First, it’s important to appreciate that there are two basic types of injury.
Most employers ( and claims adjusters ) understand that when a specific injury occurs – for example, a sudden event like a fall, or a lifting injury – that workers compensation treatment and wage replacement benefits should begin immediately.
However, employers ( and claims adjusters) often ignore injuries that grow worse over time, often referred to as cumulative traumaclaims. These types of injuries may begin as a mere annoyance – like aching knees, sore back, or persistent cough while working with chemicals – but with repetitive work activities, they may grow worse over time.
Second, California law stated you are entitled to IMMEDIATE written notice of your workers compensation rights, how to obtain prompt and effective treatment, and the wage replacement benefits that you may be entitled to.
Third, no matter how the work injury or condition occurred, the employer ( and the claims adjuster ) MUST promptly provide medical treatment. In fact, the law states that in most circumstances, medical treatment must be provided within ONE DAY of the injury, and in even sooner depending in the nature of the injury.
Finally, the doctor or medical facility MUST provide effective treatment and thoroughly record ALL injuries, not just the injuries the claims adjuster approves of. For example, sending you to a general practitioner for a serious head injury or surgical condition is not appropriate, nor is it acceptable for the doctor to only treat one part of the body, and ignore the rest of the injuries.
This is only general information. There could be many legal consequences for the employer if they do not comply with the law, including permitting you to select your own doctor to treat the work injuries.
California Workers Compensation is all we do. If you are facing challenges in your claim, and you wonder if you are getting the whole story, contact us at 714-547-5025 for a free review of your case at our freeway close Orange County location.