How to Apply for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Victorville

In theory, almost every person classified as an employee in California should have access to workers’ compensation benefits through their employer if they get hurt or sick on the job. In practice, the process of obtaining those benefits can be much more complex than many people expect. It can be challenging to negotiate with insurance providers and to navigate state workers’ comp law on your own while you are also trying to heal from your injury.

If you have never gone through the workers’ compensation claims process, you likely have lots of questions about how to apply for workers’ compensation benefits in Victorville. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney could provide information custom-tailored to your situation during a private initial meeting, but in the meantime, here is a basic primer on how to begin a workers’ comp claim and what you will need to do during the early stages of the process.

Initial Steps in the Workers’ Comp Claims Process

Under California state law, an employee who sustains any injury or illness while performing work-related duties has 30 days to notify their employer in writing. Technically, this 30-day notice period starts from the date the employee first discovers that their condition stemmed directly from their working conditions, which may differ from the date on which the injury or illness occurred. However, it is best to complete this first step of applying for workers’ compensation benefits in Victorville as quickly as possible.

After an employee notifies their employer of their condition, the employer should give them a workers’ compensation claim form immediately or within one business day of receiving notice. The injured employee must fill out the “Employee” section of this form completely and accurately, sign it, and return it to their employer, who will then complete their own section and send it to their workers’ compensation insurance provider.

What To Do After Applying for Workers’ Comp Benefits

A workers’ comp insurance provider that receives a completed workers’ comp claims form has a maximum of 90 days to review the claim and inform the injured worker in writing that they have either accepted or rejected it. A delay beyond that deadline can almost always be treated as a presumption of compensability of the claim. Before those 90 days run out, the injured or sick worker should seek necessary medical care for their injury.

Depending on the circumstances, someone applying for workers’ compensation benefits in Victorville may be allowed to pre-designate a physician they want to receive care from, choose from a list of physicians their employer provides to them, or go to a physician of their employer’s choosing. Regardless, the injured worker needs to follow all instructions from their treating physicians and attend follow-up appointments if requested, as failure to do so can be seen by an insurance provider as grounds for rejecting their claim.

A Victorville Attorney Could Explain How to Apply for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Knowing how to apply for workers’ compensation benefits in Victorville is the first step of many in the application process. A mistake or even a minor omission during this process could result in not getting all the benefits you need or even having your claim rejected outright.

From start to finish of the claims process, a capable lawyer from Silberman & Lam could provide the guidance and support you need. Call today to schedule a consultation.