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What's Workers' Compensation For?

  • To help employees injured on the job; or
  • To help the dependents of those employees who die on the job or as a result of an injury on the job.

What's an Injured Worker Entitled To?

  • Medical treatment and related costs; and
  • Temporary Disability: Entitled to payments while you're off work based upon 2/3 of avg. weekly rate; and
  • Permanent Disability: Entitled to benefits if disability affects your ability to participate in the job market in the future; and
  • Supplemental Job Displacement: If injured in 2004 or later and employer didn't provide modified or alternative work, then you can get a voucher for retraining ($4k to $10k).

Who Is Covered By Workers' Comp?

  • Employees Covered by Workers' Comp:
  • If you receive a "salary" and are not a contract worker/independent contractor, then you qualify.


  • Emotional or psychological injuries require that one be employed for at least six months.
  • What's an Independent Contractor:
  • No paid holiday, vacation, medical insurance etc.
  • Don't work for one business and have own supplies.

What Do I Do If I Am Injured At Work?

  • Step 1: Notify your employer (supervisor, boss, etc.) as soon as you realize you are injured as a result of work.
  • Step 2: Provide written notice of injury to employer within 30 days of injury.
  • Step 3: Make certain to complete any in-house accident reports and to review any reports prepared by your employer.
  • Step 4: Seek medical treatment.

NOTE: Unless you have a pre-designated doctor, your employer has the right to choose your doctor from their Medical Provider Network (MPN).

How Do I Pay For My Medical Treatment?

1. Employer Accepts Responsibility:

  • Within one day of filing your DWC-1 claim, your employer will likely authorize treatment.

2. Employer Denies Responsibility:

  • By denying claim, employer gives up its right to control your medical treatment.
  • Seek treatment regardless. Either through your insurance or if you don't have insurance, then:
  • Pay for treatment yourself and seek reimbursement; or
  • Find a doctor to treat you on a lien basis; or
  • Gets an order from a judge requiring employer's insurance to pay for treatment.

What Do I Need To Do To File A Workers' Comp. Claim?

You Must Complete Two Forms:

1) DWC-1:

  • Employers must give you this form within 1 working day of learning that you were injured AND either:
  • Required medical attention; or
  • Resulted in missing time from work. (LC 5401)

NOTE: Fill this form as soon as possible and return it to your employer.

2) Application for Adjudication of Claim:

  • Complete and file this form with the Workers Compensation Appeals Board.
  • When to File These Two Forms:
  • Within 1 year of your date of injury, BUT you should do it within 30 days, or as soon as possible.

Where Can I Find These Forms?

Do I Need An Attorney To File A Workers' Comp. Claim?

Technically, no BUT: It's Always Better to Have an Attorney Because:

  • Insurance companies are more receptive to attorneys;
  • You will not recover the maximum amount you're entitled to;
  • An attorney is better versed and prepared in taking disputes to trial w/the WCAB;
  • Attorneys know what is a fair settlement (Compromise & Release vs. Stipulations etc);
  • Attorneys have established relationships to doctors who work on a lien basis; and
  • Attorney only charges if you recover money.

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The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Contact Information

Golper, Sullivan & Rivera
110 West A St #1025
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-908-1564
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The law firm of Golper, Sullivan & Rivera handles personal injury and workers' compensation claims for people throughout the South Bay and Southern California, including clients in counties such as San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County and Orange County, and in cities such as San Diego, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Lemon Grove and Coronado.