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What To Do If You're Injured at Work 

Step 1A

Immediately report the injury to your employer.

If your injury developed gradually, report it as soon as you learn or believe it was caused by your job.

Reporting promptly helps avoid problems and delays in receiving benefits, including medical care.

If you do not report your injury within 30 days, you could lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Step 1B
Get emergency treatment if needed.

Your employer must ensure access to emergency treatment right away and may tell you where to go for treatment.

Tell the medical staff that your injury is job-related.

Step 2
Fill out the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1). 


This form protects your rights and starts the first phase of the workers’ compensation claims process.

Your employer must give or mail you the claim form
within one working day after learning about your injury or illness.


If your employer does not provide one, you can download the claim form in English and Spanish here. 

Complete the "employee" section and return it to your supervisor as soon as possible. If you do not return the completed form to your employer, you risk your right to benefits.

Be sure to sign and date the claim form and keep a copy for your records.

If you mail the claim form, use certified mail — return receipt requested — so you have a record of the date it was mailed and received.

Step 3A

Within one day of receiving your Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1), your employer must fill out and sign the “employer” portion and send the completed form to the insurance company.

Your employer must also provide you a copy of the completed form. Make sure to save this copy.

Step 3B
Your employer must also authorize medical treatment (up to $10,000) within one day of receiving the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1).


You should be treated by a doctor who understands your particular type of injury or illness.

The doctor will be able to:
• Prescribe care for your job injury or illness.
• Help determine when you can return to work.
• Help identify work you can do safely while recovering.
• Refer you to specialists if necessary.
• Write medical reports that will help determine the benefits you receive.

If your medical treatment is not authorized by your employer, contact Reyes & Associates immediately.

What happens after the Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC 1)  is submitted to the insurance company?

Generally, within 14 days, the insurance company will send 1 of 3 claim status notices: Accepted, Denied, or Delayed for further review.

If your claim is “Accepted”, the insurance company agrees your injury is covered by workers’ compensation.

You will receive paid medical care for your injury and you may also be eligible for payments to help make up for lost wages.

To ensure you receive maximum compensation, schedule an appointment with Reyes & Associates as soon as possible.

If your claim is “Denied”, the insurance company believes your injury is not covered by workers’ compensation.

You definitely have a right to challenge the decision, but do not procrastinate. There are deadlines for filing the necessary paperwork.

To get help with your appeal, 
schedule an appointment with Reyes & Associates as soon as possible.

If the insurance company "Delays" your claim for further review, the investigation can take up to 90 days.

During the investigation, no benefits other than medical treatment will usually be provided.

You may be able to collect state disability payments during the investigation period but you must apply separately at the Employment Development Department (EDD) office.

If you do not receive a final notice either accepting or denying your claim within 90 days, your claim should be presumed accepted.

The laws and procedures in workers’ compensation are complicated. What applies to another injured worker may not apply to you. 

Our job is to protect your rights, plan a strategy for your case, gather information to support your claim, keep track of deadlines, and represent you in hearings before a workers’ compensation judge.

Contact an experienced workers compensation attorney from Reyes & Associates today.

We take pride in providing clear answers.

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