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After being injured on the job it is recommended that you always do the following: Notify your employer that you hurt yourself.

Why? Because, even when you think you may have a minor injury, you may find out that as time progressed, so does the condition.  Your delay and/or failure to report can then cause delays in getting medical care or monetary benefits; Speak with an attorney shortly after your injury.

Why?  Because although you will certainly know more than the attorney about your type of work and your type of industry, in a like manner, an attorney can tell you and advise you regarding certain benefits and concerns arising from your injury that you did not even know existed.  in addition they can give you an overview as to what to expect) when it comes to your rights and benefits in a Workers’ Compensation matter; Always file for SDI (State Disability) if you have any injury that is causing you to be taken off work or is preventing you from returning to work.

Why? Because SDI (paid by the Employment Development Department (EDD) will establish a claim date for your injury such that when you are eligible for SDI benefits you will have money in your account to draw from.  If you wait too long to make such a claim it could adversely affect your ability to receive the benefits you would otherwise be entitled to – or at least the full benefit.

NOTE – you should file for this to establish that claim date even if you are receiving your fill Worker’s Compensation benefit to assure that you can receive SDI benefits when you qualify for such.  Just to make sure that you always notify EDD of your receipt of Workers’ Compensation benefits so that you don’t receive a duplication of benefits.  And, depending upon your worker’s compensation benefit rate and your SDI rate, you may be entitled to supplemental SDI monies if the SDI rate is the higher rate. Understand that in serious injury cases temporary disability payments which equate to 2/3’s of your average weekly wage up to a State maximum, can now be paid for a maximum of 104 weeks.

Why?  The reason you need to keep this in mind is to prepare yourself financially.  For example, if your average weekly wage is such that your worker’s compensation temporary total disability benefits are paid at, for example, $1,000/week and your injury is serious enough that you receive 104 weeks of temporary disability, thereafter, in most cases your next payment will be for permanent partial disability at a rate of $290/week – and sometimes less if you have a much closer injury date.  This is quite a drop in income, it’s best to be prepared! Always return to work if you can without further hurting yourself.

Why?  There is no workers’ compensation injury that can make up for a lost job.  Keep in mind that unlike a personal injury lawsuit, you are not entitled to compensation for “pain and suffering”, lost income, etc…

On the other hand, if you can return to work, at either your old job or a modified job, it is typically much better to do so because you are working and you can still receive a workers’ compensation settlement in addition to your income from work; If you are hurt, go to the doctor.

Why?  Delays can be used against you.  For example, an insurance carrier or employer may argue that you weren’t injured at all because there is a lack of medical evidence, or that the injury must have occurred elsewhere or that it is not that significant.  If you want to experience these hurdles in pursuing your rights, one certain way of doing that is by not obtaining timely medical consultations or treatment.

I could go on and on, but these are some of the foremost and immediate concerns.  Don’t take a chance with your injuries, report them timely, pursue timely medical care and treatment.  Know your rights and what to expect.  And, if you have any questions at all, contact an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation – as no question is a bad question.

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