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Otus Law Group

Why You Need Workers’ Compensation

Your workplace injury is likely turning your whole world upside down. We are sorry you’re experiencing this terrible time. We’re here to make it a little easier.



California workers' compensation law requires employers to carry insurance for employees who get hurt or sick because of work. The insurance provides basic benefits, such as medical care, disability benefits, and death benefits. The law is based on a no-fault system, which means that employees do not need to prove that the injury or illness was someone else's fault. Employees have 30 days to give written notice of work-related injury to their employer, and one year to file a claim. Employers must post information about their workers' compensation policy and medical care options and give new employees a pamphlet explaining their rights and responsibilities. All workers, including illegal ones, are entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. Employers who violate the law may face fines and imprisonment.

You are given the opportunity to get workers’ compensation when you need to be covered for an injury
that happened within the execution of your job. It can cover your medical bills, the cost of rehab, and the wages you’ve lost taking time off from work to heal. You’re provided these benefits through your employers workers’ compensation because they want to get you back on your feet and back to work. You can get workers’ compensation for a number of reasons. We often see construction workers get hurt on the job, but workers’ compensation claims also come up in office settings and retail stores. All kinds of folks experience injury at work. It’s not always heavy labor workers. For example, if you’re stocking shelves and you are carrying a heavy item up a ladder when you fall and hurt yourself, you can apply for workers’ compensation. Likewise, if you’re at your accounting firm and you trip over unsecured wiring by the printer and hurt yourself, that’s also a workplace injury. The worst thing you can do after an injury like this is pretend that it never happened. We strongly encourage that you record the incident right away. There’s no way you can tell your employer that you need workers’ compensation if they don’t even know you got hurt at work. 

What are my employer's responsibilities under workers' compensation laws?
A. Before an injury or illness occurs, your employer must:

  • Obtain workers' compensation insurance or qualify to become self-insured

  • When hiring a new employee, provide a workers' compensation pamphlet explaining the employee's rights and responsibilities

  • Post the workers' compensation poster in a place where all employees can see it.

After an injury or illness occurs, your employer must:

  • Provide a workers' compensation claim form to you within one working day a work-related injury or illness is reported

  • Return a completed copy of the claim form to you within one working day of receipt

  • Forward the claim form, along with the employer's report of occupational injury or illness, to the claims administrator within one working day of receipt

  • Within one day of receiving your claim, authorize up to $10,000 in appropriate medical treatment

  • Provide transitional work (light duty) whenever appropriate

  • If you are the victim of a crime that happened at work, the employer must give notice of workers' compensation eligibility within one working day of the crime.

    notice to employees poster in a conspicuous place at the work site. This poster provides you with information on workers' compensation coverage and where to get medical care for work injuries. Failure to post this notice is a misdemeanor that can result in a civil penalty of up to $7,000 per violation.

Otus Law Group California

Otus Law Group California

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