At the Law Offices of Marc Francis, a workers compensation attorney, we receive many calls from injured workers in Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino, and Napa Counties and the greater Santa Rosa area who tell us they were injured at work but their employer failed to give them a claim form. Some workers report that the employer simply ignored them when they reported their injury at work, or told them “it will get better, just try to work with it”, or told them to just go home and call in when they are “100% ready to return to work.” Sometimes an employer will offer to send the injured worker to the employer’s “personal chiropractor” instead of filing a claim. All of these employer attempts to prevent the injured worker from filing a workers compensation claim are contrary to California workers’ compensation law and often create barriers to the injured worker receiving medical treatment and/or disability benefits.
Filing Your Claim
Generally, you should file a claim form (Form DWC-1) with your employer whenever a work injury causes lost time from work, need for medical treatment, or disability such as pain or limitations on use of the injured part of your body. Your employer is required to give you a claim form and send you to a doctor when you report your injury. We recommend keeping notes of the date and time of your injury, the name of the supervisor or manager to whom you reported the injury, and the date and time you reported the injury.
Your claim may be barred if not filed within one year of the date of injury but there are exceptions to this rule and you should see a work injury lawyer in Santa Rosa for assistance rather than assuming you have no case.
Your claim for workers’ compensation benefits should be filed as soon as possible after your work injury occurs because the longer the time between the injury and the filing of the claim form the greater the chances the insurance carrier will deny the claim which often results in the need for proceedings before the Workers Compensation Appeals Board.
Occasionally an employer will tell the injured worker that the employer has no workers’ compensation insurance. Sometimes this is not true and the employer is simply attempting to avoid reporting a work injury to their insurance carrier. If in fact the employer was uninsured for work injuries you can proceed with your case by naming the Uninsured Employers Fund of the State of California (UEF) as a defendant in your case. At the law Office of Marc Francis we can help you by investigating the case and determining whether the employer has workers compensation insurance and, if not, advising you on proceeding with a case against the UEF.