits typically cover the claimant’s medical expenses and temporary disability benefits for each week the claimant cannot work, amounting to about two-thirds of the claimant’s average weekly wages. In addition, some claimants can qualify for permanent disability benefits if their injuries are severe enough to prevent them from returning to work in the future.