After getting injured at work, a lot of employees are confused, scared and are not sure what they should do. A lot of employees are scared that if they are reporting a work accident to their employer, that their job may be at danger. Under Labor Code 132A, it is illegal for an employer to terminate an employee because they sustained an injury. In fact, if your employer fires you because of reporting an injury, then your case will be worth more money. There is a penalty of 50% of the total benefits paid to the injured worker.
When you get injured, you should report your injury to your employer right away. After your report the injury, your employer will provide you with a claim form and will refer you for medical care. At the beginning of your case, you will be sent to a doctor who will be your primary treating physician. Under the Labor Code, you can change your primary treating physician up to 2 times.
From the beginning of your case, you need to keep track of the miles you travelled to and from your medical appointments. Every month or so, you should submit your medical mileage expense form to the workers compensation insurance adjuster handling your case so that you can be reimbursed for your mileage expense.
When you start to treat with your primary treating physician, your physician will issue a work status report for you to present to your employer. The work status report will either state that you can work your normal duties, limited duties, or that you cannot work at all. If your physician believes you can’t work at all, then he will place you on Temporary Total Disability. If you are placed on temporary disability in the work status report, make sure you show your employer so they can send that report to the workers compensation insurance carrier. When the workers compensation insurance has notice that you have been placed on disability, you are entitled to receive temporary disability payments, which you do not have to pay back. If you are on temporary disability, you will receive 2/3 of your average weekly earnings until you are able to return to work.
If you physician puts you on full duty or modified duty and you do not agree with that doctor, you can change your primary treating physician and get a second opinion. As noted above, you are entitled to even get a third opinion on your disability status.