How to Apply for Workers’ Compensation in Tulare County

When you sustain an injury at work that will require professional medical treatment, informing your employer about the incident is the first of many steps in the workers’ compensation claims process. Unlike other states, injured workers in California participate directly in filing their own claims for workers’ compensation.

Knowing how to apply for workers’ compensation in Tulare County is vital to protecting your short-term financial security as well as your long-term best interests after a workplace injury. Here is a brief overview of what will be required of you during this part of your claim. A seasoned workers’ compensation attorney from our firm can explain each stage in more detail.

Filling Out a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form

Under California law, employers have a maximum of one business day to give a workers’ compensation claim form to any employee who reports a work-related injury, starting from when the employee first reports their injury. This form is also available online through the Department of Workers’ Compensation’s website (DWC), and further assistance is available from the DWC’s Information and Assistance Unit, which can be reached during normal business hours.

There are two sections to the workers’ compensation claim form: one titled “Employee,” and one titled “Employer.” Injured workers looking to apply for workers’ compensation in Tulare County must fill out the “Employee” section in its entirety, sign it, and give it back to their employer through the mail or in person. The employer should then fill out the “Employer” section, forward the completed form to their workers’ compensation insurance provider, and send a copy of the completed form to the injured worker.

Employer Requirements After Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

After the insurance company receives a completed workers’ compensation claim form, they have a maximum of 14 days to process the claim and send the injured worker a letter by mail informing them about their claim’s status. In other words, an individual must be notified whether their claim has been accepted or denied as well as the reasons for the denial, if applicable. The act of applying for workers’ compensation in Tulare County entitles an injured worker to a few important rights and benefits.

For example, employers who file claim forms with their insurance provider must then authorize up to $10,000 of necessary medical care for their injured worker while they are deciding whether to accept or reject the claim. Additionally, if an employer fails to pay indemnity payments in a timely fashion after receiving a workers’ compensation claim form, the impacted employee may have the right to demand an increase in the value of those payments once they receive them.

If an employer does not explicitly deny a properly filed workers’ compensation claim within 90 days, there is a legally enforceable presumption that the claim is accepted, and the individual’s injury is covered. A qualified legal professional can explain these and other rights afforded to workers’ compensation applicants during a confidential consultation.

A Tulare County Attorney Could Help You Apply for Workers’ Compensation

Of course, the steps mentioned above still do not represent the entirety of the workers’ compensation claims process. Even once your claim is properly filed, there is still a lot your employer and their insurance provider may do to try to deny compensation and minimize their own financial liability for your injury. You will likely need to be prepared to fight for your rights for fair financial recovery.

A skilled attorney can help you pursue the strongest claim possible in addition to helping you understand how to apply for workers’ compensation in Tulare County. Call today to learn more.