I was injured at work
Workers' compensation benefits are designed to provide you with the medical treatment you need to recover from your work related injury or illness, partially replace the wages you lose while you are recovering, and help you return to work. Workers’ compensation benefits do not include damages for pain and suffering or punitive damages.
Report the injury or illness to your employer
Make sure your supervisor is notified of your injury as soon as possible. If your injury or illness 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 don’t report your injury within 30 days, you could lose your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Get emergency treatment if needed
If it’s an emergency, call 911 or go to an emergency room right away. Tell the medical staff that your injury or illness is job-related. If you can safely do so, contact your employer for further instructions.
If you don’t need emergency treatment, make sure you get first aid and see a doctor if necessary.
Once you file a claim, your employer is required to provide you with medical care.
Want to learn more? Find it in the guidebook
- Chapter 1: The Basics of Workers’ Compensation
- Want a complete version of the injured worker guidebook?
Did you know?
- You can attend a free seminar on workers’ compensation or contact the Information and Assistance Unit if you have questions. You can also call 1-800-736-7401 for recorded information
- Medical care must be paid for by your employer if you get hurt on the job — whether or not you miss time from work
- You may be eligible to receive benefits even if you are a temporary or part-time worker
- You don’t have to be a legal resident of the United States to receive most workers’ compensation benefits
- It’s illegal for your employer to punish or fire you for having a job injury or for requesting workers’ compensation benefits when you believe your injury was caused by your job
- You can find the definitions of common terms and abbreviations in the glossary for injured workers.
Questions workers have:
- What benefits am I entitled to?
- Do I need to fill out the claim form (DWC 1) my employer gave me?
- What resources are available to me?
- How can I find out who provides workers compensation coverage for my employer or another business in California?