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The employer's role in workers' compensation

After a work accident, an injured employee is likely eligible for financial support through workers' compensation benefits. The employer bears the responsibility of providing the coverage required by California law, as well as an explanation of employee rights and benefits. By understanding his or her rights and the employer's role in workers' compensation, an individual can be more proactive after a work accident. 

Even before a work accident, an employer must obtain workers' compensation insurance, provide an explanation of benefits to employees and have pertinent information readily available and visible. After an on-the-job accident occurs or an illness is contracted at work, the injured or sick employee should be provided with a workers' compensation claim form. Additionally, the employer should follow the proper protocol by forwarding the completed claim form within one day of receipt. 

After an employee sustains an injury while at work, the employer must provide alternate work opportunities that are compatible with the ability of the injured employee. Some California employees may find it difficult to navigate the workers' compensation process, as well as difficult to understand what to expect after filing a claim. Every injured worker has the right to seek legal assistance in order to understand and obtain the benefits to which he or she is entitled. 

The workers' compensation process can be complex and overwhelming for an injured person or the family of a deceased worker. If a person has concerns about his or her rights as an employee, it is best to seek the advice of an attorney who understands an employer's legal responsibilities. A work injury can be frustrating, but the aftermath of an accident does not have to be navigated alone. 

Source: dir.ca.gov, "Answers to frequently asked questions about workers' compensation for employees", Accessed on Jan. 31, 2015

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